Basil (lat. Ocimum basilicum ) is a bushy and very fragrant plant,with oval and usually green leaves.
There are about sixty species of basil and all are different in appearance and taste. Its growing in various parts of the world, and it was originally grown in tropical Asia. One of the types of basil (tulsi, lat Ocimum tenuiflorum) -is used to treat many diseases – diabetes, asthma, impotence, kidney stones, infertility and allergies.
Benefits of Basil
- A powerful antioxidant
- Has antibacterial properties
- Strengthens the immune system
- Prevents oxidation of cholesterol
- Protects the heart and blood vessels
- Helps fight infection
- Reduces inflammation caused by arthritis
Studies have shown that, basil oil has a beneficial effect on the immune system. Fresh basil leaves and oil, have antibacterial and antiseptic properties and can be used to treat infections. Basil can be used locally – basil leaves placed on wounds prevent bacterial infections.
Protects the heart and blood vessels
Basil is a good source of vitamin B6 and magnesium.Vitamin B6 prevents the buildup of potentially dangerous molecule homocysteine. Although homocysteine natural product of cellular processes, it can damage the walls of the vessels if they are rapidly converted into harmless molecules, and B6 in that transformation plays a key role. Magnesium promotes cardiovascular health by helping relax the muscles and blood vessels that improves blood flow and reduces the risk of irregular heart rhythms.
Magnesium strengthens the heart muscle and have a preventive effect against heart attacks.
A powerful antioxidant
Basil is known for the fact, that it has strong antioxidant properties. According to the ORAC scale, dried basil has even 61,000 units. Antioxidants that naturally founds in basil, protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, prevent cell aging and the emergence of several cancers.
One of antioxidants in basil, is beta-carotene. Beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, prevents the oxidation of cholesterol in the bloodstream and in this way protects the heart and blood vessels. Damage caused by free radicals, contribute to the development of many other diseases, including asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and Beta-carotene from sweet basil is an excellent way to prevent these diseases.
Basil in cooking
Fragrant basil leaves are used in many kitchens and agree with different kinds of dishes. To retain its flavor, add basil dish at the end. When you can, choose fresh basil, because it has a more intense flavor than the dried.
Mix chopped basil with lemon juice, sugar- cane juice and water mixture and freeze as ice cubes. When frozen, blender chop them and serve as an ice dessert in a Mediterranean style. Or, create a fresh, delicious Italian salad of fresh basil and tomato slices.