Basil is said to have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, and has a long tradition of being used as an herbal remedy for wound-healing and to treat fungal infections. It is still considered a healing herb in traditional medicine, e.g. Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine.
In western medicine it has fallen largely out of use as a medicinal plant, though it is still popular as a food seasoning. For example, it is one of the main ingredients in pesto, an Italian recipe for a green oily pasta sauce.
Basil in Modern Herbal Medicine:
Basil in Fiction:
Dear reader, meet Clara the herbwoman: She's the midwife and healer in a rustic little village in the midst of miles and miles of nothing but fields and forests.
Winter is drawing to a close, but it's still cold out, and the farmers are starting to ready their tools for the coming planting season. The farmers' hands are roughened by the cold weather, and their skin is starting to chafe and split, even as those hands are needed to do fiddly repairs on tools or to sew new clothes for the coming spring.
Many a farmer will call on Clara to find a salve to soothe the skin, to enable those much-abused hands to do the necessary chores. Thus, today we find Clara stirring herbs into her cauldron, to cook up the salve the farmers will need. Let's watch over her shoulder while she assembles her ingredients on her wooden kitchen table:
*** Please note: This blog is not intended as medical advice. ***
Do not try this at home.
(Or at least, don't use any of the remedies described here this without consulting your physician first.)