Who doesn’t love that fragrant, mouth-watering smell elicited by sweet basil?
For us, the enticing aroma of basil always signals the start of summer. We love using this tasty herb on everything – fresh tomatoes with a dash of pepper, in every type of salad, on top of burgers, even infused in water.
Surprisingly, the best part about this little green plant isn’t just it’s robust flavor: basil also carries a hefty dose of nutritional goodness.
It’s abundant in vitamin K (a heart, bone and cell protectant), manganese for joint health, vitamins A and C, and a whole range of antioxidant flavonoids. Why is this important? Antioxidant flavonoids protect our cells and provide anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action – even against some strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Basil has also been used as a remedy for digestive woes, as it eases flatulence, stomach cramps, colic and general indigestion. It has even been used to prevent/relieve nausea and vomiting, and because of it’s potent antibacterial prowess, it helps to kill intestinal worms.
Basil is also wonderful for the nervous system. Because of its mildly sedative action, it’s a wonderful remedy for irritability, depression, anxiety and insomnia. Some specialists will also recommend it for epilepsy, migraines, and whooping cough.
Just two more fun facts about basil: traditionally, this herb has been taken to increase breast-milk production, and when you apply it externally, sweet basil leaves act as a natural insect repellent! The juice from the leaves can even aid in bringing relief to insect bites and stings.
Basil is incredibly easy to grow. A little sun, a little water, and the more you pick it the more it grows. We grow ours in a pot rather than freely in the garden – when left to it’s own devices in an open space, basil will grow like wildfire!