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Essential oils
Vegetables & spices
Novi Izvor


Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.)

The genus Ocimum comprises more than 150 species. Basil grows as a perennial herb. The leaves of basil have numerous oil glands with aromatic volatile oil which have a pleasant spicy odor and taste somewhat like anise or cloves with a pungent, sweet smell. The flowers are big, white in color and arranged in a terminal spike.

Medical Uses

  • Basil essential oil is effective in providing relief from cold, influenza and associated fever. It have also been reported that it has beneficial effects on various respiratory system
  • Since basil oil has carminative properties, it is used for treating indigestion, constipation, stomach cramps and flatulence. Can aid digestion, stimulate the appetite and relieve flatulence.
  • Basil essential oil can be used as an anti - vomiting agent in motion sickness.
  • The essential oil can have both a releasing and a gently stimulating effect on the nervous system, making it useful for the treatment of stress, anxiety and tension.
  • Basil oil has been shown to have antimicrobial properties.
  • Evidence shows that basil oil is an emmenagogue - can make it an effective remedy against menstrual cramps.
  • The herb is also a good source of Vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium.
  • The herb is an effective insect repellent against flies and moths.

Sweet basil is used fresh or dried to flavor meats, fish, salads, and sauces. Basil is most commonly associated with Italian and French cuisine. Basil leaves are used for preparing Basil Dipping Oil, when put in olive oil.

Historical use
The word basil comes from the Greek basileus, meaning "king", as it is believed to have grown above the spot where St. Constantine and Helen discovered the Holy Cross. One rather unlikely theory is that it is shortened from basilisk, a fabulous creature that could kill with a look. One of the varieties of Basil, Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is sacred in the Hindu religion. In India the Basil plant is sacred to both Krishna and Vishnu, and is cherished in every Hindu house. Every good Hindu goes to his rest with a Basil leaf on his breast, which is believed to be a passport to Paradise. Basil called Tulsi in Sanskrit is a principal herb of Ayurveda, the ancient traditional holistic health system of India. The goddess, Tulasi is thought to have manifested into the plant.