The Many Uses of Basil

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Basil has been used throughout history for more than just cooking! It is effective for a number of common ailments; respiratory issues, headaches, digestive troubles and fevers.  Today, Basil is best known for its anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties so it works great for muscle spasms and cramps. There are a few ways you can use basil as a home remedy. You can buy Basil Essential oil (make sure it is a therapeutic grade), you can use any of the following methods.

TEA

Fresh basil flowers and leaves can be used. The basil should be cut into small pieces (or torn) and placed in a non-metallic container. Then Pour boiling water over them and let it ‘sit’ is called steeping. Generally, you should steep basil herbs take 10-20 minutes. You could use dried basil as well, but you will need to increase the steeping time.

HERBAL EXTRACT
This is the strongest concentrate Formula: 16 oz of distilled water to 4 oz of herbs. Soak herbs 4 hours or more, then simmer on very low heat in covered saucepan or double boiler for 30 minutes. Strain decoction into uncovered clean pan and simmer down to 1/4 of the original amount. The end result should be 4 oz of extract. Store in a glass container and keep refrigerated or you can use natural anti-oxidants like vegetable glycerine, or a few drops of alcohol (liquior not rubbing), for example.

INFUSED OIL

Can be done with fresh and dried herbs. Rule of thumb: Fresh herbs need to be ‘hot’ infused, dried herbs won’t spoil when slowly cold infused. Easy version: Fill a glass bottle with dried herbs (chopped) and cover with cold pressed (virgin, native, extra, first pressing, organic) olive oil or one of the many other carrier oils, depending on the intended use, like jojoba or sweet almond. Make sure you have about 1 inch on top of the herbs, all need to be covered. Keep in a warm (sun or near stove) place for a at least 14 days. Don’t strain when starting to use, just take what you need.  Most oils get stronger the longer the plants are left, of course. You can also exchange the herbs for fresh ones.

Best/most potent version: Use both, fresh AND dried basil. When using fresh herbs, use a double burner or crock pot and steep them on very low heat for 3 days, exchanging the herbs daily, then decant (strain), and adding new, dried herbs to the oil. This last batch sits for months in a tightly capped bottle, shaken daily or when remembered. Take as you need, and/or decant completely after 3-6 months.

Tip: When decanting the fresh herbs, never mix strained oils with pressed oils, the pressing (we all press out plant material like crazy to get that last drop of oil) contains more water and will spoil faster. Keep separately from the main batch, and use the pressed oil first, and for yourself.

HERBAL VINEGAR

Cover chopped plant material with warmed organic apple cider vinegar in a glass bottle. Macerate for 4-6 weeks. Shake extracts daily. Strain, press pout residue, and store in glass bottles.

 Here are a few different things you can use your Basil for;

Antispasmodic ♦ antiviral ♦ antibacterial ♦ anti-inflammatory ♦ muscle relaxant ♦ antiseptic ♦ decongestant (prostate, lungs, veins) ♦ stimulant (digestive, liver, adrenal cortex and nerves) ♦ Migraines ♦ insect bites ♦ throat/lung infections ♦ mental fatigue ♦ menstrual periods (scanty) ♦ hair (dandruff) ♦ aches and pains ♦ insomnia ♦ depression ♦ anxiety ♦ bronchitis ♦ insect repellant (housefly and mosquito) ♦ insect bites

 Image: lowjumpingfrog 

Must Have Herbs For The Kitchen

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Herbs that do double or even triple duty, that you need to have in your kitchen.

 Every cook has their own favorite herbs that they like to cook with and tend to put into just about everything. I do that with cumin and garlic. But did you know that many of those same herbs that you love to flavor you food with, can also be used in home remedies? Here are a few that should be in every home and some must have herbs in the kitchen.

Lavender

Lavender is a low-lying bushy flower with long stems and many tiny, pale purple buds, that simply smells amazing! The flavor is just a little floral and used frequently in French cooking

Lavender can be used for treating loss of appetite, headaches, restlessness, sleep issues, cramps, and can help with circulatory issues. The oil is also an effective treatment for burns.

 Sage

Sage is a low-lying, silvery bush with oblong, soft and fuzzy leaves that is used frequently to flavor pork and poultry.

Used to help improve appetite and ease inflammation. Can also be helpful for slowing down milk production in nursing mothers.

Basil

There are many varieties of basil, but is pretty easy to identify by its large, thin oval and easily bruised leaves. Basil is sweet, a bit peppery and offers a slight anise-like aftertaste. Depending on the variety of course.

Basil has very strong antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. Traditionally used to stimulate appetite and for helping calm upset stomachs. Chinese medicine uses basil to support kidney function and as a treatment for ulcers of the mouth and gums . Traditional Indian medicine uses basil to treat everything from earaches, rashes, itching, malaria, respiratory issues, arthritis and and loss of appetite. Anorexia.

 Dill

Mammoth Dill can grow quite tall with beautiful, fragrant flowering heads and feathery, fragile leaves. Dill and parsley have a lot in common, which is why they are often paired together or are used in many of the same dishes. Dill is traditionally used to treat an upset stomach upset , gas, heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues. It can also be used to help treat sleep disorders, like insomnia and can be given to children who have colic.

Parsley

Deep green, slightly serrated leaves that curl up from the stem with a potent fragrance reminiscent of carrot leaves and parsnips.

Parsley is can be used to treat urinary tract infections and is just as effective as cranberry juice, it can also be used to treat kidney and bladder stones. Parsley can be used to help with other stomach issues and can help simulate menstruation.

Peppermint

Peppermint is a bushy plant with long stems, and bright green, slightly fuzzy leaves.

Usually taken as a tea or as an infusion, peppermint is traditionally used to treat colic and digestive upset, but it’s also great for treating colds, the flu, stuffy noses and seasonal allergies. Combine with Honey and you have a great treatment for sore throats and coughs. Peppermint essential oil, applied to the temples, can help relieve headaches and migraines. Peppermint leaves can also be used as a treatment of liver and gallbladder issues.

Rosemary

Rosemary is a pine-like shrub with long stems and short, needle-like leaves.Rosemary is traditionally used for upset stomach, gas, headaches and migraines. It can also be used to treat menstrual disorders and when applied to wounds can help speed healing. It is also effective in treating eczema and controlling blood pressure.

Oregano

Oregano is a short, shrubby herb with small, deep-green leaves. Oregano is used to treat respiratory problems like stuffy noses and coughs and is an effective expectorant. It can also be used to help ease menstrual cramping and it has very potent antimicrobial activities.

 Image: TonalLuminosity

 Resources

Germany’s Commission E

20 Fantastic Uses For Everyday Herbs

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More and more these days people are turning to herbs, even Dr Oz has apparently said that we should take tumeric at least 4 times a week due to the healing and cleansing powers it has to offer.

This is great info for us if we choose to take it and do something with it as it has tremendous healing and soothing powers

For all the info on the uses of herbs follow the link below.

 20 Fantastic Uses For Everyday Herbs

 Image credit: OakleyoOriginals