Known as one of the main ingredients in pesto sauce and used often for its fragrant flavor, Thai basil is one highly nutritious herb.
Belonging to the mint family of Lamiaceae, basil first originated in India. Grown in India for more than 5,000 years, basil or sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is called as Saint Joseph’s Wort in few English-speaking countries.
Basil has been derived from the Greek word called “basileus”, which means “king”.While French consider it a royal herb, in India basil has been used for ayurvedic and medicinal properties.
There are more than 60 varieties of basil available which differ in smell, appearance and taste. While some leaves taste pungent, some taste sweet; depending upon the species. Let’s have a look at some of the health benefits associated with basil:
Provide relief in stomach cramps
Fresh basil is not just a little herb that adds taste and texture to a dish. This wonderful herb has anti-inflammatory properties that helps reduce inflammation and swelling. This herb in your diet helps treat various other inflammatory bowel diseases such as stomach cramps, indigestion, constipation and more. Besides it also helps treat arthritis.
Powerhouse of nutrients
The nutrient dense basil is rich in iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, manganese, copper, potassium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium.
Heart healthy food
Basil is an excellent source of carotenoids, beta-carotene and powerful antioxidants. Adding this herb to your meals help protect cells and prevent damage inflicted by free radicals present in the body and lower cholesterol.
Besides this herb is rich in magnesium that helps muscles and blood vessels to relax thereby improving blood flow. All this helps prevent heart disease and promote cardiovascular health. There are many low cholesterol recipes in which you can add this heart healthy herb to make it even more nutritious.