Basil: properties nutritional and benefits. Uses in cooking and uses as a natural remedy to improve health.
Thebasil it is a very common aromatic herb in Italy, botanically it is known by its nameOcimum basilicumand belongs to the Lamiaceae family. In some countries, thebasilis known as theSt. Joseph's wort.
Thebasilis, perhaps, originally from India. The "maybe" is a must because its use dates back to more than 5,000 years ago. In tropical climate zones, thebasilit is grown as a perennial plant while in Italy it is grown as an annual.
Basil in the kitchen
Thebasilit is used in cooking almost exclusively in Italy, it is also shyly widespread in the culinary tradition of Southeast Asia and in Indonesian cuisine, in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Taiwan. In Taiwan the basilit is a popular condiment for fish-based dishes and to add thickness to soups. In Thailand, basil is consumed with fried chicken, and some ice cream shops add it to cream, milk, and chocolate flavors to create a contrast. Vietnamese soup is made with spaghetti topped with basil!
Although we Italians consume almost exclusively the leaves but also i basil buds are edible and rich in nutritional properties. As well as the buds and leaves, also i basil seeds they are used in the kitchen: the seeds, mixed with water, create a gelatinous compound used for the preparation of desserts such as Faluda or Asian drinks.
Thedried basilit has a very different aroma and flavor frombasilcool, that's why forkeep the basilwe recommend the use of the freezer.
There are many varieties ofbasil and they are distinguished by the flavor of the leaves which can be more or lesspungent.
Basil, medicinal properties
In Ayurvedic medicine, thebasilit is used for its medicinal properties. Ayurveda is the traditional medicine of India. For his healing properties, basil in India is calledbasil blessed.
In Ayrvedic medicine thebasilis used for the preparation ofsupplementsto promote respiratory health. It is used to resolve stomach ailments and to improve digestion. According to experts in traditional Indian medicine, thebasilit would be able to improve the quality of sleep and promote mental clarity. Even in the Western world thepropertyrevitalizing thebasiland its essential oil is used to exploit them.
Essential oil of basil
In aromatherapy, the essential oil of basil is used to stimulate concentration. Aromatherapy teaches us that the essential oil of basil, spread in the home, clears the mind and prepares for the resolution of problems. It is also recommended to spread it in the bedroom, in times of stress, to improve the quality of sleep and the ability to deal with problems.
Where to buy it? In the most well-stocked herbalists or through online purchases. On Amazon, a 50ml bottle of this essential oil can be bought for 8.99 euros with free shipping. For all information, please refer to the Amazon page: Basil Essential Oil.
A few drops of basil essential oil, diluted in a spoonful of sweet almond oil or olive oil, can create a stimulating ointment useful for counteracting water retention.
The same remedy, used as a compress, can be used to relieve muscle cramps and rheumatism. Basil is considered an ancient natural remedy to combat colds and soothe the burning caused by insect bites.
Thanks to the content of 1,8-cineole,thebasilcounts excellentpropertyanti-inflammatory, useful for preventing colds, sore throats and ailments of the respiratory system.
Due to its beneficial virtues, the essential oil extracted from basil is also used for internal use, as a supplement. The essential oil of basil, for internal use, can be used against anxiety, headaches, indigestion, cough, muscle pain ...
Warning! The essential oil mentioned above can only be used for external use. If you are going to use essential oil for internal use as a supplement, you should choose a food grade one. The cost of a bottle of basil essential oil for internal use is 19.40 euros. Also in this case, I refer you to a "Amazon page" for more information.
Nutritional properties of basil
As stated, thebasilcan count on an interesting nutritional profile. Here are the nutritional values for 100 grams of product:
Calories of basil: 22 kcal
Carbohydrates: 2.65 g
Dietary fiber: 1.6 g
Fat: 0.64 g
Protein: 3.15 g
Vitamin A: 264 mcg
Beta carotene: 3142 mcg
Thiamine (B1): 0.034 mg
Riboflavin (B2): 0.076 mg
Niacin (B 3): 0.902 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5): 0.209 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.155 mg
Folate (B 9): 68 mcg
Choline: 11.4 mg
Vitamin C: 18.0 mg
Vitamin E: 0.80 mg
Vitamin K: 414.8 mcg
Calcium: 177 mg
Iron: 3.17 mg
Magnesium: 64 mg
Manganese: 1,148 mg
Phosphorus: 56 mg
Potassium: 295 mg
Sodium: 4 mg
Zinc: 0.81 mg
How to grow basil
Thebasilis an easy aromatic plantcultivation. It's possiblegrow basilin pots, in flower boxes, in open fields or in garden flower beds. For all instructions on thecultivation of basilwe refer you to our guides:
- Basil, growing in pots
- Cultivation of basil