Basil, also called Sweet Basil, is an annual herb of the mint family (Lamiaceae), grown for its aromatic leaves. Although it is widely used in Italian cooking it is actually from India and was brought to the Mediterranean from India during the spice trading routes during ancient times.
It contains many anti-flammatory oils such eugenol, citronellol, limonene and terpineol. Eugenol specifically is thought to help alleviate inflammation due to arthritis and inflammatory bowel conditions
Basil is an excellent source of Vitamin K and also contains iron, calcium, Vitamin C and potassium.
Basil can also be used topically to alleviate insect bites and stings. Just crush the leaves and rub it on the affected area.
SEDATIVES & RELAXANTS
When you cannot sleep or feel the need for something to relax yourself when stressed, try this spice tea. It is natural and nonaddictive.
This Basil tea will relax you and may help with insomnia as well as alleviate painful menstruation symptoms. To make it shred up 2 tablespoons of basil leaves and add to 1 cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 5 minutes. Drink 3 cups a day preferably after each meal. This can also help treat diarrhea and urinary tract infections.