Edible Flowers: Basil
Written by Heather Havey


basil

     Basil comes in more than 40 varieties. It is originally from India and Asia, and it loves sunlight to grow.  Basil belongs to the mint family. It tastes delicious, and it naturally repels flies and other flying insects.

BASIC FACTS

Height 12-40 inches
Scientific Name Ocimum basilicum
Common Name Sweet Basil
Hardiness Perennial
Other pH 5.5-6.5;Grow from seed or plants, protect against frost; Do not overwater especially as seeds (easily dampen off from over-watering); basil has deep roots and does not like being transplanted
Parts Used Leaves & flowers
When to plant Late spring (to avoid frost potential)
Flowering Period Summer to Fall
How to Plant pH 5.6-8.5; Grows best in tropical, hot, dry climates; water in mornings not evenings

thai basil

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

* Vitamin A (good for your heart)
* Flavanoids.
* Magnesium.
* Potassium.
* Vitamin C.
* Iron.
* Calcium.
* Vitamin K.
* Fiber.
* Manganese.

EDIBLE USES

* Use in salads, basil rolls, pasta dishes, salad dressings, and much more.
* Vital ingredient in Pesto! =)

GARDENING USES

* Lovely.
* Naturally repels flying insects; great to plant near tomatoes.

MEDICINAL USES

* Antifungal.
* Antibacterial.
* Antispasmodic.
* Anti-inflammatory.
* Stimulant.
* Insect repellant.
* Used to treat headaches, cough, diarrhea, constipation, warts, worms, and kidney issues.
* Can refresh you and alleviate mental fatigue.
* Aids in digestion, mild laxative effect (they say).
* The juice of crushed leaves repels mosquitoes.
* Expectorant.

HARVESTING BASIL

* Cut off leaves when desired.
* Remove flowers, or the plants will no longer grow leaves. Pinch them off as each one starts to grow.
* The flowers are delicious - even more strong in basil flavor.
* Best eaten fresh but can be dried.
* Hang them to dry them if desired.
* Store in glass jars in a cool, dry place.
* You may want to allow some of the plants to flower and then to make seed, for you can collect these seeds and replant them in pots inside (if weather requires that; basil does not like cold wet weather), and they will grow new plants.

CHALLENGES TO WATCH OUT FOR IN GROWING BASIL

* If lower leaves yellow, they may not be getting enough sun.
* If new sprouts bend over and die, then they have been overwatered.

WARNINGS

*  None known.

The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Talk to your health care provider before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen.

 

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