Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sweet Basil

Benefits of Basil
"King of Herbs"

Basil leaves health benefits

There is nothing like the sweet aroma of fresh basil.  With over 60 different varieties it has become one of the most recognizable herbs in the world.  Thought to have originated in the Hunan region of China around 800 BC, it quickly became popular and grown around the world.  The top exporters around the world are France, Italy, Morocco, India, Egypt, Thailand and Vietnam, each region having their own varieties with different flavors according to the richness of soil.  In the USA, California produces the majority of basil.  While most basil is sweet in taste, others offer unique tastes, such as; Lemon Basil, Anise Basil, Cinnamon Basil and Purple Basil, which has a unique clove taste. Each variety has their own aroma also. These can easily be found at local nurseries or online to purchase.   

Organic basil crop in South Florida:

When possible use fresh cut basil and since basil oils are highly volatile, it is best to add the herb near the end of cooking to retain its maximum essence and flavor.  You can store fresh basil in the refrigerator loosely wrapped in a damp paper towel.  You can even freeze fresh leaves covered in water in ice cube trays.  Then they are ready to use for soups or stews.  But why not have a few different basil plants growing nearby, either outdoors or even in your kitchen window sill. (It needs 6-8 hours of good sunlight and likes moisture.)

Basil Benefits:
*Reduces inflammation.
*Powerful antioxidant and anti-aging compounds.
*Fight bacterial infections.
*Relieves pain.
*Fights cancer.
*Reduces fever.
*Promotes cardiovascular health.
*Relieves stress and depression.
*Supports liver health.
*Improves digestion.
*Helps diabetes and metabolic syndrome. 

Basil is very high in Vitamin K, supporting strong health bones.
Here is some information on the uses of basil essential oil.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

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