11 Benefits of Sweet Basil You can Leverage Easily

Sweet basil
Sweet basil (Source: SanDiegoZoo)

Do you know that ancient Egyptians used basil to embalm the mummies? This helped people preserve the dead bodies from decaying for many years. 

Sweet basil known as Ocimum basilicum, provides equal benefits and is used traditionally in Mediterranean pesto and pesto-based recipes.

Besides, dried flowers, seed heads, and stems possess a spicy, herbal scent ideal for potpourri which can freshen up a sock drawer or cupboard.

Generally, the sweet basil boasts of sweet fragrance with a robust flavor with notes of anise and clove. It improves digestion, relieves anxiety and pain, prevents infection, helps in weight loss, and treats acne while providing decorative or spiritual benefits. 

sweet-basil in pot
Green Basil in a Pot (Pixabay)

It has green leaves directly edible and dried ones are processed for medical properties. The basil extracts are also used in making perfumes, dental-care products, and household cleaners.

Besides, sweet basil contains vitamin A, vitamin K, manganese, iron, calcium, and essential oils.

The list of sweet basil benefits do not end here. Read more to cover all!

11 Amazing Sweet Basil Benefits You can Leverage Easily

It’s no new that basil has multiple roles in human use based on its variety and serving. From Ayurvedic medicines to culinary uses, basil has been used for the past many centuries.

So, let’s explore how far we can go with sweet basil for considerable benefits.

1. Contains Antibacterial and Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Bacteria can enter our bodies through an opening of our skins, surgical wounds, or airways, which can spread infections.

Thus, sweet basils feature antimicrobial activity, combatting foodborne bacteria, yeasts, and molds and providing antibacterial and antifungal safeguards. 

report published in Food Microbiology claims that basil oil can prevent antibiotic-resistant bacteria from growing in our bodies. 

If you want to avoid the bacteria and prevent contamination, create a solution of basil essential oil with water and spray it around the house.

The research shows that the essential oil of basil possesses antimicrobial properties. It has methanol, butanol, and n-hexane fractions that generate activities against the bacteria.

As sweet basil has antibacterial properties, it can treat many infections and prevent further damage to the body. 

Basil leaves into olive oil
Storing Basil leaves into olive oil (Source: Unsplash)

Essential oils in the basil such as eugenol, linalool, and citronellol, can also help prevent inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, heart disease, and gastrointestinal problems.

According to a 2007 study, the sweet basil oil reduces an induced inflammation response in rats, showing considerable anti-inflammatory effects.

Folk medicine practitioners in Northern Ghana utilize the fruits of Ocimum basilicum to treat disorders such as worm infestation, inflammations, diarrhea, and eye-related diseases. 

2. It may Prevent Cancer 

If you have a potential risk of diagnosing cancer, sweet basil can be a pre-cure solution for you. As it is edible, you can consume it by putting it in your dish.

According to research published in Nutrition and Cancer, the radioprotective and chemopreventive properties found in basil helps fight cancer.

Moreover, the extracts from basil leaves can prevent cancer by inducing apoptosis, inhibiting cell cycle progression and stem metastasis.

Harvested basil leaves
Harvested basil leaves left out for drying (Source: Unsplash)

The study shows that ethanolic extract and essential oil of Ocimum sanctum suppress the proliferation, motility, and invasive ability of Pancreatic Cancer cells.

Because of its anticancer properties, several pharmaceutical companies employ sweet basil extracts in their medication.

3. Regulates Blood Sugar 

Those who are diabetes patients suffer the turbulence of blood sugar a lot and need to be conscious about their diet often.

If you have already experienced it, you must have come across the struggle of maintaining your diet.

However, sweet basil can help you lower and regulate blood sugar and control the effect of diabetes effectively.

glucose meter checking
Fingertip on Glucose Meter (Source: Pixabay)

The study published in National Center for Biotechnology Information shows that basil extract helps reduce serum concentrations of glucose and cortisol in mice.

This suggests that basil can regulate corticosteroid-induced diabetes and thus, can help in reducing the diabetes symptoms.

Basil leaves possess antihyperglycemic and liver-protective effects, which help the release of insulin from the pancreas, prevent glucose production in the liver, and raised glycogen synthesis.

So, diabetic patients can chew sweet basil leaves every day to receive this benefit.

Also, if you crave tea but your health does not allow it, you can simply make a tea out of basil leaves and enjoy.

4. Relieves Chronic Pain

People used basil as an antidote for snake bites for several centuries. Besides, basil also offers to heal wounds, sprains, arthritic pain, and headaches as it includes analgesic effects.

person touching knee
Joint pain (Source: Flickr)

The International Journal of Molecular Sciences (IJMC) research shows that sweet basil can reduce hyperalgesia in mice. 

This suggests that the basil can treat chronic painful conditions, including fibromyalgia, a condition that induces pain all over the body and causes fatigue, sleep issues, and depression. 

With its inflammatory properties, it also can soothe cramps, sore muscles, joints, and nerves.

5. Helps with Anxiety and Depression

Basil also acts as an adaptogen that helps reduce stress and promotes mental balance.

If you don’t know, it stimulates neurotransmitters and neutralizes cortisol for better sleep and mental condition.

girl smiling to plant
Smiling Girl with Plants (Source: PIXNIO)

Research published in National Center for Biotechnology Information shows that basil extracts contain antianxiety and antidepressant content and play a vital role in reducing mixed anxiety and depressive syndrome.

With its anti-anxiety effects, it also helps enhance the endocrine system and alleviates physical stress.

Besides, a report published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology shows that basil oil relaxes mice during their activities. 

The productive properties of basil protect mice against the noise stress effects. 

This helps us understand that sweet basil is also effective in providing relaxation from anxiety and stress. 

6. Helps Treat Cold Or Flu

The COVID pandemic is a recent example of the spreading virus, that causes multiple symptoms including cough and fever.

So, sweet basil can be entirely beneficial to this condition. No medicine can cure a common cold entirely, but basil can reduce the symptoms shortly.

Many people use basil oil when they suffer cold or flu symptoms as essential oils of sweet basil detoxify the body. 

Basil’s antioxidant and antibacterial properties are great here to help ease cold and flu.

sweet-basil-benefits
Woman Blow Blowing (Source: Pixabay)

As I have already mentioned that basil helps our body combat inflammation, pain, and fatigue, which helps our body avoid considerable effects of such harsh conditions.  

You can add a few basil oil drops to a steam bath to leverage this health benefit.

Use Case: Create a homemade vapor rub with basil oil and eucalyptus oil and apply it.

This way, whenever you feel suffering from a cold, you can apply it to your chest to make your nasal passages easy. 

7. Helps in Skincare

Easily found in supermarkets, basil oil helps treat tinea and different skin diseases.

Pimples and acne are some of the common skin issues, and cosmetic firms use basil as an ingredient in skin ointments for its anti-bacterial properties.

woman wearing pest
Woman on SPA Center (Source: Pixabay)

Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy, has published research that shows basil oil containing alcoholic terpenes, acts as a potential penetration enhancer for enhanced skin permeation of labetolol hydrochloride (LHCl).

With its anti-bacterial properties, basil’s essential oil can cleanse the skin from within and remove dirt and impurities that clog the pores.

You can create a paste of basil leaves, sandalwoods, and rose water and apply it to your face. When it is 20 minutes completed, wash it off with cold water.

This will help you prevent developing acne or pimples on your face.

8. Repels Insects

If you are a plant enthusiast, you must have suffered insects appearing and damaging the plants at home.

However, sweet basil has a natural solution that drives mosquitoes and bugs away. 

The basil has an intense scent that helps deter the common house pests including whiteflies.

incest on leaf
Small Bug on Basil Leaf (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

In fact, its essential oil works as an insect repeller like citronella and thyme oil. 

The Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association has published a report that shows sweet basil oil acts as a repellent against mosquitoes. 

This way, you can free your home from bug bites and insects with basil oil. Combine some carrier oil and basil oil drops to make a natural insect repeller. 

If you need visual help on how to make a natural pest controller out of basil, check out the video below.

9. Improves Indigestion and Cramping

Besides relieving chronic pain, basil oil is also effective in increasing urine production, which helps further reduce water retention, bloating, and many digestive issues. 

Basil contains an effective antispasmodic property that helps remove food and illness-associated cramping.

If you ever feel digestion issues, try sweet basil oil, as it has carminative properties that help prevent flatulence. 

man pressing his stomach
Man with Stomach Pain (Source: Pixabay)

Basil helps soothe the inflamed oesophagus and upset stomach lining via excessive stomach acid.

Also, the anti-ulcer properties help eliminate the effect of gastric acids and curb gas production.

According to a study published in the Asian Journal of Chemistry, basil tea is claimed to be effective for digestion and expelling gases, constipation, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.

You can add some drops of basil oil to tea or warm water to improve indigestion and cramping. It helps you get some relaxation after long-suffering indigestion or cramping.

10. Sweet Basil is Rich in Nutrients

Besides antioxidants or anti-inflammatory properties, basil also contains micronutrients for diet and medical benefits.

green and dried sweet basil leaves
Basil Green and Dried Leaves (Source: PxHere)

Fresh basil contains 92 % water and is a source of minerals including calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium.

With that said, vitamins including folate, vitamin A and vitamin K also come with this plant.

According to Nutrition Value, the nutrition in fresh basil leaves weighed 2.5 grams can include the following.

NutrientAmount in 2.5 Grams of Basil Leaves
Calcium 4.42 mg
Vitamin A 6.60 mcg
Beta carotene 78.55 mcg
Beta cryptoxanthin 1.15 mcg
Lutein and zeaxanthin 141.25 mcg
Vitamin K10.4 mcg
DFE Folate1.70 mcg
Food Folate1.70 mcg
Magnesium1.60 mg
Phosphorus1.40 mg
Sodium0.10 mg
Zinc0.02 mg
Water2.30 g

11. Serves Culinary Uses

As basil is served in Mediterranean and Asian dishes, people enjoy basil mixed with creamy sauces, herbaceous salads, or spicy curries.

sweet basil among vegetables
Basil Leaves with Tomatoes and Mushrooms (Source: Pixabay)

The ingredients such as chicken, beef,  eggs, olive oil, tomatoes, and herbs including rosemary, thyme, and oregano can be good to go with basil.

If you want to make some dishes containing basil yourself, the following dishes will be perfect for the recipe.

  1. Basil and Zucchini Soup
  2. Avocado Summer Rolls
  3. Caprese Peach Skewers
  4. Strawberry Basil Avocado Toast
  5. Chickpea Pan Bagnat Sandwiches
  6. Quick and Easy Pesto Pasta
  7. Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese
  8. Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Chop basil leaves into pieces and season over the dish. You can also make a basil paste and marinate it with ingredients available in a dish. The unchopped leaves also look delicious with some dishes.

Pro Tip: Don’t allow sweet basil to flower if you want to use it for cooking.

Check out the video below if you want to use basil in multiple ways in your dishes.

Health Considerations to Keep in Mind

Though sweet basil is not toxic to pets, it can harm people when consumed.

According to ASPCA, sweet basil is nontoxic to dogs and cats.

Apart from leveraging benefits, you can also get harmed from sweet basil if taken unnecessarily.

It is unsafe for people to consume through the mouth for an extended period as it contains an estragole which can increase the risk of liver damage. 

Besides, you can expect the following side effects from sweet basil.

  • The basil extracts or drugs containing basil can affect sperm negatively and hamper pregnancy and breastfeeding causing liver cancer.
  • Basil leaves have a rich vitamin “K” source that promotes blood clots, but an uncared supply can interfere with blood-thinning drugs, including warfarin.  
  • Basil may also lower blood pressure and sugar. 
  • Though basil treats many diseases, some people also can get an allergic reaction.

Where to Buy Sweet Basil?

If you want to grow sweet basil at home, you can easily prepare it. 

Before you begin this, read out How to Harvest Basil Without Killing the Plant

You will need to buy the plant for this, and the following table will help you get one for you. 

ShopsDelivery
Spring Hill NurseryMaximum of 5 Business Days
Mountain Valley GrowersMaximum of 2 Business Days
EtsyMaximum of 1-2 Business Days
Garden AliveMaximum of 5 Business Days
Growers ExchangeMaximum of 5 Business Days

Conclusion

Sweet basil as a herb offers lots of medical, dietary, and decorative benefits, facilitating healthy living and a plantsman’s lifestyle. 

I have also inserted some hacks on how you can create substances to leverage the maximum sweet basil benefits. But make sure you have consulted the health assistants.

If you have finished this shortly, you can also read about the benefits of other indoor plants.

Keep reading on PlantsCraze!

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