Basil is a spicy, medicinal, annual plant with a stem with four edges and reaching a height of 30 to 60 cm, it is also known in Bulgaria by the name “royal herb”.

Its leaves are oblong and ovate, green or purple in color and up to 5.5 cm long, they are pointed at the end and have long petioles.

The homeland of basil is South Asia, and it appeared in Europe only in the 16th century.

Basil – useful properties

This plant is considered one of the healthiest herbs. It has the highest nutritional value when it is fresh and has a pleasantly spicy taste.

A very good source is vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting. Just two tablespoons provide the daily recommended dose of it.

Basil also contains provitamin A, which contains beta carotenes – strong antioxidants that protect the cell lines of several tissues and organs of the body, including blood vessels, from the harmful effects of reactive oxygen molecules.

And this helps prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood, and thus beta carotenes act prophylactically in relation to the development of atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.

Other vitamins and minerals found in basil are iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C and potassium.

Not surprisingly, the herb also has antioxidant properties and contains flavonoids, which protect cells from DNA damage.

It is these plant secondary metabolites and essential oils that are the reason basil has strong antibacterial properties and protects at the cellular level from damage.

Among these volatile aromatic plant compounds are tarragon, linalool, cineole, eugenol, myrcene, etc., all of which have the ability to suppress the growth of many harmful bacteria – listeria, staphylococci, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterocoli, pseudomonas aeruginosa.< /p>

Some of these strains found to be resistant to antibiotic drugs were inhibited by basil extracts.

One of these essential oils – eugenol, blocks the cyclooxygenase enzyme.

This same effect of the herb also places it in the category of “anti-inflammatory”, as it provides the symptoms of diseases related to inflammatory processes such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Nutritional value of 2 tablespoons of chopped basil – about 5 grams, is 1 kilocalorie, 29% of the daily amount of vitamin K needed by the body, 6% of vitamin A, 2% of vitamin C, and 1% of the person for the day calcium and iron.

Scientific Research

When scientists tested basil essential oil in diluted concentrations against several common but serious multidrug-resistant bacteria, including some of the ones listed above, they found that the herb’s aromatic compounds greatly reduce the negative impact of infectious microorganisms.

In another study, researchers tried to find out how effective basil was for respiratory diseases as well as actual symptoms of tuberculosis.

The results of the research are positive and scientists have found that the “royal herb” can be used to create new ways to treat tuberculosis naturally.

Since basil extract lowers blood sugar levels, tests have been conducted regarding its effect on the glycemic index.

The authors of the research concluded that extracts from this herb have the potential to prevent and even inhibit existing diabetes.

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