A spice, in your skin care? It’s true! In addition to flavoring your homemade marinara sauce, basil has a great reputation for helping to cleanse and purify skin.
This popular culinary herb works wonders against oily skin.
Internal Health Benefits of Basil
With a sweet and pungent flavor, basil is popular in Italian and Asian cuisine. It’s considered best when fresh, as dried basil has a muted flavor. Ancient cultures also used it for treating stomach upset, respiratory problems, headaches, fever, nausea, and hypertension.
Recent research has discovered that basil is a great source of vitamin K, which is essential for normal blood clotting, bone mineralization and cell growth. Just two tablespoons of chopped fresh basil provides nearly a third of your daily requirement of vitamin K, as well as vitamin A, manganese and magnesium.
Laboratory studies have found basil to be effective against numerous bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and others—even some that have become resistant to common antibiotics. Some studies have even shown that washing your produce in a solution containing basil essential oil can help kill any remaining bacteria before eating.
Basil has a pain-relieving property as well, working like Cox-2 inhibitors to block the enzyme that causes pain, and is thought to help calm internal inflammation, making it good for muscle pain, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel conditions.
Basil's Benefits to the Skin
The most common use for basil in skin care is as a cleanser, since it has such a powerful action. This makes it perfect for those who suffer from oily skin or clogged pores, as it helps to remove dirt and impurities. You can try cooled basil tea as a toner or splash, or make a basil face mask with fresh basil leaves, sea salt, and egg whites.
Basil has other benefits for the skin as well:
- Reduces appearance of puffy eyes: You can try wet basil leaves under your eyes to calm the look of puffy eyes and reduce the appearance of dark circles.
- Antioxidants: Like most herbs, basil has antioxidants, which help protect the skin from environmental stressors, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
- Soothing: Basil can help soothe and give a calming feel to the skin and helping you find relief from temporary itching.
We’ve included basil in our Herbal Facial Oil for Oily Skin.
Do you have other uses for basil? Please share them with our readers.
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“Basil,” WHFoods, http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=85.