27 Jun Ocimum basilicum: Basil
Although most of you may recognise basil as the prominent ingredient in pesto sauce, its uses extend well beyond the kitchen, and for good reason. Here are 7 quintessential facts about basil that you might not have known…
- Even though basil is indigenous to Asia, this medicinal and aromatic plant’s use traces back to pharaonic times.
- The word ‘basil’ derives from the Greek word ‘basileus’, meaning ‘king’, which may also help to explain why classical writers referred to this plant as the “royal” herb.
- And it has quite the reputation for being an aphrodisiac.
- Its leaves contain tonic, antiseptic and digestive properties, which render it an effective remedy for insect bites, ingestion, as well as depression, insomnia and anxiety.
- Our ancestors once used this herb to relieve nausea, to ease headaches and to relieve menstrual pain.
- A pot of basil placed on a window sill can act as an effective insect repellent.
- For skin, basil is a great detoxifying, circulation-promoting toner and has been known to aid in the treatment of acne.
Basil’s remarkable versatility make it one of our favourite summer herbs.