Part of the plant used for medicinal purposes: basil herb (Herba basilici)

Other names: great basil, sweet basil, Genovese basil.

Description and harvesting

Basil is a strongly branched annual plant which grows up to 60 cm tall and is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). Its leaves are long and ovate. The flowers are multi-coloured, white, pink or purple. The plant blooms from July to October.
Basil prefers nutrient-rich soil and, especially, lots of sun. The entire plant is strongly aromatic. The entire plant (without the underground part), or just leaves, is picked at the time of blooming, several times a year. It is dried in the shade; when dry, it has a salty taste. It is stored in tightly closed containers otherwise it will lose all of its healing and spice value.

Constituents and medicinal use

The entire dried plant, or just leaves, are used to prepare tea. It can also be added to other healing plants to prepare tea blends. Basil contains essential oil, cineole, tannins and other, more than 200 yet unexplored substances. In traditional medicine, basil is used to strengthen the stomach; it helps with gas and constipation, and stimulates appetite. It relieves anxiety, tension, and helps with insomnia. To this end, it is recommended for students before exams because it helps to fight mental exhaustion. It increases the excretion of urine, therefore it is used in case of bladder infection, itchy and painful urination; to increase the effect, it is combined with other medicinal herbs, such as birch leaves and burn nettle leaves, soldiago herb, field horseplant, and corn silk. It stops vaginal discharge in women of reproductive age, so it is appropriate for women who have menstrual cycle disorders. As reported in literature, basil has an anti-viral, anti-HSV-2, anti-inflammatory and liver-protective effect. It also displays antioxidant properties. Due to its various beneficial properties, basil is found in tea blends for good wellbeing. Being a delicious and healing spice, basil, preferably fresh, is added to fatty foods to stimulate digestion.

Monk Simon Ašič’s product containing basil:


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2. Kukman J. Domača lekarna patra Simona Ašiča. Recepti. Celjska Mohorjeva družba, 2006.
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6. Karlin M. Slovenska imena naših zdravilnih rastlin. Priloga Farmacevtskega vestnika, št.1-3/XV.