Thursday, April 17, 2014

Grow Your Own Medicine: Basil

Have you ever considered the "medicine" available to you, grown in your own backyard (or farm).
From Basil to Coneflower and even Thyme, there are so many reported health benefits of many common (and not so common) herbs and flowers.
We're starting with Basil as it is probably the most common herb and arguably the easiest to grow.

Basil
Dark Purple Opal Basil

Sow seeds outdoors when soil is warm and temperature does not drop below 65°F. Can also be started indoors 4-6 weeks before planting out. Make successive sowings for continuous summer supplies. Pinch back flower stalks as they appear to keep plants from bolting. Prefers rich well-drained soil.

Basil has few pests, but occasionally pests such as aphids, flea beetles, and Japanese beetles will feast upon it. I use a spray bottle of water or water with neem oil to detach aphids.
Grow in full sun (6 hours or more).

Germination: 5-7 days
Fine Verde Basil

Days to Harvest: 45-75

"One of the primary medicinal uses for basil is for its anti-inflammatory properties. This effect stems from eugenol, a volatile oil in basil that blocks enzymes in the body that cause swelling, making basil an ideal treatment for people with arthritis.
Basil, especially as an extract or oil, is known to have exceptionally powerful antioxidant properties that can protect the body from premature aging, common skin issues, age-related problems and even some types of cancer. The herb also contains the flavonoids orientin and vicenin, which are plant pigments that shield your cell structures from oxygen and radiation damage.
Both fresh basil and basil oil have strong antibacterial capabilities. In fact, basil has been shown to stop the growth of many bacteria, even some that had grown resistant to other antibiotics. Basil can be applied to wounds to help prevent bacterial infections. Also, by adding basil oil to your salad dressings, you can help ensure your vegetables are safe to eat.
Basil oil can be used to treat constipation, stomach cramps and indigestion as well as the cold, flu, asthma, whooping cough, bronchitis and sinus infections. It is also a great source of magnesium, an essential mineral that helps the body’s blood vessels relax, which can improve blood flow."

Thai Holy Basil
Grow the same as you would any Basil.
Thai Holy Basil

In Ayurvedic medicine, Holy Basil is used as a tea or a tincture. Among its many medicinal uses are lowering cholesterol, as an immune booster, and lowering blood glucose levels NOTE: These claims have not been substantiated by the FDA and are not intended as medical advice

DIY Tincture Kit with Thai Holy Basil

DIY Tincture kits include:
1 - 32 ounce Glass Jar with lid, 1 - 2 ounce Amber Bottle with dropper top,  2 customizable labels, 1 ounce of Organic Herbs (additional herbs available)
and Detailed Instructions



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4 comments:

Cathy McInnes said...

I love basil, the smell, and the taste! Thanks so much for sharing this on Wake Up Wednesday!
Cathy
www.threekidsandafish.com

Vickie @ makingoursustainablelife.com said...

Mmmmm.... basil! I had a basil plant last year that got absolutely huge! I thought I was going to kill it because I kept sneaking off a leaf or two (or three), but apparently the plant liked getting a haircut! It seemed the more I plucked from it, the bigger it got!

Marla Gates said...

I use basil a lot in cooking. I thought of growing my own but ran out of room on my window sills, so I buy the organic. Thanks for the information.

Nancy Wolff said...

I love Basil and have grown it for years but never knew the medicinal value! Thanks so much for sharing your post on the HomeAcre Hop! I'm going to feature it o Thursday! Hope you come and share another post! - Nancy The Home Acre Hop