The health benefits of basil
Basil is an aromatic plant widely used in Mediterranean cuisine. It has many virtues for health.
On our farm , Myfarmdubai , we grow basil from all over the world with very surprising tastes: lemon basil, licorice basil ...
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is an annual plant that dies each year in the fall. It is grown in the ground or in a pot on the balcony, and enjoys exposure to the sun.
In cooking, basil is a common ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, which is renowned for its health benefits, especially in the cardiovascular field.
In traditional medicine, this medicinal plant is used for different uses: against inflammation, cough, bronchitis, colds, mental fatigue ... Today it exists in the form of food supplements and is also used to prepare an oil essential. Let's see what recent scientific literature says about basil.
Micronutrients of basil :
10 g of fresh basil provide vitamins including:
26.4 µg of vitamin A and provitamin A (3% of the recommended daily allowance or RDA),
1.8 mg of vitamin C (2% of the RDI),
15 µg of vitamin B6 (2% of the RDI),
6.8 µg of folate (3% of the RDI),
41.4 µg vitamin K (55% RDA)
and minerals including:
17.7 mg of calcium (2% of the RDI),
37.5 mg of magnesium (2% of the RDI),
0.11 mg manganese (5% of the RDI).
Basil also contains bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, terpenes, ellagitannins. Basil essential oil contains eugenol. Basil is considered to be rich in antioxidants.
Basil against gastric disorders :
Basil is traditionally used for dyspepsia, i.e. digestive disorders causing abdominal pain. In 2005, a small clinical trial against placebo tested it on 200 Iranian patients (1). Half of them had a placebo and the other half had basil leaf extracts in the form of drops. For four weeks, patients took the equivalent of 1.5 g of basil leaf powder, twice a day. The basil treatment relieved the symptoms of dyspepsia, especially in women and younger children.
According to the authors, the beneficial effects of basil could be linked:
eugenol which reduces gastrointestinal motility, as well as stress,
the decrease in acids, which reduces the risk of gastric ulcer,
linoleic acid in basil, which is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Antimicrobial properties :
Basil essential oil inhibits the growth of different bacteria and fungi: Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans, Salmonella typhi, Escherichia coli. Constituents present in basil leaves also show activity against the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis (2).
Toothpastes contain basil, due to its antibacterial properties. The antibacterial action is thought to be due to phenolic acids which degrade the cell wall of bacteria.
Ursolic acid, linalool and apigenin, found in basil extracts, also have antiviral activities.
The use of basil for the skin.
As basil contains antioxidant molecules (flavonoids, etc.), the cosmetic industry is interested in protecting the skin from aging and the effects of UV (3). UV generates oxidative stress responsible for wrinkles.
In 2011, a small study tested an emulsion containing 3% concentrated basil extract. 11 healthy men, 48 years old on average, applied this preparation or a control cream, on the cheeks, for 12 weeks.
The preparation which contains basil allowed a better hydration of the skin and an anti-aging effect.
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