Basil herb is known as king of herbs.It is one of the ancient and popular herbal plants with many health benefits.It is said as holy herb in many cultures all around the world.Most commonly known as “Tulsi” in India, the basil plant is a leafy herb belonging to the mint family.The leaves of this plant are edible and are used as flavoring agents due to their rich fragrance.From busting stress to clearing your skin, this herb has some serious mind-body benefits.If a kitchen has only a few herbs in its possession , basil will likely be one of them. Its fragrant essence combines well with rosemary and thyme.Basil plants are easy to maintain indoors and out.
List of Indian Spices
Basil / Tulsi has great significance for mankind, not only because of its culinary uses but also due to its medicinal properties.Holy basil leaves have been widely used in Ayurveda since thousands of years. This herb is even mentioned in the “Charaka Samhita”, an ancient Ayurvedic text due to its excellent healing properties.Tulsi leaves considered as great remedy for cough.Throughout history, ancient cultures have used herbal remedies to prevent and treat illness and disease. Basil is just one example of the wide range of medicinal flora historically used in plant-based tinctures, compresses, syrups and ointments.
Basil is either an excellent or very good source of all of these nutrients and vitamins. There are many other nutrients, minerals and vitamins present in basil that are not listed here such as omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin C.
How to preserve Basil Leaves
To dry basil leaves, warm your oven to 140 degrees while placing a single layer of basil leaves on a baking sheet. Turn off the oven and pop in your pan for 20 minutes (you don't want them to actually bake). Remove the pan, cool the leaves, and store immediately in airtight bottles or zip-lock bags, away from sunlight.
Health Benefits of Basil
1.Basil leaves have antiseptic properties and hence, used in the treatment of ulcers, cuts and wounds.
2.The antibacterial nature of basil is linked to its volatile oils (essential oils) such as: estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene.Essential oil of basil, obtained from its leaves, has demonstrated the ability to inhibit several species of pathogenic bacteria that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotic drugs.
3.Being rich in phytonutrients and healing oil, basil leaves are effective in curing malarial and dengue fevers.
4.Basil leaves form good germicidal and a natural disinfectant that protects the body against all types of viral and bacterial infections.
5.Basil leaves are effective in alleviating coughing and colds. Chewing fresh leaves or drinking a tea of dried basil leaves can calm coughing and relieve cold and flu.
6.Vitamin K in basil is essential for production of clotting factors in the blood and plays a vital role in the bone strengthening and mineralization.
7.Basil leaves are an excellent source of iron. It fresh leaves carry 3.17 mg/100 g (about 26% of RDA) of iron. Iron, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, is one of the chief determinants of oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
8.Basil also provides vitamin A, which contains beta-carotenes, powerful antioxidants that protect the cells lining a number of numerous body structures, including the blood vessels, from free radical damage. This helps prevent cholesterol in blood from oxidizing, helping to prevent atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke.
9.Being rich in vitamin A, basil leaves play an important role in eye health. You can soak a few basil leaves in water and wash your eyes with them every morning and before going to bed to prevent conjunctivitis, swelling, inflammations, boils and other infections.