Basil is an aromatic herb that is native to India and is commonly used in cooking to add flavor to a variety of dishes. It is a member of the mint family and has a sweet, slightly spicy flavor. Basil has been used for centuries for its potential health benefits and is believed to have several potential benefits, including antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory properties, heart health, and brain function.
All parts of the basil plant act as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a natural substance that helps your body adapt to stress and promotes mental balance. The concept of an adaptogen is a holistic approach, but scientific research shows that basil has pharmacological properties to help your mind cope with many types of stress.
The source of your stress can be chemical, physical, infectious, or emotional.
In the case of physical stress, basil is known to increase endurance. Studies have shown that basil extract shows enhanced metabolism, less tissue damage, and lower stress levels in loud environments.
Basil has also been shown to aide stress, sexual problems, sleep problems, forgetfulness, and exhaustion. According to the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, basil has antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties. Studies have also found that people who took a basil supplement experienced a significant improvement in sleep quality, as measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.