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The Many Surprising Health Benefits of Basil Tea
You might think basil is only for your Italian food dishes, but this aromatic herb comes in a variety of species and is terrific at helping to ease many different ailments. Basil tastes just as great in tea form as it does in your spaghetti sauce. The herb used to make basil tea is sometimes called tulsi or even holy basil. This is often used among the Hindu people. They have ceremonies that revolve around basil tea each morning and evening. They believe it has significant healing compounds and can be used for a wide variety of medical issues, and they are correct.
Keep reading for some of the best health benefits you never imagined you could obtain simply from drinking basil tea.
1. Helps with Diabetes
Basil has been scientifically proven to lower blood sugar levels. The Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology conducted a study in 2004 that showed that basil significantly reduced blood sugar levels in rats after giving them 2g per kilo of body weight for 30 days. Another small study that involved 40 patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes who took 2.5 grams of dried basil leaf each day also showed large reductions in their blood sugar level. The oils in basil help to improve the function of the pancreas and allow it to make insulin in a more effective manner. Find out fruits that lower high blood sugar level.
2. Helps with Arthritis
Basil acts as a natural COX-2 inhibitor during in vitro studies. If you are looking for a natural means of joint support then consider taking basil tea or supplements regularly. Drinking basil tea daily can help relieve the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
3. Natural Pain Killer
In 2005 the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology published a review that showed that a compound in basil called eugenol works in much the same manner as modern, over the counter pain killers by suppressing the COX-2 enzyme that causes pain and inflammation.
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4. Supports Oral Health
Basil can be mixed with some coconut oil to make a paste and used as a natural toothpaste. Basil has antibacterial compounds that work well in the mouth and kill the bacteria that cause bad breath and cavities. Basil kills more than 99 percent of the bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to fewer cavities and gum disease.
5. Immune Support
Basil is simply loaded with vitamins C, A, magnesium, iron, and potassium. These support your body’s natural immune system. Basil tea also contains high levels of antioxidants that kill free radicals that cause many chronic health problems, including arthritis and even cancer, according to studies by the National Cancer Institute.
6. Supports Respiratory Health
Basil is often used in Ayurvedic medicine for its ability to thin mucus in the lungs and sinuses. It’s also a terrific expectorant. The oils in basil- eugenol, cineole, and camphene- are antibacterial and can cure lung infections. Basil is also believed to help stop or reverse damage caused to the lungs due to tuberculosis and smoking.
7. Helps with Kidney Stones
The acetic acid and other compounds in basil tea can help dissolve kidney stones. Basil is a natural detoxifier and has some mild diuretic powers, which will help lower the levels of uric acid in the body. It will also cleanse the kidneys through urine. Basil juice mixed with honey is a typical recipe to dissolve stones in the kidneys. Basil will strengthen the kidneys as well.
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8. Relieves Stress
Basil is known as an anti-stress agent that helps the body learn to adapt to different types of stress. Basil tea is perhaps one of the best known adaptogen known to man. The Journal of Natural Products published a report in September of 2007 which showed that the compounds in basil stabilized biological activities in stressed out rats. Basil reduces inflammation, soothes the nerves, and lowers blood pressure. Read more about foods that relieve stress.
9. Stops Headaches
Basil is a terrific way to naturally cure headaches. The essential oils in basil- eugenol, cineol, and camphene- have strong analgesic properties that can stop many headaches, especially tension headaches.
10. Supports Healthy Skin
Basil can help with skin issues with absolutely no side effects. The camphene has a cooling effect on the skin when used externally. Some crushed leaves can stop the itching from insect bites, and provide relief from eczema. Basil juice, because of its antibacterial and antifungal compounds, is extremely effective at treating the symptoms of ringworm and eczema. Washing your face with basil tea can stop most acne and other types of skin infections.
Making basil tea is simple. If you want to make some tea simply for flavor, use 1 teaspoon of basil, 1 cup of boiling water, and allow to steep for one minute.
If you want a cup of tea for health benefits, add 2 teaspoons of basil to one cup of boiling water, and allow to steep for 2 minutes.
To make tea for medicinal or healing purposes, add two teaspoons of basil to one cup of boiling water and allow to gently boil (cover the pot) for no more than 10 minutes. Turn off the flame and allow to cool. Drink warm.