Basil – Ocimum basilicum – Lamiaceae or mint family
Basil is a warm season annual herb with leafy stems. The leaves are very fragrant and used in a variety of dishes and herbal teas. Basil loves full Sun, fertile soil and grows best in a temperature range between 80-95 degrees. Basil does well in the garden or in large planters in a sunny area. Just be sure to use a light weight potting mix when planting the basil. While basil is very easy to grow, it does not like heavy soil or excess water. Make sure the containers have drainage holes before planting basil.
Basil is native to India, Africa and Asia; cultivated for commercial use in France, Greece and Italy. Sweet Italian basil is the most popular followed by lemon, Thai, and cinnamon basil.
Basil is a sacred herb of India, dedicated to the gods Vishnu and Krishna. Sprigs of basil are placed upon the hands of deceased loved ones to protect them from evil spirits as they make their way into the entrance of Paradise. Images of Holy Basil are carved on the tombs of the royal families of India.
Basil is a member of the mint family, and is often prescribed for digestive complaints. A cup of basil tea after a heavy meal may aid in digestion and curb gas and bloating. Lemon basil is said to rev up a sluggish metabolism, and some lemon basil tea drinkers swear by the brew. Drinking up to 3 cups per day of lemon basil tea may help you lose those few extra pounds. Other variety basil like Holy Basil [ Tulsi Rama ] are often recommended for nervous headaches and tension. One teaspoon of fresh Tulsi infused in a cup of boiling water and then allowed to cool may be taken daily. Just be sure the Tulsi Basil has been grown by an organic method.
The culinary basils are packed with calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C. These work together and may lower blood pressure and reduce stress. Basil is also rich in vitamin K which may boost circulation and may help prevent the build-up of plaque in arteries. Use fresh basil in teas, pasta dishes, salads, or making a wonderful pesto with olive oil and walnuts.
Now you know… Early Greek and Roman physicians believed that in order to grow an abundant crop of basil one must curse and shout, throwing tools about and in general acting odd while sowing the seed. From the French who know all about madness: “Semer le Basilic.” “Sowing basil, he’s raving mad.” Is it any wonder basil is the King of Herbs among gardeners and chefs?
~ Blessed be, sweet ones
Disclaimer: The treatment options mentioned above are only meant as guidelines and in no way replace the advice or treatment provided by your medical practitioner. It is always good to seek the advice of your physician, homeopath, naturopath, or herbalist for professional advice in any matter related to your health. This article is for information purposes only.