A PROFILE OF ‘BASIL’ THE ANNUAL HERB DESCRIPTION Basil is a popular herb, and the species is most commonly the sweet basil Ocimum basilicum of the family Lamiaceae (mints).Basil, originally from India, is best known as a culinary herb prominently featured in Italian cuisine, and also plays a major role in the Northeast Asian cuisine of Taiwan and the Southeast Asian cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Depending on the species and cultivar, the leaves may taste somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, often sweet smell. It is also well known for its medicinal usages.The shortly - stalked, egg shaped leaves, 1 to 2 inches long, are placed opposite to one another on the four-angled stem, the pairs being some distance apart. They are only slightly toothed at their edges and like the stem are downy with soft hairs. The flowers, with tubular, lipped corollas of a pinkish colour, are arranged on the stem in several crowded, bristly rings or whorls, at the points from which the leaf-stalks spring, and are in bloom from July to September.The whole herb is aromatic and fragrant, with a faint Thyme-like odour, and like Calamint has been used to make an infusion for similar complaints. There are 9 types of basil plants which are mainly used in our daily lifes.
KINGDOM Plantae (UNRANKED) Angiosperms (UNRANKED) Eudicots (UNRANKED) Asterids ORDER Lamiales FAMILY Lamiaceae GENUS Ocimum SPECIES O.basilicum BINOMIAL NAME Ocimum basilicum
CHEMICAL COMPOUND Types of chemicals that help to produce the distinctive scents of many types of basil, depending on their proportion in each specific breed, include citronellol (scented geraniums, roses, and citronella),linalool (a flowery scent also in coriander), myrcene (bay leaf, myrcia), pinene (which is, as the name implies, the chemical which gives pine oil its scent),ocimene, terpineol,linalyl acetate, fenchyl acetate, trans-ocimene,1,8-cineole,camphor octanane, methyl eugenol, eugenol, beta-caryophyllene.
MEDICINAL USAGE Healing Power: The leaves are a nerve tonic and also sharpen memory. They promote the removal of the catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tube. The leaves strengthen the stomach and induce copious perspiration. Fever & Common Cold: Tender leaves, boiled with tea, act as preventive against these diseases. The juice of tulsi leaves can be used to bring down fever. Coughs: .It helps to mobilize mucus in bronchitis and asthma. Chewing tulsi leaves relieves cold and flu. Sore Throat: Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as drink in case of sore throat. This water can also be used as a gargle. Respiratory Disorder: . A decoction of the leaves, with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold. A decoction of the leaves, cloves and common salt also gives immediate relief in case of influenza. Kidney Stone: In case of renal stone the juice of basil leaves and honey, if taken regularly for 6 months it will expel them via the urinary tract. Heart Disorder: Basil has a beneficial effect in cardiac disease and the weakness resulting from them. It reduces the level of blood cholesterol. Children's Ailments: Common pediatric problems respond favorably to the juice of basil leaves. If pustules of chicken pox delay their appearance, basil leaves taken with saffron will hasten them. Stress: Basil leaves are regarded as an 'adaptogen' or anti-stress agent. It purifies blood and helps prevent several common elements. Mouth Infections: The leaves are quit effective for the ulcer and infections in the mouth
OTHER BENEFICIAL USAGES Basil is a very common ingredient in Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese cooking. Due to its strong flavor similar to the anise (Pimpinella anisum), it is used as a condiment for curry and soups. It is often used in Mediterranean cooking, where it is used in various meat stews. Basil are also used in manufacturing soaps, perfumes, shampoos, essential oils and cosmetics. Egyptians used it in embalming fluids and in offerings to their gods. Tulsi (basil plant) or tulasi is a sacred plant for Hindus. Water mixed with tulsi petals is given to the dying to raise their departing souls to heaven. Tulsi, which is Sanskrit for \"the incomparable one\", is worshipped throughout India, most often regarded as a consort of Krishna in the form of Lakshmi
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