The word Basil comes from the Greek meaning "king". It is believed to have
grown above the spot where St. Constantine and Helen discovered the holy cross. It is believed to have been used in royal baths and medicines, and is considered to be the "king of herbs." Two flavonoids exist in basil, orientin and vicenin, are useful in protecting cell structures and chromosomes from damage by radiation and oxygen. Essential oil of basil has been shown to inhibit the growth of several kinds of bacteria, staphylococcus, enterococcus, Pseudomonas, and e-coli, to name a few. Eugenol, which is found in the essential oil, blocks an enzyme which causes inflammation, the same as aspirin and ibuprofen do. It can help with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel conditions. Sweet basil has the highest antioxidant activity, or holy basil, as it is sometimes called. Some studies show that it reduces the incidence of carcinogen-induced tumors. Placing the oil in the ear canal appears to be a highly effective treatment for ear infections. With a total antioxidant content of 67,553 it is 7th on our list of high antioxidant foods.
Copyright 2015 Judie C. McMath and The Center for Unhindered Living