albahaca, basil, herbs, mexican herbs, egherbs

Albahaca - Basil

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Botanical Name:

Ocimum Basilicum

Common Name:

Great Basil, St Joseph’s Wort, Thai Basil, Holy Basil

What is Albahaca - Basil?

Basil can be found growing in many tropical regions in Asia, including in India where it is revered as a holy plant mainly for the multiple medicinal benefits it offers. Not surprising then, to note that the humble basil is often called the ‘King of Herbs’ or ‘Royal Plant’. This short lived plant is part of the Lamiaceae family and is primarily grown for its lush oval shaped leaves which are used as a herb. Small white flowers can also be spotted on this plant which usually grows in clusters. Other herbs that are a part of the same family include rosemary and lavender. With regard to where basil actually originates from, there is quite a bit of speculation on this topic but it is commonly agreed that basil has been in use by mankind for at least 5000 years. Whether this herb is a native to India or China is not clear as the use of basil variants have been recorded in both cultures. The minimum maintenance required for cultivation combined with the plant’s natural ability to thrive indoors as well are two factors which make it highly popular all across the world.

Benefits of  Albahaca - Basil:

The natural spicy flavor and odor associated with this herb makes it an important ingredient in cuisines across the world. Yes, seasonings made by using basil leaves also find their way into condiments and sauces commonly used in pizzas and pastas served in your favorite restaurant. It’s a staple herb used in Indian, Italian and French cooking. In India, many families begin their day by drinking a glass of warm water that has been brewed using basil leaves. The leaves are an excellent source of vitamin C as well as of other minerals like potassium and magnesium. Its natural antibiotic properties are famous and it is used in medicines for children. The holy basil can be used to treat sudden loss of appetite, get rid of any intestinal worms safely as well as of any flatulence trouble. If you’re suffering from a splitting headache or have a chest congestion, using oil made from the basil leaves and inhaling the vapor can give you relief quickly. Basil has been used successfully to treat ailments associated with the kidney and even snake bites. Patients suffering from diabetes may also find that drinking basil tea regularly can help to keep sugar levels stable. One of the best ways to relax at the end of a long day is to add a few drops of basil oil and lavender oil to your bath, as both help to alleviate stress.

How to consume Albahaca - Basil:

The basil leaves are usually used as a whole in many ways. They can be boiled in hot water for relieving chest congestion, enjoyed as a herbal tea and used as a gargle. Pastes made by using the leaves can be applied directly to a hot forehead or to the skin to soothe insect bites. Oil pressed from the leaves can also be used to treat external ailments. Dried basil leaves can be used as a natural flavoring agent in any dish.