Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is native to Asia and warmer areas of the Mediterranean region. Basil comes from the Greek word meaning royal and it has traditionally been seen as a symbol of love and hospitality. There are over 60 different varieties of basil.
Basil plants prefer warmer weather, so if cooler climates it’s ideal to plant basil in a well drained pot which can be moved inside to overwinter. When planting basil inside it’s important to keep it in a sunny window with at least 6 hours of sun per day.
When harvesting basil pinch clusters from the top at a joint to encourage growth of a fuller bushier plant. As bail plant begins to flower pinch of the flowering parts to extend its growing season. Leaves can be dried or frozen in ice cube trays with olive oil or water and used throughout the winter in cooking for a fresh basil favor.
Basil is high in vitamin K also providing calcium, iron, vitamin A, fiber and maganese. It is also rich in flavonoids which protect our cells from radiation and oxidation damage.
Basil is often used as an anti-inflammatory which can be beneficial for inflammatory bowel disease, digestion, and gastric upset symptoms