Basil is a popular herb known for its use in cooking and as a natural remedy for various ailments. However, some people have started smoking basil for recreational purposes, assuming it to be a harmless activity. Smoking basil can have some effects on the body, both positive and negative. This article will discuss the effects of smoking basil and why it is not recommended.
What Happens When You Smoke Basil?
When you smoke basil, the active compounds in the herb are released into the body through the smoke. Basil contains eugenol, a compound also found in clove oil, which has pain-relieving properties and can act as a natural anesthetic. However, when eugenol is inhaled in high concentrations through smoke, it can cause irritation to the throat, nose, and lungs, resulting in coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Smoking basil can also cause damage to the mouth and throat, resulting in soreness and hoarseness, and damage to the teeth and gums.
In addition to eugenol, basil also contains other compounds that can have a sedative effect on the body, causing relaxation and a sense of calmness. This effect can be short-lived and may be followed by feelings of dizziness and nausea. Although basil contains a small amount of nicotine, the addictive compound found in tobacco, the amount is negligible. Regular smoking of basil can, however, lead to addiction.
Negative Effects of Smoking Basil
Smoking basil can have several harmful effects on the body, including:
- Respiratory Problems: Inhaling the smoke from burning basil can cause irritation to the respiratory system. The smoke can cause inflammation in the lungs, leading to bronchitis and other lung diseases.
- Irritation to the Eyes: The smoke from burning basil can cause irritation to the eyes, leading to redness, itching, and watering of the eyes.
- Addiction: Regular smoking of basil can lead to addiction, despite the small amount of nicotine present.
- Dizziness and Nausea: The sedative effects of basil can cause feelings of dizziness and nausea, which can be short-lived but uncomfortable.
Positive Effects of Smoking Basil
While there are several negative effects of smoking basil, there are also some positive effects, including:
- Pain Relief: Smoking basil can help alleviate pain in the body, particularly headaches and muscle pain, due to the presence of eugenol.
- Relaxation: The sedative effects of basil can promote relaxation and calmness, which can be helpful for people who suffer from anxiety and stress.
- Improved Sleep: The sedative effects of basil can also help improve sleep and aid in relaxation before bedtime.
Smoking basil is not recommended due to its harmful effects on the body. The negative effects of smoking basil, including respiratory problems, addiction, and damage to the oral cavity, far outweigh the positive effects of pain relief and relaxation. Instead of smoking basil, try incorporating it into your diet or using it as a natural remedy by making tea or using it in aromatherapy. If you are experiencing pain or stress, it is best to consult a medical professional for proper treatment.