Basil- Ocimum basilicum
This herb is one of my favorite cooking herbs. I love the fragrant, spicy aroma. I love the essential oil-rich leaves fragrancing the garden and attracting bees and butterflies. Basil is easy to grow, find fresh in most US grocery stores and has such a rich aroma.
When the winter blues are getting me down, Basil gives me a taste of summer. Nothing like fresh pesto or sprigs in a salad or on homemade pizza to really bring the summer indoors. Basil will grow indoors year-round or found at most markets, so this burst of sunshine is attainable.
Lots of Uses
Basil is not only a great cooking herb but a valuable herbal medicine. Basil is full of Vitamin K, flavonoids, and magnesium. Magnesium is essential because it promotes cardiovascular health by prompting blood vessels and muscles to relax. Basil is used to treat constipation, menstrual issues, stress, and respiratory issues. It is medicinally used all over the world.
This herb also has a high volatile oil content. It inhibits strains of bacteria from the genera Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, and Pseudomonas. These are all becoming more widespread and have developed a high resistance to treatment with antibiotic drugs, making them increasingly hard to treat.
- Add Basil to salads, pasta, casseroles, sandwiches, bread, savory baked goods, eggs, etc.….
- Have indigestion, have a cup of Basil tea.
- Need to relax, have Basil tea and take a few minutes to breathe deeply.
- Basil is versatile as a culinary and medicinal herb.
- In addition, it is used for stomach and intestinal spasms and gas. It is also used for loss of appetite, kidney illnesses, fluid retention, head colds, warts, and worm infections. Likewise, it is used to soothe insect bites.
- Basil has compounds that help anxiety and depression. It can boost one’s ability to think clearly, and reduce the risk for age-related memory loss.
- Essential oils found in basil are eugenol, linalool, and citronellol. They can support reducing inflammation in the body.
- Basil provides some macronutrients. These are calcium and vitamin K, and a range of antioxidants.
Growing basil can be fun and easy. It grows well in pots and can thrive indoors and outdoors. Grows from seed or one can even find plants in the grocery store.
Basil grows well in pots or in container gardens. This beauty thrives on balconies and other tight growing spaces.
Select a location with lots of sunlight. Basil flourishes in warm temperatures and full morning sun. If you live in an area with blistering midday sun, try to give your basil light shade during the warmest time of day.
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