Basil

Basil

Culinary uses

As you’d expect from one of the most popular herbs in Italian cuisine, basil makes a natural partner for tomato dishes, and it’s especially good with spaghetti sauces and pizzas. It’s great in tomato salad and sauces, too, and can also be used to season soups, minced beef and sausages, and on vegetables such as beans, peppers and aubergines.

Properties

A restorative, warming aromatic herb that relaxes spasms, reduces fever, improves digestion and is an effective antibacterial action against infections. It has a mild sedative action.

Medicinal uses

Internally for feverish illnesses, colds and influenza, poor digestion, nausea, abdominal cramps, gastro enteritis, migraine, insomnia, low spirits, anxiety and exhaustion. Externally for acne, loss of smell, insect stings and skin infections.

How to grow

Basil is a tender annual which cannot stand frosts. Sow seed in March or April, and plant out in June in a well-drained sunny spot.