What would summer be without some pesto? Basil is well known for being pared with pasta and Italian dishes but let’s not stop there with his uses!
Medicinally, Basil is antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, carminative, a circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, galactagogue, nervine and sedative. Given all these qualities, I’d say it’s a pretty good plant to have growing in your garden and not just for food.
Tulsi or Holy Basil has stronger medicinal properties and is better suited for bringing back vitality and renewing energy as an adaptogenic. Tulsi is also analgesic, antidepressant, anti-microbial, antioxidant, aromatic, cardiovascular tonic, digestive, expectorant, immunomodulator, nervine, neuroprotective and radioprotective.
Basil is considered to be warming and drying energetically with a pungent and bitter taste. He has vitamins A, C and K as well as folate, choline, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, copper and manganese.Basil is one of those fun crossover herbs that can be used as both food and medicine, allowing you to follow Hipocrates’ advice: “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.” Adding Basil to your meal helps with your immune system, keeps the digestion running smoothly, calms you down and much more. This makes taking your medicine easy and delicious to do!
One of my favorite ways for using Basil is to make Basil Syrup. This syrup is yummy and so fun to use on a variety of foods: fresh in season fruits such as blueberries and peaches, ice cream, peach or blackberry crisps and a great way to enjoy the flavor of Basil while getting a dose of healthy! For more acute situations such as a sore throat or cough that needs help calming, taking a spoonful of the syrup directly is a soothing and delicious way of relieving ailments. For a stronger syrup, you can mix this with half Sweet Basil and half Holy Basil or go all out and make a potent Holy Basil version for when you don’t want to mess around! I love having this syrup on hand for soothing our coughs and sore throats and you will too.
Basil Syrup1/2 cup fresh or 1/4 cup dried Basil*1 cup water1 cup raw sugar
You will also need:A saucepanA spoon or spatulaA strainer Measuring cup FunnelA bottle with a label
Begin by placing the Basil into the saucepan and adding the water. Bring the water to a boil and turn off the heat. Let the liquid steep for 10 minutes.
Strain off the liquid, compost the Basil and return the Basil tea to the saucepan.
Add the sugar and bring to a boil again.
Stir often while it is boiling and let it boil down until the mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes.
Let cool then, using the spatula and funnel, pour into the bottle and label.
It’s best to store in the fridge and will last 1 – 2 months…if you don’t eat it all up first!
*Don’t have any Basil to spare? Only have Sweet Basil and want to give Holy Basil a try? My favorite place to purchase dried herbs is from Mountain Rose Herbs! They sell wildcrafted and organically grown herbs that are fresh and wonderful.
Want to learn more about Basil? You can grab the ebook in our shop.
Have fun making medicine you can enjoy taking!