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Basil Fresh From The Garden

Updated on July 6, 2016

Fresh From The Garden

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Basil

Basil was introduced to Europe from its Native India in ancient times.

It is sweet, pungent, and slightly bitter.

Basil leaves are good in salads and add zest to any tomato dish.

I like to use fresh from the garden basil leaves in the summer , and resort to using my own home made dried basil as fall and winter set in. My favorite use for dried basil is on baked salmon.

Basil has a rich, slightly spicy flavor with mild hints of mint and cloves.

It is a must have for me when using fresh tomatoes and tomato sauce.

And of course it is the key ingredient when making Pesto Sauce.

Just like all members of the mint family, the tiny little flowers of the basil have a distinctive lower lip, However, you will have to look close to see it. From a distance, all you will see is a white or a pale pink spike that is made up of lots of flowers. And from pretty far away, you will most likely catch a whiff of a fantastic pesto~like aroma.


Basil

Latin Name
Ocimum basilicum
 
Life cycle
Annual
 
Light
Full sun
 
Water
water freely
 
Zones
4 to 10
 
Soil
Light, fertile and well drained
 
Size
6 to 24 inches x 6 to 18 inches
 
Bloom time
Late summer
 
Flower color
White to pinkish-purple
 

Growing Basil

To grow your own Basil from seeds, It is recommended that the seeds be started six to eight weeks before transplanting them outdoors. However, seeds or purchased garden ready plants, can be planted directly outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. Plant in full sun or partial shade.

Where Should I plant it ? Basil will thrive in pots, flower borders, and in an herb or vegetable garden. Ornamental forms are available and are attractive in decorative containers and flower boxes.

What does it look like ? The bushy plants have one half to two inch long green or purple leaves, depending on the variety. The basil plants produce new shoots from the leaf axils. Small flowers appear on long spikes during mid summer.

How do I grow it ? Transplant your already started plant or sow seeds outdoors in early summer, after the danger of frost has passed. In mid summer you should pinch flowers to encourage new tender and edible shoots.


In this episode, Homestead Blessings gives tips on how to keep your basil growing better for longer, make basil butter and basil vinegar. Basil vinegar is also

Basil Varieties

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Types Of Basil

Genovese ; ( Sweet Basil ) The most popular basil to use in Pesto. It is actually the most popular for culinary use.

Cinnamon Basil : ( Saigon Basil ) has a fragrant sweet basil aroma. It is popular in the Vietnamese cuisine. it contains a chemical called cinnamate, cinnamon contains the same chemical which is how it gets its flavor.

Purple Ruffles Basil ; The purple ruffle basil has won many awards for it beauty and flavor. The beautiful leaves are often use as a decoration or in pesto.

Lemon Basil: A very popular herb that is used in Arabic, Indonesian, Lao And Thai Cuisines.

Italian Sweet Basil : Basil is a basic to any herb garden. There is an incredible variety of basils and all are used extensively. But if this is really your first go at growing herbs, try Italian sweet basil because you can clip it constantly through the summer. Keep it cut regularly and never let the small white flower heads form.


Healing Properties

Leaves

Fresh Rub : on insect bites to reduce itching and inflammation.

Infusion : Combine with a little motherwort and drink immediately after childbirth to prevent retained placenta.

Tincture : Combine with wood betony and skullcap for nervous conditions, or with elecampane and hyssop for coughs and bronchitis

Wash : Combine the juice with an equal amount of honey and use for ringworm and itching skin.

Juice: Mix with a decoction of cinnamon and cloves for chills.

Syrup : Combine the juice with an equal amount of hone for coughs.

Inhalation : Pour boiling water onto the leaves and inhale the steam for head colds.

Essential Oil

Oil : Add 5-10 drops to a bath for nervous exhaustion, mental fatigue, melancholy, or uneasiness.

Chest Rub : Dilute 5 drops basil oil in 10 ml almond or sunflower oil for asthma and bronchitis.

Massage Oil : Use the diluted oil for nervous weakness, can also be applied as an insect repellent.

CAUTION: Do not use the essential oil externally or internally in pregnancy.

Source ; The Complete Medicinal Herbal..A practical guide to the healing properties of herbs.

DISCLAIMER: I have not used any of these remedies personally therefore I do not stand by the healing abilities..It is always wise to check with a medical Doctor , before trying any of new remedies. Always be aware of allergies as well.

How to Make Easy Basil Pesto - The Easiest Way

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    • lethag profile image
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      Letha G. 4 years ago from USA

      thank you faythef

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe F. 4 years ago from USA

      I love fresh herbs..and basil is one of my favorites..voting up and sharing..

    • lethag profile image
      Author

      Letha G. 4 years ago from USA

      Eco-Lhee..very good idea..to start seedlings in egg cups...very economic, and easy to just plop in the soil when they are ready to plant..thank you for the vote

    • lethag profile image
      Author

      Letha G. 4 years ago from USA

      Hi resmyrobin...thank you

    • lethag profile image
      Author

      Letha G. 4 years ago from USA

      Silver Fish..thank you for the vote up..Are you able to grow your basil indoors?

    • lethag profile image
      Author

      Letha G. 4 years ago from USA

      breakfastpop..what a good idea..I hadn't thought of using a strawberry pot..and I have an empty one..I may have to use your idea..

    • lethag profile image
      Author

      Letha G. 4 years ago from USA

      Careermommy..it is good in salads..although some people do not like the pungent taste..but I do..LOL

    • lethag profile image
      Author

      Letha G. 4 years ago from USA

      rebeccamealey...Basil really is easy to grow...I love having it fresh from the garden..thank you for for the up vote and sharing

    • Eco-Lhee profile image

      Eco-Lhee 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Great information, I have Thai Basil starting in some egg cups, it's my favorite of all the basils! Voted up!

    • resmyrobin profile image

      resmyrobin 4 years ago from KERALA, INDIA

      Nice hub. Well written.

    • Silver Fish profile image

      Silver Fish 4 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Very interesting hu, voyed up. basil is one of my favourite herbs, I must admit to being quite envious of those who have the climate to grow basil outdoors.Our climate in Scotland is too cold even in summer months to grow basil outside.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 4 years ago

      I really appreciate your hub. I am going t plant basil in my garden this year. I have a strawberry pot that is calling out for basil.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      This is a nice hub. I never thought about basil being put in salads, but I'm willing to give it a try. Pesto is also a favorite of mine. Thank you for sharing.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I have basil sprouting now. It is one of my favorite herbs to grow, and it seems easier to care for than some herbs. Thanks, votes up, shared!