Basil

Also indexed as:Ocimum basilicum
Basil: Main Image © Martin Wall
Botanical names:
Ocimum basilicum

Side Effects

Although concerns have been raised about the possible cancer-causing effects of estragole, a component found in variable amounts in basil volatile oil, small amounts of basil would not seem to pose a significant threat.13 However, because some herbal books suggest that estragole may be potentially carcinogenic and has been thought to stimulate uterine contractions, some herbal experts feel it may be best for pregnant or breast-feeding women to avoid use of the herb, especially the volatile oil.14 People with serious kidney or liver damage should not use basil volatile oil internally, as they could theoretically have trouble eliminating it from their bodies. However, use of basil as a seasoning in food is unlikely to be of concern.

Copyright © 2017 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com

Learn more about Healthnotes, the company.

The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2017.