Health Benefits Of Basil

What is basil?

Basil (Ocimum) is a genus in the mint family (Labiatae or Lamiaceae). The name kuman is traced back to the ancient Greek , where "Basileus" means king, which is also reflected in the alternative name basil.

Basil, especially the kind of Ocimum basilicum is an herb used in cooking. Basil has a strong odor and flavor and is mainly used in Italian cuisine and tomato dishes.

It is a common element in different (religious) stories. In India it is a sacred herb.


In some pharmacopoeias and in some traditional medicines kuman is described as a method of treatment of arthritis, bronchitis, colds, fever, flu, stomach ulcers, rheumatism, ear pain, epilepsy, heart disease, malaria (mosquito infection), sinusitis, snake bites, stomach pain and vomiting. Further, it is used as an anthelmintic , for the prevention of hair loss, and as a tonic .

 The name kuman is traced back to the ancient Greek  Health Benefits Of Basil

Recently there has been much research into the essential oils found in basil. Scientific research has shown that kuman potent antioxidant, has anti-viral and anti-microbial properties, and also has potential applications for the treatment of cancer.

Of kuman has been shown that the blood coagulation and associated thrombosis in mice against goes. In India, kuman is traditionally used as a supplement to stress, asthma and diabetes mellitus.

Basil contains substances estragole , methyleugenol and safrole . Animal studies and other research shows that these substances genotoxic and thus possibly carcinogenic after ingestion of very large quantities (100 to 1000 times the expected intake). In normal use of basil, however, there is no increased risk of cancer.


Basil is a perennial , but not hardy in the Netherlands. In the living room or greenhouse plant may overwinter. In practice, however, each time re-seeded. By cuttings , the plant is vegetative multiply. The plant is about 45 cm high and 30 cm wide. The stems are hairy , finely ribbed, square, branched and light green to red at the base. The leaves are large, serrated, oval, pointed and bright green, with a warm and yet fresh, strong odor. Basil is an important culinary herb. The plant blooms in late summer with small, fragrant, whitish blossoms, in circular apparent whorls of six.


  • Ocimum basilicum
  • Ocimum campechianum
  • Ocimum canum
  • Ocimum gratissimum
  • Ocimum kilimandscharicum
  • Ocimum tenuiflorum Lf (syn. Ocimum sanctum L.)
  • Ocimum × citriodorum ( lemon basil )

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