Basil: benefits and how to make tea

This content is part of the Alternative Medicine category and may contain information that lacks scientific studies and/or medical consensus.

The basil or basil-of-wide-leaf is a plant rich in benefits that can be obtained through its consumption in food or through your tea. Among the main ones, the anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory and sedative effects stand out.

Its scientific name is Ocimum basilicum and it is a species of basil , mainly used as a seasoning or natural medicinal product. Originally from Africa and Asia, it is a plant easily found also in countries like Brazil, Iran and South Africa.

In this article, we’ll show you all the benefits already proven by science, as well as teach you how to make tea from the plant.

Main benefits of basil

Relieves symptoms of depression

First, let’s talk about a very peculiar benefit of basil. There are substances in the composition of the plant that act as a mild anti-depressant , especially in cases related to stress . ( 1 )

However, it is important to emphasize that depression is one of the most dangerous brain diseases that exist today. In case of suspicion or symptoms, urgently seek a mental health professional (Psychology or Psychiatry).

The basil is an auxiliary, but it does not provide treatment for depression, which is continuous and essential for the patient’s health.

Eliminates bacteria

From antibacterial substances combined with antibiotics, such as linalool, present in the composition of basil, it is possible to prevent and treat diseases caused by bacteria. This benefit was best observed through the oil extract of the plant. ( 2 )

Treat ulcers

Another proven medicinal effect is the anti-ulcer action . The plant has a high medicinal potential for the prevention, reduction and treatment of ulcers. ( 3 )

It’s anti-inflammatory

Basil also has an anti-inflammatory effect . Its action against inflammation is so powerful that the plant can even be used in the treatment of chronic conditions . ( 3 , 4 , 5 )

Control diabetes

The plant can be used as a natural aid to control diabetes. It inhibits enzymes (α-amylase and α-glucosidase enzymes) and this slows down the rate of carbohydrate digestion, which slows the rise in blood glucose in diabetic patients. ( 6 )

The basil was also very potent in controlling diabetes because it is able to “suppress the endogenous release of glucose, inhibit glycogenolysis and/or stimulate glycogenesis”. ( 7 )

It’s a mild sedative

Basil has a sedative effect and makes you sleepy . Some plant substances discourage the nervous system, which causes drowsiness and reduced stress/anxiety. ( 8 )

In this way, the plant can be used as a natural medicine for the treatment of insomnia and other sleep disorders. In addition, the tea of ​​the plant can be considered, in this way, a good tranquilizer in times of nervousness, stress or anxiety.

Fights fungi

The antifungal action of basil can be extracted from the ingestion of its tea or through baths for the external treatment of diseases. ( 9 )

Basil tea: how to prepare?

One of the simplest ways to obtain the benefits of basil is through its infusion in water, which results in the plant’s tea.

  1. In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of filtered water and bring to a boil.
  2. Then turn off the heat and add 1 teaspoon of basil.
  3. Cover for approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Finally, strain and drink without sugar.

The part about not sweetening this tea is important . The reason is that sugar eliminates some of the benefits listed, causing the tea to lose most of its positive health effects.

How to drink or apply tea

Basil tea should be taken once a day and one cup is enough. In addition to ingestion, the drink can be used for topical treatment on the skin through baths, especially in the case of fungal treatment.

Where to buy?

As the main species of basil found in Brazil, basil is easily found in supermarkets, open markets, natural food stores and greengrocers, assuming the name basil itself. To avoid confusion, the ideal is to ask the sellers or check the scientific name on the package.

It is also worth remembering that the plant can be found under other names, depending on the region of the country. The main ones are basil and basil (in reference to “ basilicum ” in the scientific name), in addition to the better known name “large-leaf basil”.

Care and contraindications

The consumption of the plant is safe for human beings, but the exaggeration of the essential oil can bring side effects that have not yet been defined. ( 10 )

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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