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The Sweet Benefits of Basil

Basil does more than add flavor to food. This herb has some serious mind-body benefits.
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Credit: Corbis

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Stress stopper

Feeling frazzled this summer? This herb can mellow you out. “Holy basil has antianxiety effects,” explains botanist James Duke, PhD, author of The Green Pharmacy. It contains phytochemicals that studies suggest may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re tense.

Simmer down on a hot, harried day by adding the herb to your iced tea: Add 2 or 3 leaves (per serving) while your tea is steeping. Lounge chair optional.

Next: PMS fix

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