Friday, January 10, 2014

Basil, a Powerful Anti-bacterial Plant and Source of Health-benefiting Nutrients

The Health Benefits of Basil

Basil  is a very good source of iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin A and C. Basil is also a good source of magnesium, which promotes cardiovascular health by prompting muscles and blood vessels to relax, thus improving blood flow and lessening the risk of irregular heart rhythms or a spasming of the heart muscle or a blood vessel.

Research Findings on Basil

Research studies on basil have shown unique health-protecting effects in two basic areas: basil's flavonoids and volatile oils.The flavonoids found in basil protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage.The volatile oils on the other hand provide protection against unwanted bacterial growth. 

Essential oil of basil, obtained from its leaves, has demonstrated the ability to inhibit several species of pathogenic bacteria that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotic drugs. In a study published in the July 2003 issue of the Journal of Microbiology Methods, essential oil of basil was even found to inhibit strains of bacteria from the genera StaphylococcusEnterococcus and Pseudomonas, all of which are not only widespread, but now pose serious treatment difficulties because they have developed a high level of resistance to treatment with antibiotic drugs.(September 8, 2003)

Studies published in the February 2004 issue of Food Microbiology, have shown that washing produce in solution containing either basil or thyme essential oil at the very low concentration of just 1% resulted in dropping the number of Shigella, an infectious bacteria that triggers diarrhea and may cause significant intestinal damage, below the point at which it could be detected. While scientists use this research to try to develop natural food preservatives, it makes good sense to include basil and thyme in more of your recipes, particularly for foods that are not cooked such as salads. Adding fresh thyme and/or basil to your next vinaigrette will not only enhance the flavor of your fresh greens, but will help ensure that the fresh produce you consume is safe to eat. (March 25, 2004).

Basil Tea, an effective remedy for cold and cough ...

 I found basil to be a very good treatment for cold and cough, particularly when it's just starting.   I drink basil tea three times a day, 10 minutes after breakfast, lunch and dinner.  It's very effective! Try it!  It's very aromatic, and I'm sure it will help you too, as it helped me.

Instead of buying bottled dried basil or packed basil from supermarkets, why don’t you plant one in a pot or in your garden?  Picking fresh leaves from your home grown basis is much more fun.  Besides,  it can be easily propagated by seeds or by cutting stems. 

Ever since i learned about basil's health benefits, it became part of my collections in my garden.  I love three of its varieties such as the Thai, Sweet and Lemon basil,

Be healthy and enjoy life!



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