plant image thumbnail
plant image thumbnail
plant image thumbnail
plant image thumbnail
Basil

English Name

Ocimum Basilicum

Scientific Name

Description

Basil is a tender annual that is highly susceptible to cold, so may be best in pots. Its strong aromatic leaves freeze well but loose their flavour when dried. It is a main ingredient for pesto and is good in salads. Basil leaves are rich in an essential oil called estragol. Basil also contains saponines, tannins, flavonoids and a great deal of calcium. Do not use the essential oil during pregnancy.

India

Origin

Labiatae

Family

7 days - 10 days

Germination Period

Maximum: 2'

Height (feet/inches)

Maximum: 6"

Spacing (feet/inches)

Half-Hardy Annual

Life Cycle

Herb

Type

Yes

Fragrance

Color

Propagation

Sow seeds in early Spring in a frame or greenhouse or outdoors in late Spring.

Cultivation

Basil needs well drained soil and full sun. Young plants should not be placed outside until Summer is quite warm.

Tips

Make a poultice from basil by simmering the herb for 2 minutes, squeeze out the liquid and apply to wounds that are slow to heal as well as to fungal infections. To relieve the symptoms of a head cold, pour boiling water onto fresh basil leaves and inhale. To enhance the effect, position a towel tent-like over your head.

Care

When taken internally, basil is known to ease a nervous stomach, reduce intestinal gas and alleviate constipation and bloating. Try basil for sleep disorders and headaches. A sore throat may be soothed by gargling a basil infusion.

Soil

Well drained soil.



Did you know?

Most plant cells look like little boxes full of green disks. The disks are called chloroplasts. Other organelles inside a plant cell include a nucleus (where the DNA is kept), a large central vacuole (where water and other materials are stored) and a complex internal skeleton or cytoskeleton made of various proteins.