By Valerie Lull, MH
Basil is an herb that is thought to originate in India.It is aromatic and a member of the mint family. In Italian cuisine it is popular for making pesto which is the combination of basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Besides Italy and India, basil is prominent in Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian cooking.
The name “basil” comes from the Greek “basileus” which means “king”. In French it is referred to as “the royal herb”. In India it is Holy Basil which they call tulsi. In their culture it is considered holy and is best known for healing. There are various other kinds of basil. There is lime and lemon basil that have a citrusy scent. In other places it is sweet basil that prevails. Basil contains essential oils that are known to be anti-inflammatory, and that help the body respond to stress.
Some of the benefits of basil include antioxidant properties, pain reducer, protector of the liver, immune boster and anti-stress benefits. The basil essential can be blended with other essential oils llike clary sage, rosemary and bergamot and diffused throughout your house to keep germs in their place.
In the area of nutrition basil is a shining star. basil has vitamins A, C, and K, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium. and manganese.
Here is a recipe for Lemon Basil Tea
2 Cups water
3 Tbs. fresh basil leaves
1 Tbs. grated lemon peel
2Tsps. English breakfast tea leaves or black tea of choice
Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Add basil, lemon peel and tea leaves. Cover and steep for 4 minutes. Strain and serve. Yield: 2 serving