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Basil

What is it?

Basil is an herbal medicine that is used to treat gas, inflammation (redness, swelling, and pain), and non-insulin dependent diabetes (type 2 diabetes).

Other names for Basil include: Ocimum basilicum, Common Basil, Sweet Basil, and Garden Basil.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much Basil you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Basil. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Warnings:

  • Before taking Basil, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Basil essential oil should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding (3,4)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Basil may cause you to have symptoms of low blood sugar such as sweating, shaking, fast heart beat, nervousness, headache, light-headedness, confusion, and unclear speech (2)

References:

1. Bisset NG, Wichtl M (eds): Herbal and Phytopharmaceuticals: a handbook for practice on a scientific basis. Medpharm Scientific Publishers, CRC Press, Stuttgart, Germany; 1994.

2. Argrawal P, Rai V, & Singh RB et al: Randomized placebo controlled, single-blind trial of holy basil leaves in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 1996;34:406-409.

3. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A et al (eds): The Complete German Commission E Monographs, 1st ed. American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 1998.

4. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R et al (eds): American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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