Today, we live in a time when manufactured medicines and prescriptions prevail, but do they have to be the only approach to healing?
Even with all of these engineered options at our fingertips, many people find themselves turning back to the medicinal plants that started it all: Herbal remedies that have the ability to heal and boost physical and mental well-being.
In fact, at the beginning of the 21st century, 11 percent Trusted Source of the 252 drugs considered “basic and essential” by the World Health Organization were “exclusively of flowering plant origin.” Drugs like codeine, quinine, and morphine all contain plant-derived ingredients.
While these manufactured drugs have certainly become paramount in our lives, it can be comforting to know that the power of nature is on our side, and these herbal choices are available to complement our health practices.
One plant that has been known for enormous health benefits is the basil leaf.
It is a commonly used leaf for cooking but may not be referred to as the Basil leaf. Below are possible names based in some of the world most spoken languages, this is to create an understanding of what we are talking about in this article.
- French language Basilic
- Portuguese manjericão
- Chinese 羅勒(luólè)
- Hindi तुलसी
- Italian basilico
- Latin ocimum
- Arabic ريحان(rayhan)
- Dutch basilicum
- Afrikaans Basil
- Igbo nchu-anwu
- Hausa basil
- Yoruba basil
- Spanish albahaca
- Greek βασιλικός(vasilikós)
- Russian Бэзил(Bezil)
- Japanese バジル
The leaf is regionally grown mostly in Africa, India and some parts of Asia. In West Africa, it is believed to chase mosquitos where the name nchu-anwu originated for the Igbo tribe in the Eastern part of Nigeria.
Apart from chasing mosquitoes, it has great nutrients and other surprising benefits such as being rich in eugenol, rosmarinic acid, geraniol and others. Its minty flavor does a lot of wonders to a meal.
Basils also come in different types. Some are even packaged dry. Research shows that a pinch of the Basil leaf is said to contain a high amount of protein, vitamin A and fiber, potassium, iron and a little calorie.
In India and Africa, the Basil is believed to be a natural medicine discovered to aid in the cure to problems such as:
- Headaches and migraines
- Increase Libido
- They have been discovered to be very effective for weight loss.
- It helps with pain reduction
- It even sometimes aids with cardiovascular health. This is due to its high levels of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that stops free radicals from damaging cells. It also prevents the free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in the bloodstream
- Prevention of cancer due to its wide range of phytochemicals and other active ingredients
- Helps improve sleep
- Reduces stress
- Excellent for skin care due to its combination of antioxidant chemicals with antibacterial benefits. It aids in preventing acne and keeping your skin younger looking. It also helps reduce signs of aging such as wrinkles and increase skin elasticity.
There are countless ways to consume this herb though cooking seems to be its major purpose in many countries; it is good to also know its medicinal value. But it is advised that you speak to a trained herbalist or natural healer about the best means of consuming it therapeutically based on what effects you would like it to have.