Permaculture for the Earth, Permaculture Princess Podcast

PPP 17: Basil Benefits

Summary:

Today is another plant feature, and we are taking about Basil. I am obsessed with basil. I skim restaurant menus for anything that includes basil, especially Thai dishes with basil. I use basil essential oil on sore muscles and I eat it fresh or dried on almost everything! Needless to say, this episode will be one of my favorites, so stick around as we delve into the basil plant and its many benefits to nature and mankind. 

In This Episode You will Learn:

Basil Benefits to Nature:

  • Botanical name of basil is Ocimum basilicum.
  • Basil has been used medicinally in a variety of places.
  • Basil is an herb that is fairly easy to grow, and it can be beneficial to the landscape and health of a garden because it attracts positive insects, while repelling insects that could be detrimental (like aphids, beetles, mosquitos and white flies).
  • It is a great companion plant for many plants. It could be beneficial around tomatoes, cabbage, beans, beets, asparagus and peppers.
  • To grow basil you need a fair amount of sunlight and basil plants should avoid cold temperatures.
  • Basil should be used frequently as it grows faster, the more you clip its leaves. However, any seeds or flowers should be clipped off if you want to keep it from going to seed.
  • Basil can also be a great indoor plant option, especially because of its aversion to the cold. IMG_7259.JPG

Basil Benefits to Mankind:

  • Immunity: When we consume it or rub it on our skin, we gain an immune boosting defense. Basil is a great oil and herb for our immune system. 
  • Anti-inflammatory: Of course, any time we talk about lowering inflammation we can also talk about lessening pain, because pain is often caused by inflammation in the body. In addition inflammation is at the root of major diseases like heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Anti-bacterial and anti-microbial: Often used toothpastes.
    • Antimicrobial agent against cariogenic bacteria and Streptococcus mutans. (See Study)
    • Basil may even have antibacterial properties against bacteria strains that do not respond to normal antibiotics. (See Study)
    • The basil essential oil is also an antimicrobial which means it can fight various forms of yeast, candida, mold and viruses.
  • Adaptogen:  (Helps the body fight stress and disease) Anti-Stress solution.
  • Anti-oxidant: When something is an antioxidant, that means it has properties that fight free radical damage. Free radicals are elements that can hinder our DNA structures and abnormal cells or free radical damage can lead to a variety of problems, namely cancer. Basil essential oil helps to fight free radical damage or oxidative stress. 
  • Cancer: Taken straight from Dr. Axe’s site, “Basil is able to increase antioxidant activity, positively alter gene expressions, induce cancerous-cell apoptosis (death of harmful cells) and stop cancerous tumors from spreading. (See Study)”
    • Reducing Negative Treatment Effects. (See Study)
  • Reduces Fever: Basil when used as an herb can help reduce fever.
    • “Take about 20 basil leaves and boil them, now add 1 teaspoon of crushed ginger in the strained tulsi water, and boil until the solution gets reduced to half. Add a little honey and drink this tea two or three times a day for three days to get relief.”
  • Diabetes prevention: Basil can help to regulate blood sugar levels as well as cholesterol.
  • Blood Vessel Protection: One of my favorite oils to use on my sore muscles is basil. As both an herb in cooking or as an oil in massage, basil has benefits to the cardiovascular health.  Alongside blood vessel protection, basil is a natural aphrodisiac, which increases libido and used to promote sexual health.
  • Liver protection: Basil helps to circulate the blood, and also helps provide detoxifying enzymes to fight against environmental toxins that have to be dispelled through the liver, and help to prevent fat build up in the liver which ultimately helps to prevent liver disease.
  • Brain health: Basil can be a great oil for our mental  health.
  • Digestive Health: One of the greatest ways to prevent disease and cancer is to keep an alkaline base in your gut, or digestive health.
    • In addition to creating a positive microflora, basil has also been known to reduce bloating, help with loss of appetite, stomach cramps, acid reflux and even kill stomach worms or parasites in the digestive tract.
    • And the final benefit of basil is that it tastes yummy & is nutritious: antioxidants, magnesium, and vitamins A, K & C when used as an herb in cooking.

Recipes/How to Use:

Cooking:

Vegan Pesto

Vegetarian Thai Basil Green Curry

Basil Tea for Reducing Fever

Essential Oils:

Basil can be used topically, diluted with a carrier oil, for massage and muscular health. A single drop can also be used when cooking, if you don’t have the actual whole leaf or herb available. 

Herbs:

Basil as a dried herb is another go-to source of its benefits. Sprinkle on potatoes, or on a pasta dish or eat with stir-fried veggies. 

Resources Mentioned/Used:

https://www.thespruceeats.com/the-history-of-basil-1807566

https://basmati.com/2016/08/30/basil-you-and-your-garden History 

https://draxe.com/benefits-of-basil/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30804313 – Tulsi tooth PH study

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30410227- Neuroprotective study

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23682780- Cancer and basil 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17922070- Basil and stress in rabbits

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17887944 Mice and the liver

https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/6-effective-home-remedies-for-fever-you-must-know-about-1754922 (reducing fever)

Sponsors:

This show is brought to you by ME and my super supportive family!

Intro/Outro Music: “A Wee Tipple” by Scott Holmes

http://www.scottholmesmusic.com

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