FOOD POISONING FIGHTER
Basil has been shown to have excellent anti-infectious qualities against bacteria commonly linked with food poisoning. Research in the journal Molecules found that the natural volatile oils in basil inhibited multiple drug-resistant strains of E. coli bacteria. E coli, which can be contracted from contaminated food, causes cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.
In a preliminary study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, scientists demonstrated that an extract of basil seeds was effective in the laboratory against tuberculosis-causing bacteria.
Eugenol, one of the beneficial compounds in basil, has been studied extensively for its ability to fight pain by suppressing the body’s production of the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX)—a mechanism similar to the one used by aspirin and ibuprofen; however, the drugs merely prevent binding to this enzyme to alleviate pain.
BLOOD PRESSURE BALANCER
According to the research of the renowned botanist and author of The Green Pharmacy, James Duke, basil contains six natural compounds that reduce high blood pressure, making it a great regular dietary addition for anyone suffering from the condition.
Basil freshens breath. Simply chew on a fresh basil leaf or drink a cup of basil tea.
Exciting new research published in the journal Molecular Medicine Reports found that an extract of basil halted ovarian cancer cell growth. Eating basil on a regular basis may help stave off cancer.
Basil’s antiviral compounds go to work when the crushed leaves are applied to warts. Crush a fresh leaf or two, place on the wart and cover with a bandage. Change the compress daily for 5 to 7 days. Repeat the process if necessary.
HOW TO REAP THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF BASIL
Brew basil tea by adding a teaspoon of dried, organic basil or a tablespoon of fresh basil leaves to a cup of boiled water and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink a cup three times daily for best results.
Add dried basil to soups, stews, pasta dishes and tomato sauce. Add fresh basil near the end of the cook time to soups, salads, stews, pesto, pasta dishes and tomato sauce, alongside tomatoes, peppers and eggplant; add in curries made with coconut milk. It is best to add the fresh leaves just prior to serving as they lose their robust flavor and aroma after heating.
Puree fresh basil leaves in a food processor with garlic, olive oil, sea salt, a dash of pepper and some fresh pine nuts (optional). Use immediately or freeze in ice cube trays. Once frozen store the cubes in a sealed bag in the freezer. Add the cubes as desired to add a punch of flavor to cooked soups, pasta dishes, stews, and sauces.