It may be one of the most popular and commonly consumed herbs, yet many people do not know the true value of Basil. While it adds a nice aromatic flare to just about any food – and of course is the basis for pesto – Basil offers an abundance of health benefits inside and out.
Basil, which is a member of the mint family, is native to India and Asia. It has been used as a medicinal plant for over 4,000 years because of its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. MySpicer.com notes that Basil was considered to have almost magical powers. It was used as an antidote for snake bites, and was believed to give strength during religious fasting. It also was used by the ancient Egyptians for embalming. And in India, Basil was considered a powerful protector and so was planted around temples and buried along with the dead to protect them in the afterlife.
From the Grapevinesays that among its many internal benefits, Basil is:
A powerful antioxidant, full of polyphenolic flavonoids, which shield the body against cell-damaging free radicals
An excellent source of vitamin K, manganese, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C
A good source of calcium, magnesium and omega3-fatty acids
A popular oil for aromatherapy
Due to its calming aroma, Basil Essential Oil commonly used in aromatherapy to treat nervous tension, mental fatigue, melancholy, migraines and depression. For individuals facing mental or emotional exhaustion, Basil Essential Oil is said to bring energy and clarity back into thoughts Verywell healthnotes that by inhaling the aroma of Basil Essential Oil or by absorbing the oil through the skin, Basil is thought to transmit messages to the limbic system, the part of the brain involved in controlling emotions.