The smell of Basil is good for the heart … it taketh away sorrowfulness, which commeth of melancholy and maketh a man merry and glad. ~ John Gerard -The Herball (1597)
When looking for healing remedies, most often I don’t need to look any further than our garden or the kitchen pantry. How about you?
We all know that good food is a powerful ally when it comes to our overall wellness but what about the plants that we use to season our food with? Take for instance culinary herbs. When you pop a jar of basil, rosemary, and thyme into your shopping cart are you considering the benefits they offer outside of meal preparation? When you have the sniffles do you raid your spice cabinet or do you run to the store to get a mystery syrup from the pharmacy?
I chose the herb cabinet every single time.
Herbs are powerful immune boosting allies, and best of all, they are gentle and contain no preservatives of manufactured ingredients; just pure delicious immune boosting comfort.
Basil is one such herb that provides us with numerous healthy benefits. It is an abundant source of natural antioxidants which are compounds that play an important role in neutralizing free radicals. In fact, the total phenolic contents of basil are rated higher than those reported for berries, fruits, and vegetables. Basil is one of the top 10 antioxidant-rich herbs and spices.
Basil also offers essential oils including eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene, and terpineol. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It is also high in Vitamin A, an essential vitamin for maintaining the immune system. (source)
There are many varieties of basil, we grow and dry our own organic sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) which is what we use in everything from pasta sauces to herbal medicines and skincare. Basil tea is a soothing immune boosting tea and it takes little effort to prepare. Although it sounds a bit strange, basil tea tastes quite good, especially when sweetened with raw honey or pure maple syrup (also good for you). The soothing effect is almost immediate.
Sweet Basil Tea
- 1 heaping Tbsp dried sweet basil (or two of fresh)
- 1 Tbsp Rosehips (optional for extra vitamin C)
- Honey or maple syrup (to taste)
Quick Method: Add 1tbps of each herb per cup of boiling water. Steep for five minutes. Sweeten with honey or maple syrup if desired.
Slow Method: I like to do a slow brew and let the herbs infuse in water for a day, or two or longer sometimes. This provides a stronger, more potent tea. To do this you’ll need a quart sized mason jar or juice jar, add the herbs, some hot water and allow it to cool, and then stick it in the refrigerator to steep. When ready you can strain the leaves out, gently heat the tea or drink it cold.