According to DigoPaul, the basil is a plant belonging to the family of Labiatae, also known as Lamiaceae. It is an aromatic herb that is used as a condiment.
Small in size, capable of reaching a height of up to approximately 1.30 meters, the basil has greenish leaves and white flowering spikes. Due to its characteristics, it is usually grown in gardens and even in houses since it can be grown in small pots, although it is important to take care of the plant from frost.
In gastronomy, basil is used in a large number of recipes. Many times it is consumed fresh, in salads or sauces. The caprese salad, originating from the Italian island of Capri, is one of the most popular preparations with basil: in addition to fresh leaves of this plant, it contains mozzarella cheese, tomato and olive oil.
The pesto is also based on the use of basil. This sauce that is used as an accompaniment to various pasta is made from the processing of basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and olive oil, although it may also include other ingredients.
It is important to note that common basil is the plant whose scientific name is Ocimum basilicum. However, there are other plants that are also known, in colloquial language, as basil. The Acinos alpinus, for example, often named as wild basil. The acini Clinopodium and Clinopodium vulgare, on the other hand, are called basil wild. As for Nepeta cataria, it is called cat basil.
Healing properties of basil
As with most plants, humans can not only use basil for culinary purposes, but it can also be used to treat a large number of diseases and health problems of varying severity. Broadly speaking, we can say that its leaves serve to sharpen memory, combat nervous states, clean the bronchi of phlegm and optimize the functioning of the stomach.
One of the conditions that can improve with the consumption of basil is fever, an abnormal increase in body temperature that can occur for multiple reasons, and that usually affects other aspects of the body, such as breathing and heart rate.
To ingest basil and take advantage of its medicinal properties, one of the recommended ways is to cook it with tea; on the other hand, it is also possible to prepare a decoction with cardamon powder (an aromatic species of perennial herb) and with sugar. Although it is not a chemical product and therefore it is not so necessary to take care of the dose, two or three cups per day are enough to give the body the opportunity to assimilate it.
The cough and sore throat are two other problems of health that can be treated using basil. In the first case, it should be mentioned that this plant is one of the fundamental components of various syrups, since it promotes expectorant action and the liberation of the bronchi. Regarding inflammation in the throat, it is recommended to boil some basil leaves and then drink the water or use it to gargle.
The stress is one of the most common ailments today, given the dizzying pace of life in society, full of demands personally and professionally that few can accomplish without getting all their energies into it. Basil also offers benefits against this series of mental and physical disorders, as it is a natural anti-stress agent, as many studies have shown. It is enough to chew several leaves a day to have good protection against stress.