Health Blog

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Which herb is this?

Which herb is…

– a good source of vitamin K?
– anti-bacterial?
– protects against radiation?
– good to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, indigestion, insect bites, and pneumonia?
– a delicious summer market find?

This herb is just one of the 10 top herbs that Chef Luisa Rios and I will talk about at Connect Health on Tuesday August 27th from 7-8:30 p.m. To sign up for that free talk, click here or call 604-733-4400.

This herb has more varieties than most other herbs. Some of the varieties include: cinnamon, Genovese, Holy, lemon, lime, purple, sweet, and Thai.

Figured it out?

It’s basil.


Do you take Celebrex? Did you once take Vioxx, before it was removed from the North American market because of its high risk for heart attacks and strokes? Well, consider that there are many herbs, foods, and supplements that are natural COX-2 inhibitors that are much safer. Basil contains several COX-2 inhibitors, so it is a helpful part of an anti-inflammatory diet. Combine it with avocados, which are high in vitamin B6, and you have a medicinal food combo for treating carpal tunnel syndrome.


As part of the mint family, basil is one of the top herbs for impaired digestion that can result in gas, bloating, heartburn, stomach pain, belching, and nausea.

To Protect and Serve

Basil contains two components that help it protect our cells and serve up better health. The first component is flavonoids. They help protect against radiation damage and oxidative damage (you’ve likely heard of the benefits of antioxidants), things that can damage your cells and contribute to faster aging and disease. The second is volatile oils, discussed in the “gassy” section, but also of benefit in the following ways.

Bye Bye Bugs

I haven’t yet tried it, but apparently holy basil is rubbed on the skin in India and Africa to act as bug repellent. I’m going to give this one a try! Let me know how you fare.

More Bye Bye Bugs

Want to avoid the bacterial “bugs?” Basil contains volatile oils that help restrict the growth of many bacteria, including those that are antibiotic resistant. In order to get those volatile oils, you will want to get fresh basil or use food grade pure essential oils of basil.

For more about basil and other food herbs, how to cook them, how to store them, how to select them, and some recipes, remember to register for our seminar!


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