Herb of the Month: Basil

Basil is a warming restorative aromatic herb supporting the strengthening of nerve tissue increasing and improving memory. Drinking a cup of tea assists when struggling to study. In India Basil is taken as a beverage with honey for promoting clarity of mind, as well as for abdominal cramps, poor digestion, and nausea. It is an excellent preventive for travel sickness. Fevers associated with colds and ‘flu are alleviated with Basil. A gargle is useful for sore throats, especially when combined with Sage. Externally Basil can be used for acne and skin infections, insect bites, invigorating baths and in compresses for slow-healing wounds.

Here are some popular types of Basil that are perfect for cooking, making drinks and great for your health.

Basil Siam Queen:

A type of Thai basil that is easy to grow and grows quite quickly. It has a stronger taste than other basils with stunning deep burgundy flowers and pale green & burgundy leaves. Used in Italian, Thai and Indian cooking in their salads, soups, pasta and vegetable dishes. This variety of basil pairs well with seafood, poultry, and rice.

Columnar Basil:

Columnar Basil is also known as Greek Basil. Columnar Basil is a perennial plant that is strongly aromatic and is classified as a herb. It has a stately columnar appearance with lush green leaves. Columnar Basil grows in the full sun to part shade in well-drained moist soil. It has average water needs and one should be aware of overwatering as this will cause it to rot. Columnar basil is a strongly flavored basil. It is a culinary herb that can be used in the same way as Sweet Basil and therefore goes well in Italian, Mediterranean and Asian dishes. It is an excellent herb for pesto. Basil can be used to repel Aphids, flies, and mites and is a good idea to plant outside kitchen doors.

Basil Dark Lady:

Basil Herbelea Dark Lady has a distinctive Purple Colour and the small leaves have a very intense taste. Grows in Full Sun to part shade, have an average need for water. Use with beef, chicken, lamb, pork and fish dishes. Stunning color to add to a spicy gin cocktail. White and Pink Perennial Basil Has a strong aromatic fragrance and can be used with stews and soups, pesto’s, pasta and meat dishes. It is an all-year-round plant which is a strong grower, is semi-hardy and needs to be protected against severe frost. Its flowers attract bees and butterflies and can be used as a filler plant in the garden. Use the flower to decorate your spicy gin cocktail.