Basil or Ocimum Basilicum is an herb, which is native to India, Africa and Asia. Nowadays basil is cultivated almost everywhere. It belongs to Lamiaceae family. Its name comes from Greek and means “king”. Basil herb is widely known in culinary and is used in Italian and Asian cuisines for flavour. There are also many medicinal basil benefits. It has been used in traditional medicine of India- Ayurveda.
There are many legends, beliefs and rituals, which are connected with basil. As many species, as many legends. Almost in every religion basil plays an important role. For instance in Africa people believed that basil could protect them from scorpions. In some countries it is a symbol of fortunate and strength.
The importance of using ocimum basilicum and basil effects are not a myth. This herb has many benefits and is used in medicine. It is effective in treating:
- loss of appetite;
- head colds;
- stomach disorders;
- kidney problems;
- snake bites;
- insect bites;
- blood circulation problems.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties basil is often used as a gargle.
Basil is safe, when using it in food and medicinal amounts. However, using it for a long time may be unsafe. The oil of the basil isn’t safe, as it contains estragole, which may cause liver cancer.