Basil (Ocimum basilicum
) is a well-known, commonly grown, bushy annual kitchen herb that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. Many different varieties of basil exist. Basil has many other beneficial uses, other than adding flavor to food. In Asia and Africa, basil has been traditionally used in the treatment of many ailments, including headaches, coughs, diarrhea, constipation, warts, worms, and kidney malfunctions.
Basil contains many beneficial polyphenolic flavonoids, essential oils, vitamins, and minerals. A breakdown of these include:
Egg quality improvement
- Polyphenolic flavonoids: Orientin and vicenin
- Essential oils: Eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene and terpineol.
- Minerals: Iron, potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.
- Vitamins: Vitamin A, Vitamin K
- Phytonutrients: Beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin
15 to 30 g/kg of basil added to laying hens' diet has shown to be of benefit for egg production and egg quality. It is also proven to increase the yolk n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels. Holy basil leaf meal is a good feed supplement for increasing the yolk l-linolenic acid level by reducing the yolk saturated fatty acid levels proportionately.
Oil of basil herb has been found to be beneficial in inhibiting many pathogenic bacteria like Staphylococcus, Enterococci, Shigella
Basil is said to be useful for repelling mosquitoes.
Summary of Basil-related Research in Poultry
|Forage||Laying hens|| -||42 days||Prefered forage in free range laying hens, ranked higher than Oregano, Dill or Parsley.||M Kosmidou et al., 2015|
|Leaves||Laying hens|| ||42 days||Improved egg weight, feed efficiency and overall health||Narahari et al., 2004|
|Seeds||Broilers||10 g/kg||49 days||Stimulated growth and improved feed efficiency, decreased lipid levels, serum levels of total lipids, triglycerides, and cholesterol.||A Hamada et al., 2015|
|Essential Oil||Broilers||600 ppm||49 days||Increased lactic acid bacteria in the ileum, decreased the number of E. coli colonies||S Riyazi et al., 2015|