Whether ingested, brewed into tea or used as part of a holistic healing ritual, basil is a beloved herb revered for its potential digestive, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is also said to have spiritual and ceremonial significance, promoting relaxation and a sense of wellbeing. However, further scientific research is needed to support these claims, especially as regards any possible medicinal effects of inhaling basil’s volatile compounds.
The process of smoking involves heating basil leaves and inhaling the resulting smoke. While some anecdotal reports suggest that inhaling basil’s aromatherapeutic compounds may help to alleviate respiratory discomfort, it is important to note that smoking any herb has the potential to irritate the lungs and respiratory system, particularly in those with pre-existing conditions.
Additionally, long-term exposure to cigarette smoke is linked to a number of health risks, including lung irritation and respiratory disease. This is due to the toxic compounds that are released by tobacco smoke and can be similar for other smokable herbs.
As a result, it is highly recommended that individuals seeking the potential benefits of basil avoid smoking at all costs. Instead, individuals can consider alternative methods of inhalation, such as vaporizing, or incorporating basil into herbal blends for aromatherapy purposes. Incorporating herbs into culinary creations, utilizing basil essential oils in diffusers or a topical application, are all safe and effective alternatives to smoking. Practicing moderation and consulting healthcare professionals can further help to ensure safe and beneficial usage of herbal remedies.