What do Caprese salad, pesto sauce, and Margherita pizza all have in common? You guessed it, the fragrant herb, basil. I love the scent of this herb and tend to spice up any jar of spaghetti sauce with a heavy dose of dried basil. But what surprised me in exploring an herb that is used in cuisines around the world is that it has wonderful health benefits. It comes with a long list of good things for the body from an anti-inflammatory, to diabetes support, to cancer-fighting properties.

This is a 5-minute video on pruning your basil plants to keep them productive and looking good. Here’s a terrific 4-minute video on starting a variety of basil plants in seed trays. Here’s a wonderful 4-minute video on the health benefits of basil.

FunFacts about Basil: (Source

  • Basic Information, quote: Basil (Ocimum basilicum), also called great basil or Saint-Joseph’s-wort, is a culinary herb of the family Lamiaceae (mints). Basil is native to tropical regions from central Africa to Southeast Asia. It is a tender plant and is used in cuisines worldwide. Depending on the species and cultivar, the leaves may taste somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, often sweet smell. The type used commonly as a flavor is typically called sweet basil (or Genovese basil), as opposed to Thai basil ( basilicum var. thyrsiflora), lemon basil (O. × citriodorum), and holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum). (Source)
  • Most basil varieties are annuals though some, in warm, tropical climates, are perennials.
  • The cultivar known as ‘holy basil’ is also known as ‘African blue basil’.
  • There are many varieties of basil.
  • The names of most cultivars of the sweet basil variety include: Anise basil, Thai basil, cinnamon basil, licorice basil, Persian basil, dark opal basil, lettuce leaf basil, Rubin basil and globe basil.
  • Other hybrids, or similar species to basil, include: Spice basil, African blue basil, lemon basil, camphor basil, clove basil and holy basil.
  • Basil is best added at the last moment of cooking, since heat destroys the flavor of this herb.
  • Basil is the main ingredient in pesto, an Italian oil-and-herb sauce.
  • Asian basil plants have more of a clove-like flavor than the Mediterranean herbs.
  • Tulsi, or holy basil, is a revered, native plant of India and Nepal. It is cultivated for its essential oil.
    • Health benefits of basil, quote: Scientific studies show the following benefits of basil:
      • Anti-inflammatory
      • Antioxidant
      • Cancer-fighter
      • Pain-reducer (analgesic)
      • Fever-reducer (antipyretic)
      • Diabetes-preventer
      • Liver-protector (hepatoprotective)
      • Blood vessel-protector
      • Anti-stress solution
      • Immune-booster (Source)

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Disclaimer: As with any food, herbal remedy, beverage or concept on this blog, be sure to contact your physician before eating, imbibing or using for medical purposes any substance discussed on this blog. Always err on the side of caution and keep yourself well-informed. ~ Caris Roane

(Photos from Pixabay ~ Pixabay is a free site, so feel free to share, pin and enjoy these wonderful photos.)  

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*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Kathy H.!!!

First September Winner: HLP!!!

August Winners: Linda O., Jodi M., Karina H., Sheryl P. and Marie S. from Tennessee!

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33 thoughts on “Basil

  1. Basil is one of my favorite herbs. My mom gave me a plant to take with me to college so I’d have some to add to my ramen and spaghetti. I’d be lost without my garlic and basil and its a family joke that I eat so much of both that I have a super immune system because I very rarely get sick.

  2. I grow basil in my herb garden! I’ve used it on homemade pizza but the first time I overdid the amount so it wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped it would be.

  3. My son for his FFA project is attempting to grow herbs to use in cooking and drying at some point. He has chives, several different types of oregano, spearmint and, yes you guessed it, basil. He will view these videos as part of his research as well as including the health benefits for all. I’m finding that your blogs align nicely with some of his projects and school work and interests. Thank you for providing another way for us to interact together.

  4. Basil is such a versatile herb. It looks so lovely and is such a complement. I love it plus it is one of the easiest plants ever to grow!

  5. So happy this was one of your blog posts this week! Our family loves basil and my youngest daughter has been growing basil and other herbs in her Aero Garden. I’m glad I watched the pruning video, because we haven’t been pruning enough. We have flowers growing on the basil which my young daughter thought was cool, but I now learned isn’t good for the plant. Oops! Going to do a lot of pruning today. Thanks!

  6. I love basil and used to grow lots of it. It was such fun making my own pesto sauce and sharing it with family and friends. The smell of basil is yummy!

  7. Enjoyed all the pictures and use basil. I haven’t tried growing my own yet but I think I will try it. Didn’t realize how healthy it was, that is really awesome. AZ

  8. I love fresh basil. I make this dish with basil, scallops, tomatoes, and garlic over wheat grass pasta that is to die for :).

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