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sweet basil

Basil is one of the world’s most loved herbs. The Greek word for basil is basileus which means King.

Growing: Basil has deep tap roots, and do not liked to be moved. So transplant your seedlings carefully in the cool of the late afternoon. Keep the soil moist. Sweet Basil is best grown from seed sown in the early Spring and transplanted 50cm apart..

Harvesting: Basil is best used fresh (dried and frozen Basil loses flavor) It is best to pinch of the tips, this also discourages it from flowering, ensuring a longer life span of the plant.

Companion planting: Plant Basil with tomatoes, Summer Savory and fruit trees.

Uses:

Culinary:  Probably the most popular use is Basil Pesto. It tastes good with pizza, pasta, tomatoes, chicken and sausages.

Medicinal: Basil tea is  excellent  to  detox and de-stress. It is good for migraines, peptic ulcers, mouth infections, coughs, hypertension, indigestion and delayed menstruation.

Use 1/4 cup of leaves in  1 cup of boiling water. Leave to draw for 5 minutes, and sip slowly. Cooled tea can be cooled and used as a lotion for insect bites and stings. Basil vinegar is good for sunburn and scalp infections.

Cosmetic: Basil  tea is the perfect toner for an oily skin.

Other uses : Basil leaves rubbed on kitchen window sills keeps the flies at bay and freshens the air.

Basil Pesto

4 cups fresh Sweet Basil Leaves

2 to 3 cloves of garlic – peeled

sea salt to taste

4 tbs pine nuts/ Almonds/ walnuts or pecan nuts

5 to 6 tbs Olive Oil

4 tbs Parmesan Cheese.

Blend all ingredients till a smooth paste if formed.

Serve with pasta, baked potatoes, grills etc.

 

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