Know the basics
What is Basil used for?
Basil is an herb. The parts of the plant that grow above the ground are used to make medicine. Some people use it as a gargle.
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.
How does it work?
There are not enough studies about how this herbal supplement works. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for more information. However, there are some studies that show basil is a good source of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. Chemicals in holy basil are thought to decrease pain and swelling (inflammation). Other chemicals might lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. A research showed an increased antibody titer and may indicate that basil could be used as an immune-stimulant.
Know the precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Basil?
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.
You should know how to take basil by mouth either fresh or as a powder. Only the leaves should be used.
Caution the client not to use basil for extended periods of time; it is a known mutagen.
The regulations for an herbal supplement are less strict than the regulations for a drug. More studies are needed to determine its safety. The benefits of taking this herbal supplement must outweigh the risks before use. Consult with your herbalist or doctor for more information.
How safe is Basil?
Do not to use basil therapeutically during pregnancy and breastfeeding and not to give it therapeutically to infants or toddlers. One of the chemical components of basil, estragole, can produce mutagenic effects when taken in high levels during pregnancy.
Caution the client not to use basil concurrently with oral anti-diabetic agents or insulin; hypoglycemia may occur.
Know the side effects
What kind of side effects may I have from Basil?
Basil might have some side effects including:
- Hepatic carcinoma;
- Slowed blood clotting and increase bleeding.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about side effects, please consult your herbalist or doctor.
Know the interactions
What interactions may I have with Basil?
This herbal supplement may interact with your current medications or medical conditions. Consult with your herbal healer or doctor before using.
Basil (medicinally) may increase the hypoglycemic effects of insulin, anti-diabetic drugs; do not use concurrently.
Basil may increase blood glucose levels, thus affecting your test results.
Understand the dosage
The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your herbalist or doctor before using this medication.
What is the usual dose for Basil?
A clinical trial for hypoglycemic effect used 2.5 g leaves as dried powder in 200 mL water daily for 2 months.
The dose for this herbal supplement may be different for every patient. The dose that you take depends on your age, health, and several other conditions. Herbal supplements are not always safe. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for your appropriate dosage.
What form does Basil come in?
This herbal supplement may be available in the following dosage forms: chopped and powdered leaves, tea, and tincture.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Skidmore-Roth, Linda. Mosby’s Handbook Of Herbs & Natural Supplements. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, 2001. Print version. Page 50.
Basil. http://www.drugs.com/npp/holy-basil.html. Assessed August 3, 2016.
Basil. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1101-holy%20basil.aspx?activeingredientid=1101&activeingredientname=holy%20basil. Assessed August 3, 2016.
Basil. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-303-basil.aspx?activeingredientid=303&activeingredientname=basil. Assessed August 3, 2016.
Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017