Basil (common)

Ocimum basilicum

Also known as great basil, sweet basil or Genovese basil.

The story…

Basil is native to regions from central Africa to South Asia. It came to Europe through Rome during the second century, and later to the Americas with the first immigrants. It is used in cooking North of the Mediterranean, as well as in South-East Asia. It grows best in a warm and sunny climate, on fresh and well-drained soil, protected from wind. The name basil derives from Greek basileús, king, and was given in honor of its strong and pleasant aroma.

Uses

Digestion

Basil is a digestive tonic, having carminative properties (reducing gas production) and eases indigestion and heartburn. It has an antispasmodic effect, calming nausea, vomiting, and digestive or gastro-intestinal spasms. Drink a cup of infusion after a meal.

Stress et insomnia

Basil has a calming effect, which acts anxiety and feverish states. In the evening, it helps to sleep, especially stressed and nervous people. It also soothes migraines due to stress.

Nutritional value

Basil contains important amounts of beta carotene (100 gr. contain close to 300% of the average daily needs), which turns into vitamin A; it is also vitamin K, magnesium, calcium and iron-rich.

Preparation

Infusion: a few fresh leaves or 1 tablespoon dry leaves per cup, infused 15 minutes.

In food: eat preferably fresh and soon after picking to keep the nutriments and aroma intact, or otherwise in the freezer. Leaves are used as an aromatic herb in various dishes, but also as pesto or to flavor oil.

Precautions

When taken in too large amounts (several cups a day), basil has a sedative effect. In case of persistent symptoms or if you have any doubts, consult a doctor.

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