According to an old saying Basil brings prosperity and happiness when planted in the garden. Gardeners love it because a small amount of seeds can produce an abundance of beautiful plants. The wide variety of basils, with leaves that range from deep purples, to bright greens, to tiny, light green bushy plants let the gardener be creative in the design and color of his/her herb garden, and still have this wonderful and fragrant herb as a staple. In late summer, basil sends up pretty white, purple, or pink flower stalks that will soon produce tiny seeds. Basil is an easy to grow plant not prone to trouble with insects and leaf diseases, just give your plants a good amount of sun, and plenty of water and you will be well rewarded. Harvest as needed.
Basil is one of the best-loved culinary herbs for good reason. Basil improves appetite and like other herbs in the mint family it settles the stomach, improves appetite and is a natural disinfectant. Fresh picked leaves make a stimulating and refreshing tea, add life and flavor to any salad or sandwich, and are essential for a good pesto and many other favorites in the kitchen.
Parts Used: leaves, essential oil
Properties and Uses: Basil is a fever reducer, diaphoretic, and nervine. It is antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal. It also works well as an insect repellent. (Just crush a few leaves and rub on exposed skin when working in the garden.)
Basil stimulates the immune system by increasing the production of antibodies. The essential oil is stimulating and antidepressant and relieves mental fatigue, clears the mind, and improves concentration. It is antiseptic, expectorant and can provide relief for chest infections, sinuses, colds, head aches and cough. The carminative and antispasmodic properties of basil help relieve stomach issues, like pains, indigestion, and vomiting.
The essential oil is said to be one of the best nerve tonics among the essential oils. It works well as a massage oil on tired and strained muscles.
(Caution: Do not use during pregnancy. May irritate people with sensitive skin. Oil from exotic basil may be slightly toxic – Do not use.)
Use basil oil in an aroma lamp to lift the mood and clear the air in a stuffy room.
A basil poultice can be used to treat ringworm infections.
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