We grow sweet basil in our garden every year and I just love it. This article provided some valuable information so that I can get the benefits of fresh basil all year long.
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Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/sweet-basil-growing-your-own-medicine/#ixzz2MsIaxgXn
Health Benefits of Sweet BasilSweet basil, like most herbs, is loaded with health benefits. In addition to being a rich source of vitamin K, beta carotene, and iron, the plant is known to harness anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. The majority of the great benefits of basil can be attributed to its volatile oils and flavonoids – powerful, plant-based antioxidants that reduce inflammation, help fight aging, and promote healthy arteries
In basil essential oil, the volatile oils within the plant have been shown to have incredible antibacterial properties. Studies have confirmed the ability of these oils to restrict the growth of bacterial like Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli (E-coli), among others. A study published in a 2004 issue of Food Microbiology demonstrated that basil oils can even stop the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Scientists searching for natural, toxin-free food preservatives discovered that washing produce in a solution of as little as 1% basil essential oil decreased Shigella contamination below levels at which it could be detected. They’ve suggested that including basil in your salad could provide similar safeguards.
Two flavonoids within sweet basil have shown particular promise in fighting cell damage from radiation and free radicals. Orientin and vicenin are antioxidants that work to protect the cells.
But the benefits of sweet basil don’t stop there. Basil also:
- Improves circulation
- Increases immune function
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces the oxidation of cholesterol
- Protects the heart
- Detoxifies the blood
- May help control blood sugar levels
- Stomach cramps
- Uterine cramping
- A wide variety of digestive problems