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 does it work?
Side Effects & Safety
Basil is safe in food amounts, and it seems to be safe in medicinal amounts when used by adults short-term. In some people basil can cause low blood sugar.
Basil might be UNSAFE when used long-term. It contains estragole, a chemical that might increase the risk of getting liver cancer.
Don't use basil oil. It is UNSAFE due to the estragole content.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Basil seems to be safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women in food amounts. But larger medicinal amounts might be UNSAFE. Basil contains a chemical, estragole, which has caused livercancer in laboratory mice.
Children: Basil seems to be safe for children in food amounts. But larger medicinal amounts might be UNSAFE. Basil contains a chemical, estragole, which has caused liver cancer in laboratory mice.
The appropriate dose of basil depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for basil. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.