- Food and Cooking
Basil in your Bedroom
Isabella and the Pot of Basil
Basil the Beauty
History and Fame
Basil has been famous for a lot longer than pesto has been around. The first record of basil being used was 4,000 years ago. It has since been discovered to be useful medicinally to treat headaches, anxiety, and stomach cramps. Holy basil is often referred to as Saint Joseph's Wort. Saint Joesph is a figure in the Christian religion, he is Mary's husband, and "step-father" to Jesus.
There is a variety of holy basil called Tulsi that also plays a part in Hinduism and their worship of Vishnu. Holy basil is mostly cultivated in the regions of Southeast Asia.
Holy basil also helps with circulation and boosts testosterone levels. These two things combined can greatly help men who may be having troubles in the bedroom. It is also believed to help increase fertility levels.
All types of basil are nutritional powerhouses as well, being high in Vitamin K, potassium, and copper. This makes it extra beneficial to add basil to dishes.
Member of the Labiatae family also known as the mint family. It is famous for its pleasant aroma; many enjoy putting basil on top of their salads simply to enjoy the whiff of whichever particular basil they prefer best. It is the chemical composition that gives each cultivar of basil its unique scent.
The added benefit of the chemical mixtures also makes Sweet basil an excellent insect repellent. If one only crushes the leaves and rubs it on their skin, it will help repel mosquitos away from your body. Fewer mosquitos equal less itchy bites to deal with in the morning. It is also said to soothe insect bite irritation as well.
Another idea to try with your yummy scented basil leaves is to dry the herbs in your bedroom closets to make it smell nice. This will not only help you sleep, but making the bedroom an inviting place can help stimulate romance between partners.
One thing to keep in mind with any plant while you are growing it is, what will I be doing with this in the end? If you are consuming or making anything out of it, then you don't want to lose any of the oils that are found naturally in the leaves. It is the chemical compositions of those, as well as those of the scent it gives off, that gives it its' medicinal properties. Some of the chemicals that are found in different basils include :
• Citronellol; also found in scented geraniums
• Myrcene (also found in bay leaves)
Fresh basil leaves are used daily throughout the world
There are currently over 150 different cultivars of basil, and if you are eating Pesto, the then chances are that you are eating some basil that is grown in the Mediterranean region where it originates. Pesto is a sauce that gets its main flavor and color from the basil ingredient. It is delicious when used traditionally as a pasta sauce, or as a healthy alternative to mayo, a sandwich spread. Some famous basil varieties include
• 'Sweet Dani' is another type of citrus basil that was first developed in 1998 and is now widely used commercially.
• 'Toscano' is a variety with large ruffled leaves that are sometimes used to wrap sushi rolls instead of seaweed.
• Lemon basil, used widely in Indonesia where they prefer to eat it raw
Ladybugs, Aphid Hunters
How to care for your Basil plant
Basil is a highly hardy herb. It prefers loamy, loose soil. It does not need to be often fertilized, but if you do decide to, a liquid kelp spray is an excellent choice. One of the most important things if you grow basil is to keep pruning it throughout the season. Do this by cutting right above a pair leaves on the stem. It also is tolerant to dry conditions, but take it inside if temperatures get below 50o F.
The everyday gardener's nemesis, the aphid, does enjoy infesting basil now and again. A good spray of water (make sure it's not "hard" water) on the leaves will knock them and stop holes from forming in the leaves. You can also tell if you have aphids by looking for very small beads of clear plant sap on the leaves or stems.
Another easy and natural way to control aphids is to buy a container of ladybugs at your local nursery, then release them among your plants. Ladybugs are predators of aphids, so not only are they cute but helpful as well. The best time to release lady bugs is at early evening when the sun starts to set.
Holy Basil Vinegar Recipe
- Cut Basil leaves off from the plant. Do this by clipping close to where the leaf part starts, but be careful not to take too much of the stem along with it.
- Rinse off Basil and pat dry with paper towels or set on drying rack until moisture is gone
- Put dried off herbs into clean jar, about ¾ full. Fill the jar with apple cider vinegar until it is almost full. Put lid on tightly and place in sunny window
- Wait 3-4 weeks, strain herbs and rebottle
Most Popular Herbs
What is your favorite type of herb?
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