Basil plant is an annual herb. It grows to a short height and lives for a span of one year.
It is worshiped by Hindus as a holy plant. It is kept in many households and gardens. Besides, it is also a part of alternative medicine. This holy basil is also called as tulasi.
The health benefits of the basil herb are many. Some people consume its leaves on a regular basis to gain therapeutic benefits.
Scientifically it is called as Ocimum sanctum and is one the important medicinal plants.
The parts of basil generally used are leaves, flowers, seeds, stems and dried roots.
Below is the list of uses of basil plant based on different parts of the plant. Still, the list is not exhaustive.
Medicinal uses of Basil leaves
♣ Decongestant action to relieve nasal stuffiness,
♣ As nerve tonic to sooth nerves and tension.
♣ Basil is an adaptogen i.e. consumption of basil is known to boost immunity and helps tolerate stress.
♣ Even as a memory sharpener,
Basil tea or decoction is used to prevent malaria, dengue fever. Also used for common cold.
♣ In acute fevers, the temperature is lowered by administration of decoction of leaves.
♣ Aqueous extract i.e basil leaf juice is used as a gargle to treat a sore throat.
♣ It is also believed that the aqueous extract of leaves taken with honey for 6 months expels kidney stones.
♣ It lowers cholesterol and hence it is cardioprotective.
♣ In respiratory disorders like asthma, bronchitis, cold, influenza are treated with leaf extract.
♣ Leaves, when chewed, relieve mouth ulcers and infections.
♣ Leaf extract is effective to treat skin disorders like ringworm etc.
♣ Dried leaf powder is used for brushing the teeth. In the preparation of toothpaste for dental health.
♣ Extract of black tulsi leaves is used to treat sore eyes and night-blindness.
♣ Stomachic to promote hunger or appetite.
♣ As an expectorant to help remove phlegm from bronchi and also to treat bronchitis
♣ In relieving coughs due to any irritants.
♣ For relief from diarrhea
♣ In case of epidemic, as prophylaxis (to prevent) against influenza, cholera, and malaria
Uses of basil seeds:
The solution of basil plant seeds with milk or water is a
♠ Good anti-oxidant,
♣ It also possesses anti-ulcer, antiemetic, anti-diarrheal properties.
Uses of basil root:
Dried basil root powder mixed with milk or ghee etc is good
a) For malaria fever
b) To relieve insect pain and sting bites.
c) Fresh roots are made into a paste and applied to areas where leeches or insects bite.
Uses of basil stem:
This is a bit funny application but widely believed.
When one applies the powder of dried basil stem on the forehead as a tilak. It helps to gain the attention of listeners to you during a speech.
In general, it is consumed in daily life as basil tea, seeds as a condiment in foods, basil leaves after prayer as holiness.
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