BASIL

OTHER NAME(S):

Albahaca, Basilic, Basilic Commun, Basilic Grand, Basilic Grand Vert, Basilic Romain, Basilic aux Sauces, Basilici Herba, Basilici Herba, Common Basil, Garden Basil, Munjariki, Ocimum basilicum, St. Josephwort, St. Joseph’s Wort, Surasa, Sweet Basil, Vanatulasi, Varvara.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Basil is an herb. The parts of the plant that grow above the ground are used to make medicine.

Basil is commonly used orally for stomach problems such as spasms, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, diarrhea, and constipation. But there is limited scientific research to support these and other medicinal uses of basil.

In foods, basil is used for flavor.

How does it work?

Basil contains many chemicals. These chemicals might kill bacteria and fungi. Chemicals in basil might reduce symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Acne.
  • Mental alertness.
  • Head colds.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Intestinal gas.
  • Stomach spasms.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Constipation.
  • Kidney disorders.
  • Worms.
  • Warts.
  • Snake and insect bites.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of basil for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

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.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Basil is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant and breast-feeding women in food amounts. But larger medicinal amounts are POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Basil contains a chemical, estragole, which has caused liver cancer in laboratory mice.

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.

Interactions

Interactions?

We currently have no information for BASIL Interactions.

Dosing

Dosing

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.

View References

REFERENCES:

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  • Amrani, S., Harnafi, H., Gadi, D., Mekhfi, H., Legssyer, A., Aziz, M., Martin-Nizard, F., and Bosca, L. Vasorelaxant and anti-platelet aggregation effects of aqueous Ocimum basilicum extract. J Ethnopharmacol. 8-17-2009;125(1):157-162. View abstract.
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  • Matiz, G., Osorio, M. R., Camacho, F., Atencia, M., and Herazo, J. [Effectiveness of antimicrobial formulations for acne based on orange (Citrus sinensis) and sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L) essential oils]. Biomedica. 2012;32(1):125-133. View abstract.
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More Resources for BASIL

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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