There are some major differences between Thai basil and sweet basil. The fact that the word “sweet” is included in the name hints at it. Thai basil is a bit more on the spicy side. It also has many different purposes, not just in the culinary department.
Anti-inflammatory: There are several types of inflammation, but they are all equally problematic. Inflammation occurs after an injury and is particularly noticeable after a sprain. The injury won’t heal properly unless some inflammation occurs, but it is wise to keep it in check.
However, the worst types of inflammation come with conditions such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and inside the body around the heart, lungs and other organs. These inflammations need to be checked quickly. NSAIDs are often taken for this purpose, but they present other problems, including organ damage.
Herbs such as Thai basil have been studied to see if there are any anti-inflammatory benefits. According to studies published on PubMed, the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there does appear to be such benefits from this herb.
Lactation: Breastfeeding has become the most popular way to feed an infant, at least for the first few weeks. However, sometimes the mother doesn’t make enough milk for the child. When that happens, some women simply stop breastfeeding.
However, there are a number of herbs that are called galactagogues. These herbs increase the milk supply so that the mother doesn’t have to stop breastfeeding. Thai women have used Thai basil for this purpose for centuries. Recent studies suggest it is a good practice. Unlike some of the other galactagogues, it doesn’t have any negative side effects.
Wrinkles: While not everyone cares about wrinkles, there are enough of those who do to make anti-wrinkle products big sellers. The problem is finding a cream that works and is affordable. Who wants to spend three hundred dollars on face cream?
Studies have been done on Thai basil for this purpose. One of them, published on PubMed, was a study using twenty-nine volunteers who used that herb with a few others commonly found in Thai cuisine. The researchers used both the herbs transfused into a cream base and the cream base by itself. It found that the herb mixture worked with a significant reduction of wrinkle factors.
Antioxidant: An antioxidant helps to remove free radicals from the body. These free radicals cause cell changes that can lead to diseases, organ damage and accelerate aging. Thai basil has a good deal of antioxidant power, helping to prevent these things from occurring.
When looking into herbs for cooking, Thai basil can be a good choice. Thai food, in general, is healthy and relatively easy to prepare. With a global marketplace, it’s also easy to find the ingredients needed.
Disclaimer: Always talk to your doctor and pharmacist before using any new herb in medicinal amounts. Food amounts should be safe for most people. There can be interactions and side effects from any herb, so it is best to be properly informed.