Medicinal properties of basil


Ocimum basilicum





The mythical basil, scientific name Ocimum basilicum L. belongs to the family of Lamiaceae.

Basil is a herbaceous annual plant that has erect stems that can reach a height of 60 cm.

The leaves are petiolate, oval lanceolate, of very variable size depending on the species as well as the color that varies from intense green to dark green to purple or purple depending on the variety. The leaves are rich in essential oils which give the characteristic aroma.

The basil flowers are normally white or pink gathered in spikes, bilabiated with the upper lip lobed. It blooms from June and throughout the summer.

If you want to know how to grow it, go to this page.


In addition to being used in the kitchen for its pleasant aroma, basil is also used for its therapeutic properties: stimulating, exciting, antispasmodic, disinfectant, it also has digestive properties, fights bad breath, migraines, gastric spasms and fatigue in general.


Basil leaves are harvested from spring to summer and flowering tops harvested in summer.

It should preferably be used fresh.


Basil can be used as an infusion for indigestion, colds, flu, headaches, nausea, abdominal cramps, nervousness, depression.

Gargling with basil infusion relieves sore throats.

Combined with bath water, it tones and perfumes the skin as well as leaving a pleasant scent.

Distilled basil water is used as a skin tonic.

Ingested fresh leaves aid digestion while used as compresses to calm skin irritations.

In almost all countries of the world, basil is used in cooking for the aroma of its leaves to flavor foods.


Basil was known since ancient times as well as for its aroma also for its medicinal properties so much so that Pliny the Elder himself mentions it in his texts as a plant with aphrodisiac capabilities.


There are no contraindications reported for the use of this plant.


You see: Basil - The language of flowers and plants

Basil: properties, benefits, uses and contraindications

The plant we are going to talk about today is theOcimum basilicum, namely the basil. Appreciated as an ally for the body and at the same time for its use in the field of natural remedies. Let's see in this article what are the properties, benefits, uses and contraindications.

Basil in Italian cuisine and in the renowned Mediterranean diet is a real ace in the hole! We remind you that you can consume it raw, since the high temperatures partially eliminate its beneficial properties. We know a lot about basil, we show you what you need to know. It starts from the properties, up to the description of the plant.

the Basil it is a food that belongs to the category Foods. A single ration of Basil (we consider it as a ration 2.5, that is, about 2.5 grams of Basil) contains approximately 1 calorie.

If we compare it with other foods, the Basil is less caloric than most foods, since it contains 23 calories per 100 grams each, while other foods like it have much more calories.

Basil: medicinal, curative and sedative properties

by Francesca Rendano, on 24 May 2012 at 13:05

With the heat it is finally possible to simply grow basil again at home. Not only is basil an aromatic plant capable of giving an excellent taste to many recipes typical of Mediterranean cuisine but, thanks to its properties, it is also a valid natural aid for the treatment of many diseases. Here are all the medicinal and healing properties of one of the most widespread aromatic plants in Italy.

First of all it is useful to know what basil contains. The fragrant aromatic plant is rich in proteins, fibers, sugars and of course water. Among the minerals we find calcium, sodium, manganese, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and it zinc. Basil is also rich in vitamin A, B (niacin, thiamine, riboflavin), C vitamin (ascorbic acid) e Vitamin E. It is also useful to know that basil has an abundant presence of amino acids such as tryptophan, lysine, leucine, aspartic acid, glutaminic acid, alanine, arginine and others, very useful for a balanced and healthy diet.

But what are the medicinal properties of basil?

According to recent research carried out in India, basil has been identified as an effective remedy in relieving pain resulting from arthritis and that the intake of concentrated basil juice in tablets helps to significantly reduce the size of swollen and painful joints due to 'arthritis. The assumption of raw basil, again according to this study, is used to counteract and fight different types of inflammation such as colds and skin diseases.

Basil can be used as: antispasmodic, galactogogue, sedative and sneezing and can serve as a remedy for many ailments.

Description of basil

Basil looks like a small plant but full of leaves, a bit like a small bush. It can be recognized immediately, since the smell it emanates is unmistakable. Mostly a perfume that everyone knows because they have smelled it in their own kitchen. During the flowering period, basil has many small white flowers. The leaves are not very large, but have a very bright color. And they also give off the unmistakable aroma of the plant. About 50 types of basil have been counted in the world.

Medicinal benefits of basil

Basil has always been a great help when it comes to benefits for the body.

This plant has been used for centuries for therapeutic purposes, basil can be used against various diseases, but above all the essential oil of basil is excellent. It is a very valid natural remedy against:

  • Flu viruses. The substances of this plant help the body to feel better and to be stronger against diseases and viruses, much of the credit is due to eugenol.
  • Improve digestion. Also thanks to eugenol, which manages to improve the digestion of food. These are because it works on the gastric mucous membranes.
  • Combats rheumatic pains. Being a strong anti-inflammatory, it can fight both rheumatic and joint pains.
  • Relax the nervous system. It is excellent for helping you sleep and fighting headaches.

Diet recipes with basil

1 - Bruschetta with pesto and cherry tomatoes

Total Calories 368 / Calories per Person: 184

  • 4 slices unsalted bread
  • 5-6 Piccadilly tomatoes
  • 30 g basil
  • pine nuts 2 tsp
  • extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons
  • garlic a clove
  • parmesan to taste

Find out how to prepare the bruschetta with basil and cherry tomatoes.

2 - Genoese-style basil and pine nut pesto

Total Calories 400 / Calories per Person: 100

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 g pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 teaspoons parmesan
  • basil to taste

Find out how to prepare the basil and pine nut pesto.

3 - Caprese salad

Total Calories 1420 / Calories per Person: 355

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 500 g mozzarella fior di latte
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig basil
  • Salt to taste
  • oregano to taste

Find how prepare the caprese.

4 - Sandwich with summer vegetables with basil and ricotta

Total calories 830 / calories per person 208

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 4 sandwiches 85 g each
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 2 courgettes
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh basil to taste
  • 160 g lean ricotta
  • Salt to taste.
  • pepper as needed.

  1. National nutrient database- USDA.

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Video: Boost your Immune System. Basil or Tulsi Tea. The Frugal Chef

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