Sweet, Sweet Basil

Originally published on the Kingstonist.com. Plant Sweet Basil for good health! The use of herbs as medicine is deeply rooted across many ancient cultural traditions. From the healing rituals of the indigenous people to the development of Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine medical systems, plants have played an integral role in the prevention and treatment of disease. In last week’s challenge, we asked you to plan and plant your gardens as spring is fast approaching. Furthering this challenge, I encourage you to incorporate a medicinal herb in your windowsill garden this week. Ocimum basilicum or Sweet Basil, a common culinary herb has numerous health benefits. Some benefits include calming stomach cramping, decreasing inflammation, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and easing tension. Not only does this herb taste great in your tomato sauce it can also be made into a hot water infusion (tea). Using your fresh herb, combine ¼ cup of leaves with 1 cup of hot water, let stand for 5 minutes, strain, and enjoy! Happy Planting!