Although your first reaction may be, “I’m not really in the mood for Italian food right now,” using basil as a relaxation technique has nothing to do with food, unless Mediterranean cuisine helps soothe your nerves. According to tradition, Sweet, or French, basil can actually be used in aromatherapy, acting as a treatment to anxiety, stress, insect bites, migraine, insomnia, ulcers, and much more. Basil oil also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties to help you through an illness.
Holy basil, a type of basil found primarily in India, has purposes of its own, especially in Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic medicine dates all the way back to the Vedic period of India (2nd and 1st millennia BCE), and remains very popular in South Asia. In other parts of the world, Ayurvedic medicine is often used as an alternative medicine. The leaves of holy basil are traditionally used as a nerve tonic and a memory sharpener.
The worst of coughs, colds, fevers and colds are reportedly alleviated with holy basil, as well. Holy basil also has been used to reduce blood cholesterol levels, resulting in better heart conditions for basil-users.
Sweet and holy basil are just two of many different types of basil, and many of them have unique properties that other do not exhibit. Basils worldwide have been used to treat anything from skin, eye, and mouth disorders to problems as common as a cold or a cough.
Western science has not yet studied the effects of basil in a clinical setting so there are no peer-reviewed reports on the efficacy of using basil and we know little about how it may work. However, traditional medicines, like basil, are beginning to be studied more intensely by the western scientific community – so stay tuned!
Discussion Question – Why do you think that natural remedy methods such as Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine are not more popular in Western culture, given the lack of negative effects that these cheaper methods offer? Would you use such methods or wait for western science to investigate before diving in?
To Make Your Own Basil Oil or other Herbal Oil:
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