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The Versatile Herb Basil for Menstrual Cramps and More

Basil. Many cooks may list basil as one of their favorite herbs. There may be nothing so fragrant or calming as the deep almost licorice smell of basil wafting in the kitchen window from the kitchen herb garden. Over antiquity basil has been attributed to have so many healing properties, they are almost too numerous to count.

In folklore basil offerings to Erzulie the voodoo goddess of love will cement a relationship! Basil plants come in many colors, fragrances, and aromas, and from a pure foodie standpoint, you can’t really need more of a reason to feast on some pesto sauce, or savor in rice, salads or with some mozzarella and tomatoes.

Basil herb is rich in essential oils, such as geraniol, eugenol and linalool, to name a few. All forms of basil are rich in tannins, saponins and flavonoids. Medically these confer basil with properties as divers as antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, sedative and antioxidant properties.

It can be used to treat flu, colds and bronchitis, improve digestion, prevent and treat high blood pressure, fight anxiety, depression and insomnia and prevent heart attack and atherosclerosis. In addition, basil can also be used to treat wounds and insect bites due to its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties

Natural antibacterial compounds do exist in basil, and it is one reason chewing basil can freshen breath.

But just putting basil in sauce this won’t help your acne unless you use cooled basil tea as an actual on the skin toner, or even as a shampoo rinse to help prevent acne around the scalp. As a woman’s herbs it has been reported to help regulate cycles and smooth menstrual cramps.

Basil like other herbs can be made into an essential oil that is high in omega-3s, but other ways of getting your omega-3s are more efficient

Although basil tea has long been used for menstrual cramps in many cultures, but it’s a myth, never been scientifically documented to work very well, so if you do have menstrual cramps, it may be time to come in to discuss other solutions! Women’s Health Practice 217-356-3736.


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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