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The Health Benefits of Basil and What It Contains

Savannah Clark's picture
Basil and Chees with Tomatoes

There are a lot of common household spices that are found in just about everybody’s home. Oregano, basil, and salt just to name a few. A lot of these spices hold some surprises though, do you know about the health benefits of basil?


The different uses of basil

Basil is an herb that is found in the mint family. Also called St. John’s Wort, the herb is native to India and other tropical areas of Asia. There are about sixty different types of basil identified, but they all tend to fall into these three categories: purple, sweet, and bushy. The most common form of basil is in spice form, where the leaves are dried and then ground up, but there are many uses of basil. If you have a basil plant the leaves make a wonderful addition to any salad or sandwich. I like to use them in place of lettuce on my burger.

You can also dry the leaves yourself and add them to any sauce to get a nice, almost sweet flavor. Not only is basil used as flavor for your food, but these health benefits of basil make it a nice addition to your medicine cabinet.

Health benefits of Basil

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Before we get into the specific uses of basil let’s look at its nutrient makeup. Basil contains:

  • Vitamin C, K, and A
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium

So, adding this into your diet can help make sure that you are getting the vitamins and nutrients that you need daily, not to mention that it tastes good. Because of all of the nutrients in it, some women have found success in using it after child birth to help start their milk flow.

Basil has been known to act as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a natural substance that works with your body to help it adapt better to the changing situations around you, or to anything that causes you stress. So, if you’ve been feeling pushed to your limits lately, try basil.

Basil has antibacterial properties

One of the health benefits of basil that has been used the longest is its antibacterial properties. Instead of simply killing all the bacteria, good and bad like antibiotics, basil works to constrict the growth of bad bacteria. So, adding basil to your food not only give you the flavor, nutritional benefits, but it can also reduce the number of harmful bacteria that may be in your food. If you are going to eat certain foods that won’t be cooked, such as salads or other produce, you might consider washing them first in a solution that contains basil. This has been shown to remove harmful bacteria that might have been missed before.

The health benefits of basil are many. Next time you’re looking at what to buy for your kitchen, you should consider basil. Not only does it taste good, but the health benefits of basil can really improve your overall nutrition and health.