The basil is a herbaceous annual culture plant, ramified from the ground, 20-60 cm tall with hairy stems, round-oval leaves and white or reddish flowers.
Native to India, basil was held in great reverence and was used by Indians to swear their oaths in court upon.
In Italy, on the other hand, it symbolises love.. Italian suitors signalled their love by courting with a sprig of basil in their hair. In Mexico it is carried around in the hope of returning a lovers roving eye.
Tulsi because of its great healing property has been indicated in variety of diseases. Being ushan (hot) in potency it is regarded as vata and kapha suppressant, hence all the diseases caused by vata and kapha can be treated with the help of tulsi.
Today herbalists recommend basil for nausea and motion sickness, because of basil’s antispasmodic properties. Basil’s strong taste promotes the production of saliva, letting the body digest food properly.
Basil has a powerful essential oil that contains methyl chavicol. Fresh basil contains folic acid, and dried basil is a good source of potassium, iron and calcium. Dried basil is also good for the respiratory system and can be used to treat nose and throat infections.
Health Benefits of Basil
Basil also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, making it a good food to consume by people who have problems with arthritis. It does this in a manner similar to aspirin. An oil in basil called eugenol blocks the activity of an enzyme in the body called cyclooxygenase. The enzyme would normally cause swelling.
Respiratory Disorder: The herb is useful in the treatment of respiratory system disorder. A decoction of the leaves, with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold. A decoction of the leaves, cloves and common salt also gives immediate relief in case of influenza. They should be boiled in half a liter of water till only half the water is left and add then taken.
* Basil tea:
The infusion is prepared of 1-2 spoonfuls of basil leaves, shredded, boiled in 250 ml of water. The tea is left to infuse 2 minutes. Drink 2-3 cups a day. It is recommended to drink a cup after every meal. This tea treats distention and intestinal colics, gastric ulcer, anorexia, urinary infections, diarrhea.
In case of diabetes, the tea should be consumed unsweetened, but in all the other cases can be sweetened with bee honey. The tea for throat wash will be prepared like a decoction with 2 spoonfuls of shredded leaves at 100 ml of water. It will be used to treat mouth lesion, inflammation and erosion.
20 g of minced basil plants are left to macerate in 100 ml of 70 degrees alcohol. The macerating process lasts 15 days. After macerating, it is filtered and put in a well sealed bottle. For internal use is administered to children 3-5 drops in 100 ml of water 3 times a day. Adults take a spoonful of tincture in 100 ml of water, 3 times a day. For external use the tincture will be diluted in water in a ratio of 1/5 and can go to 1/10 for more sensible patients. In case of insect stings, wounds, eczema, tampon with tincture or apply compresses.
DISCLAIMER: These are only general guidelines as a first aid. It is always better to see a doctor depending upon the intensity of the case. The views expressed above are entirely those of the author.