Basil is one of my go-go culinary herbs as I mentioned in my previous blog post. Not only does it have amazing medicinal benefits, it tastes amazing too and adds SO MUCH flavor to all kinds of dishes.
From American to Italian to even Mexican cuisine, basil is so versatile that sometimes, I legit add it to everything.
A little bit about the awesomeness of basil…
1. Be sure to use fresh basil whenever possible. The volatile oils of dried basil are weak, so fresh is best when it comes to healing properties.
2. Basil is mainly used as an anti-inflammatory. It is very similar to the compounds found in oregano, and this anti-inflammatory compound can help with inflammation of the bowel as well as arthritic conditions.
3. Basil contains a compound which helps increase circulation and stabilize blood sugar.
4. It is high in antioxidants, especially when used fresh or as an extract/oil.
5. Basil contains volatile oils as well, and this combined with the high antioxidants make it a great boost for the immune system.
6. Fresh basil and basil oil contain antimicrobial properties and can be used to disinfect wounds. Used regularly in the kitchen or taken as a supplement, basil can help fight colds, flu and other viruses.
7. Basil is great for the respiratory system. It can help with sore throats, coughs, colds and sinus issues.
8. It can be used to strengthen the kidneys, and can even help move stones out of the urinary tract.
9. Basil can be used to combat stress if used regularly.
10. This amazing herb can also help with headaches and sore eyes.
I use basil regularly and personally have found it quite soothing and cooling, and most definitely beneficial digestively. When I eat it raw or add it to my food, I can feel its cleansing effects almost immediately and boy does it feel good!
Since I started using basil in the kitchen, I have truly felt a huge shift in my health.
Here are some of the ways I personally use basil as a yummy and medicinal addition in the kitchen:
*I add 2-4 leaves to my smoothies/juices in the morning. It has such a subtle and pleasant flavor, and I can tell the difference in flavor when I do not add it in. A smoothie or juice is just not the same without it!
*I use basil to make sauces and dressings. I make things like homemade pesto, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, salad dressings and more.
*I add whole basil leaves to a ton of dishes, including my homemade sprouted quinoa flatbread, raw wraps, gluten free pizza, spaghetti squash pasta, tacos and taco salad, and it is not uncommon for me to use it as a pretty garnish now and then.
*There are times when I even eat raw basil leaves just plain, just to get the flavor on my taste buds and the medicinal benefits. I love the crunch of the leaves and the taste of fresh, organic herbs.
*You can also cook with basil, adding it as a seasoning to any cooked dish you desire. I personally add it to sauteed zucchini and baked fish.
Basil is so versatile, so delicious and extremely medicinal as you can see. It’s a red hot emergency when we run out of basil in our home. I don’t think I’ll ever go without it!