Basil - One Of My Top Herbs

The first time someone suggested I chew a Basil leaf for an upset tummy, I politely stated that I had a bottle of antacids in my purse. Really... who would chew a Basil leaf?

It turns out that people have been chewing on Basil leaves for thousands of years to help with many ailments from upset tummies to headaches.

Basil is now one of my favorite herbs and has earned a top spot in my garden. This article describes my favorite uses for the herb Basil.

1. We all know that Basil is the main ingredient of Pesto. You'll find my simple recipe for basil pesto here:  How To Make Pesto
 Basil is also used in everyday cooking. I use it in just about everything. A very little bit adds flavor to most of our meals. Try a few sprinkles the next time you boil potatoes. Yummy!

2. I used to get headaches often. Now, when I feel one coming on, I bring a pot of water to a boil, add a little bit of basil and breath the steam for about five minutes. Or, I make a Basil Leaf Tea and add it to a warm bath. The basil herb has a very calming effect.

3. Basil can calm your stomach. I chew a basil leaf when I experience mild indigestion or when I am feeling bloated. You can also make a weak basil tea by adding a teaspoon of either dried or fresh basil to a glass of water.

4. Feel a cold coming on? For coughing and colds, I chew on a basil leaf. Again, you can add about a teaspoon of dried or fresh basil to water and make a weak tea. (This is how I started using basil - before I became comfortable pinching off a leaf and popping it in my mouth.)

 5. Stung by a bug? I do have an over-the-counter medication that I keep in my cabinet. It's been there for three years. I normally get bitten when I am outside and who wants to go all the way to the house for a salve? I simply pinch off a basil leaf and pop it in my mouth. I chew it up a little and apply it to the bug bite. It works!

6. Throw away the citronella candle. Use pots of basil. Flys and mosquitoes avoid basil. When we want to enjoy a dinner at the picnic table or on the deck, I bring a couple potted basil plants over and use them for a center piece. Flies and mosquitoes stay away.

Some people plant basil next to their door to keep flies from coming in the house. Basil looks great when planted in a flower garden.

So, there are my top six uses for Basil. It is a wonder herb! Now for the cautions. WebMD says that Basil is safe in food amounts when used short term, but it can cause low blood sugar in some people. WebMD cautions that long term use of Basil MIGHT be unsafe as it contains estragole.
You can read what WebMD says about Basil here: WebMD Basil Info

Enjoy your Basil!

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