Healing Properties of Basil
Basil has a long history of medicinal use. In past centuries, it was given much respect for its healing abilities and was used to purify the mind, open the heart and even to cure malaria.
These days basil is used primarily as an antispasmodic to treat intestinal problems, motion sickness, flatulence and nausea. When taken internally, basil is known to ease a nervous stomach, reduce intestinal gas and alleviate constipation and bloating. Its properties stimulate the appetite and digestive juices while soothing inflamed mucus membranes. Because of the herb’s antibacterial properties, basil is favored as a supporting measure for a variety of infections, including gastrointestinal difficulties and urinary tract infections.
It also relaxes bronchial spasms and is very helpful for treating various respiratory illnesses. For relief from a head cold, pour boiling water over fresh leaves and inhale the steam.
Basil provides relief from respiratory diseases. Crush the dried herb to a fine powder and sniff it deep into the nose. Drying the leaves increases their essential oil content, thereby strengthening their antibacterial benefits.
Basil also has mildly sedative properties and is considered a mild antidepressant. To ease depression, eat fresh leaves or add 5 drops of essential oil to your bath.
Its antibacterial properties make it a great ally to stimulate the immune system and the adrenal glands.
The fresh leaves can be crushed and rubbed on insect bites to reduce itching and swelling. Ayurvedic medicine uses basil juice for snakebites, chills, coughs, earaches, and skin problems. Make a poultice from basil by simmering the herb for two minutes. Squeeze out the liquid, and apply to wounds that are slow to heal, as well as to fungal infections.
Since basil is antiseptic, you can even put diluted oil on cotton balls and then dab on your skin to treat acne.