This herb is a medicinal herb as well as a sweet and pungent culinary seasoning. Basil is most familiar in its widely used Italian cuisine, most often used in tomato based dishes. It is very complimentary to many foods including meats, poultry, salads, soups and side dishes. Basil is great for enhancing the flavor of foods, it is also a wonderful aid to digestion.
The herb has been long used for medicinal uses as well for its healing properties for the following:
- Use as a Antispasmodic
- Use for Intestinal Problems
- Use for Motion Sickness
- Use for Nausea
- Use for Flatulence
- Use for Relaxing Bronchial Spasms
- Use in Treating Respiratory Illnesses
- Use in Easing Tension
- Use to Induces Sleep
- Use in Clearing Nasal Passages
- Use as an Antibacterial
- For Use in Soothing Irritated bladder or kidneys
The therapeutic action of this amazing herb is due to its strong essential oils, primarily methyl chavicol. Fresh basil contains carotenoids and folic acid. In its dried form, basil is a good source of calcium, potassium and iron.
There are many types of basil be sure to try them all they includes varieties such as:
- Lemon Basil
- Red Basil
- Cinnamon Basil
- Dwarf Basil
- Anise Basil
Tips for Storing Fresh Basil:
Store fresh basil in paper towels and place them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. This will help prolong the freshness. You can also put the basil in a container and cover them with fresh olive oil and refrigerate to keep it fresh for 10-14 days.
Tips for Freezing Fresh Basil:
Puree the fresh basil in a blender or food processor. Place the basil puree in an ice cube tray adding a little purified water to cover. When ready to use thaw the cube.
Tips for Storing Dried Basil:
Store dried basil in a tightly sealed container in a dark place at room temperature. This will prevent the loss of flavor. You can store it like this up to one year.
Using Fresh Basil:
Add fresh basil to foods just before serving. Basil has a mildly spicy flavor and best complements pasta, mozzarella, cheese, tomatoes, zucchini, rice, beans, meat, fish, poultry and tofu.