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 

Meniere’s Disease (aka Endolymphatic Hydrops)

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