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Ocimum basilicum L. (Common basil)

Updated on June 27, 2014
Basil
Basil | Source

Ocimum basilicum (a.k.a. Basil) is one well known salad seasoning.

It is also, well known herb.

Ocimum basilicum is annual plant with rich flavor and spicy taste. Grows in Asia and North Africa but can easily be cultivated for all climates. 1-2 feet long with small white blossoms and wide leaves. The fruit is small 4-seed nut that dries and drops by itself.

Gathering.

July-august is the best time, while the Ocimum basilicum blossoms. Cut no more than 8 inches from the top and leave at least that much. The base of the plant remaining will sprout new shoots in place of the ones you cut.

Drying

No more than 35 degrees Celsius (95 F). No sun exposure while drying. Best practice is to dry the whole shoot hanging upside down, indoors in a windy room. The herb needs to be green even completely dry.

Benefits

  • Phlegm dissolver (will help your cough).
  • Eases breathing when you have cold.
  • Stops gripes and gas.
  • Rinsing with the infusion helps pain in gums to go away.
  • Drinking the infusion in summer time is refreshing and decreases sweating.
  • It is also a very (very) light aphrodisiac due to Eugenol.


Infusion preparation

2 tablespoons of Ocimum basilicum poured over with 1 pint of boiling water and left to cool. Sift and keep in a bottle. Drink 4 times a day before meals.

Even using it only as seasoning for salads, you will reap the benefits from Ocimum basilicum. But the benefits of the herb as a remedy for intestine discomfort is best when the herb blooms actively.

I prefer it this way:

  • 2 big tomatoes
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 small onion
  • white cottage cheese
  • parsley
  • basil
  • olive oil.

Chop the vegetables in dices. Crush the cheese over and add the seasoning and olive oil in the end. Excellent salad for the summer days. Enjoy ;)

Source

Nutrition value per 100 grams

 
qty
% Daily Value
Calories
22 ccal
0.01%
Total Fat
0.6 g
~0.00%
Sodium
4 mg
 
Potassium
295 mg
8%
Carbs
2.6 g
~0.00%
Protein
3.2 g
6%
Iron
 
17%
Calcium
 
17%
Vitamin A
 
105%
Vitamin C
 
30%
Vitamin B6
 
10%

Eat a lot of basil

Orientin and vicenin are water-soluble flavonoids. An online journal claims those 2 nutrients are helping protect your DNA.

Basil is not just tasty - it is healthy. Adding raw basil to your food is more than enough to stop plenty of bacteria to grow in the dish due to the essential oils which contain

  • estragole
  • linalool
  • cineole
  • eugenol
  • sabinene
  • myrcene
  • limonene


Cook with basil.

It adds very good flavor on everything.

Just remember the basic rule - Basil has plenty of volatile oils and should be added last.

Do not boil or fry basil leaves for too long.

Last 5-8 minutes of the cooking is the right time to add the leaves. They will still add plenty of aroma and taste, without losing the benefits of raw basil.

Cheese-free pesto

Chop a handful of basil leaves with 2-3 cloves of garlic.

Crush some pine nuts in small pieces and mix well with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.

Alternatively, you may blend everything with electric blender to a fine mass.

Use on your brusquettes, pasta or fish. It still goes well without dairy products.

Green Basil Granita.
Green Basil Granita. | Source

Granita with basil and lemons

Grate the peel of 3 limes (lemons are fine too if you don't have green lime).

Squeeze the grated lemons/limes from their juice and pour them in a cup with 1 cup of water.

Mix a cup of sugar with a handful of basil leaves. Blend until fine paste forms and add this to the water/lemon liquid.

Freeze for 5 hours.

Get it out, break it with hard metal fork to small pieces (sugar will allow this) and serve immediately in cocktail glass with wine or sweet liquor. Just add a straw.

Excellent summer drink. Cheers :)

Asparagus soup with basil

  • 2 asparagus bundles.
  • 1 garlic clove.
  • 1 cup of milk.
  • 3 tablespoons of flour.
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce.
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt.
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper.

Handful of fresh basil

Boil everything in 3 cups of water until reduced to 2 cups.

Blend with electric blender for cream soups.

Serve with copped basil on top.

Bread with Garlic and Basil.
Bread with Garlic and Basil. | Source

Bread with Garlic and Basil

Bread maker robots are a miracle. Especially the ones that make baguettes.

I get 2 pounds on my waist just for thinking about fresh bread.

Anyway.

Get your recipe for Ciabatta or any other white bread that makes big pockets inside the dough.

Start the program and wait for the second mixing (about 80-90 minutes after the start)

Add minced garlic and chopped basil in the dough and close the lid again.

You are welcome ;)

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    • m0rd0r profile image
      Author

      Stoill Barzakov 5 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      Yes April, once the blooming ends, it is just an ordinary spice. All essential oils go into the small nuts that grow in place of the falling blossoms.

      It is not harmful though.

    • April Reynolds profile image

      April Reynolds 5 years ago from Arizona

      Thank you M0rd0r, I am glad that basil is good for you when it is flowering. I usually still use it this way but had been told it was no good anymore once it blooms.

    • rlaha profile image

      rlaha 5 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      Yes she is wise. I need to start following her advice more often. :)

    • m0rd0r profile image
      Author

      Stoill Barzakov 5 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      Yes rlaha, the basil is quite good natural digestive. Your mother is wise.

    • m0rd0r profile image
      Author

      Stoill Barzakov 5 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      Yes Kris, I still have seeds from the stronger spicy basil with small spear like leaves.

      But I prefer the wide leaves, because you have more leaf mass for seasoning ;)

    • rlaha profile image

      rlaha 5 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      My mother has basil growing in her window sill. She breaks off a leaf every so often and chews it for indigestion. Thanks for this!

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      There are so many wonderful varieties of basil too that have different tastes! I have a "spicy basil" growing on my window sill. The leave are very tiny and it grows almost like a bonsai.