Basil is an herb. The parts of the plant that grow above the ground are used to make medicine.
Basil is used for stomach spasms, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, kidney conditions, fluid retention, head colds, warts, and worm infections. It is also used to treat snake and insect bites.
Women sometimes use basil before and after childbirth to promote blood circulation, and also to start the flow of breast milk.
Some people use it as a gargle.
In foods, basil is used for flavor.
How it works
Basil contains many chemicals. These chemicals might help get rid of intestinal worms. Basil is a good source of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
Early research suggests that applying a gel containing basil and sweet orange essential oils to the skin for 8 weeks might help clear breakouts in people with acne.
Early research suggests that aromatherapy with basil, peppermint, and sandy everlasting essential oils for one week might improve attention, mental alertness, and mental focus in some people who report feelings of mental exhaustion.
Basil is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts
Basil is POSSIBLY SAFE for adults when taken by mouth as a medicine, short-term. In some people basil can cause low blood sugar
The above-ground parts of basil and basil oil are POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth as a medicine, long-term. These contain estragole, a chemical that might increase the risk of getting liver cancer.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Basil isLIKELY SAFEforpregnantandbreast-feeding women in food amounts. But larger medicinal amounts arePOSSIBLY UNSAFE. Basil contains a chemical, estragole, which has caused liver cancer inlaboratorymice.Are there any interactions with medications?
Children: Basil is LIKELY SAFE for children in food amounts. But larger medicinal amounts are POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Basil contains a chemical, estragole, which has caused liver cancer in laboratory mice.
Bleeding disorders: Basil oils and extracts might slow blood clotting and increase bleeding. In theory, basil oils and extracts might make bleeding disorders worse.
Low blood pressure: Basil extracts might lower blood pressure. In theory, taking basil extracts might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.
Surgery: Basil oils and extracts might slow blood clotting. In theory, basil oils or extracts might increase the risk for bleeding during surgical procedures. Stop using basil at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
ModerateMedications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Basil extract might decrease blood pressure in some people. Taking basil extract along with medications used for lowering high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low. Do not take too much basil if you are taking medications for high blood pressure.Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.Basil oils and extracts might slow blood clotting. Taking basil oils or extracts along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, ticlopidine (Ticlid), warfarin (Coumadin), and others.