What is Basil Seeds Good For? The Benefits of Basil Seeds

The re-discovery of different varieties of seed from diverse traditional cultures is surely exciting. Basil seeds are well known in Ayurvedic medicine. These are the seed of sweet basil, also called Thai Holy Basil, which is different from holy basil (the tulsi plant revered in India).

Native to Asia, particularly Maharashtra (India), sweet basil has been used for thousands of years as a culinary and medicinal herb and is also known for its therapeutic benefits. The seeds resemble the South American chia seeds and are tiny, round, black and become gelatinous when soaked in water for about an hour. They form a translucent gel like membrane around each seed resembling frog’s eggs. They are used in drinks in Asian countries such as Thailand and in desserts such as Arabic falooda or sherbet.

In the past, basil seeds were used to relieve indigestion, sore throat, diarrhea and constipation. Few studies suggest that the fiber in the mucilaginous layer surrounding the seeds after soaking is responsible for its bulk-forming laxative effect. Perhaps, the gelatinous texture and highly soluble fiber (80 percent) of the swollen basil seeds helps to make a filling drink, which could help to curb appetite if consumed before meals.

Although research is still in preliminary stages, basil seeds may help control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Keeping blood sugars stable in weight watchers has the potential to help reduce appetite and food cravings. In Thailand, three published studies have described the use of sweet basil seeds in treating constipation, diabetes and lowering high cholesterol levels. Interestingly, even today, basil seeds are served in sugar syrup during Muslim fasts to replenish lost nutrients.

In South East Asian cuisine, the seeds are often combined with water, sugar, honey and sometimes coconut milk to create sweetened beverages, some of which could be think with a consistency similar to tapioca. The traditional recipes are high in sugar, which can be replaced by an alternative sweetener to reduce sugar calories. Having a distinct texture, it creates and interesting and nutritious addition to desserts and puddings. Soaked basil seed can also be added to your favorite juice, tea or sprinkled on to of salads.

Note: Do remember to soak them in hot or cold water for about a hot before using. Children and elderly could choke on swollen seeds and should be discouraged form consuming them.

Also Read: The Health Benefits of Basil Leaves

Unfortunately, despite its common use in Asia, not many people are aware of these seeds and there are hardly any clinical studies on the potential healing effects of basil seeds. While more research studies are needed to validate its benefits, it may be worthwhile introducing these tiny seeds into our diet.

Basil Seeds Benefits

The Benefits of Basil Seeds:

Basil seeds are also known as Sabja seeds which is said to be the Indian counterpart of chia seeds. The basil seeds are a very rich source of fiber and have various health benefits. These seeds have to be soaked in water for 15-20 minutes or until they sell up. They can be consumed with water, coconut water, juices or with any desserts as thickeners.

• Help to Reduce Body Heat: The Basil seeds helps to cool the body. This is why they are consumed in the summers and during Ramadan fasting.

• Helps in Weight Loss: These seeds are a very good source of soluble fiber therefore; it fills the stomach for a longer period of time reducing hunger pangs. If someone is trying to lose weight, it is advised to include Basil seeds in the regular diet and between meals, so that the tendency to indulge in high calorie snacks is reduced.

• Helps in Diabetes: Due to the high fiber levels in basil seeds, it helps to control sugar levels of diabetics.

Also Read: The Health Benefits of Tomatoes

• Good for Skin: The presence of alpha linolenic acid in Basil seeds is proven to be beneficial for the skin.

• Control Cholesterol Levels: The linolenic acid present in these seeds also helps to reduce cholesterol levels, thereby lowering the risk of heart diseases.

• Fever and Common Cold: Tulsi is a good germicidal agent and a disinfectant that protects human body from all types of viral infection.

• Kidney Stone: Tulsi helps reduce the uric acid levels in blood, thereby reducing incidence of kidney stones.

• Heart Disease: Its high vitamin c content and Eugenol protect the heart from free radicals. Its ability to reduce blood pressure is also an added advantage.

• Stomach Problems: Being a good support to the digestive system, Tulsi makes you feel less bloated, thereby helping you to increase your appetite. It can also act as a solution to acidity, constipation, vomiting and flatulence.

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