In many ancient civilizations, basil was considered a gift from the gods and since the dawn of times it has been used in treatment of many health issues. The Romans believed if a woman gave basil as a gift to a man, he will love her forever, and ancient Indian Ayurveda mentions certain types of Basil as a potent medicine.
There are about 60 types of Basil, all of which look and taste differently. The word originates from the Old Greek “basilikon”, which means kingly or royal. So, what are the main benefits of basil?
Antioxidants protect the body from certain types of cancer, and one of them is beta-carotene. It protects the heart and prevents cholesterol oxidation. It is also very good against asthma and osteoarthritis.
Blood vessels and heart protection
Basil is full of magnesium and B6 vitamin that are both responsible for the strength of the cardiovascular system.
According to recent studies, basil oil is very beneficial for the immunity system. Its leaves possess antibacterial and antiseptic properties, which makes them excellent for treatment of various bacterial infections.
Culinary purpose of basil
Basil is a part of many local cuisines, which you probably already know. When preparing your own meals with basil, make sure to always add the spice at the very end in order to savor the taste. If possible, always choose fresh basil for its stronger taste. The most famous dish with basil is Pesto Genovese. Basil is a wonderful ingredient for sauce, especially in combination with white onion and olive oil.
If you prefer something sweet, cut some basil, mix it with lemon juice, water and sugar cane juice then freeze in a same way you would freeze an ice cube. You can also prepare tea with cut basil leaves. The choice is yours!