By:
19-10-2015

Basil: Queen Of Herbs

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If you think of basil at all, it is probably as a pleasant seasoning used to enhance the taste of tomato dishes and as a main ingredient in pesto. However, the humble herb has much more to offer, being a small but mighty powerhouse of antioxidant goodness!
Quite apart from making a lot of dishes taste nicer, basil is also a health-giving herb. It has been linked to soothing coughs and colds as well as boosting the immune system so that colds do not linger and recur as they otherwise can do during 'flu season. Make a tea using either fresh or dried basil; approximately one generous teaspoonful of dried basil in a cup of recently boiled, but not boiling water, steeped until it reaches a drinkable temperature. Basil tea can seem very weak as the herb's flavouring is subtle, but the benefit will be noticed within a short time. Basil also calms the digestive system, making it an ideal addition to meals for people with easily upset stomachs, irritable bowel syndrome and similar nervous-digestion issues.
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Basil also has antibiotic properties which help the body to reduce internal inflammation, a cause for many of life's modern ills. It has also been shown to lower blood sugar, a point that should be of immense interest given our modern predilection for adding sugar to just about everything that we eat. This massive consumption of sugar is leading to a terrifying upsurge in Type 2 Diabetes, a potentially life-threatening illness that is entirely preventable. If basil can help to lower high blood sugar, it is possible that it can be used by diabetics to manage their condition, potentially saving lives. (As always, consult your doctor before making any drastic lifestyle changes, changing your medication or dosage or substantially changing your diet.) This means that simply using more basil in your cooking or as a refreshing and detoxifying drink once or twice a day can help you to lose weight, restore digestive efficiency, boost your immune system and even maintain lower blood sugar levels.
Basil and a related plant known as holy basil or tulsi, have been linked to successful weight loss too. This may be because of the above-mentioned antioxidants and digestive-soothing properties, but is also likely due to another factor.
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