Monday, November 11, 2013

A Northern Tea Garden: Basil

English: Basil leaves (Ocimum basilicum).
English: Basil leaves (Ocimum basilicum). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We make pesto out of it, flavor our tomato products and sprinkle it over fresh mozzarella. But did you know that basil can be used as a tea? And it's healthy for you.

My garden is incomplete without this fragrant herb. Basil, also known as St. Joseph wort, is healthy as well as an insect repellent. It's minty flavor rivals mint tea (it is related to mint). Aside from simple enjoyment (always the main reason to drink tea), basil tea can be used to:

  1. settle the stomach
  2. mixed with honey--it relieves tickly coughs
  3. mixed with honey--it relieves the runny nose--that mucus irritation known as catarrh
  4. Cup of Tea
    Cup of Tea (Photo credit: crayonmonkey)
  5. to enjoy--especially mixed with its fragrance and taste. Currently, it's my favorite tea.
Basil, as I said, is a healthy herb. It:
  1. is rich in flavonoids
  2. it has an anti-bacterial property
  3. According to, the essential oil of basil, obtained from its leaves, curbs some bacteria that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotic drugs (
  4. This same website says that if you was your produce in a solution that contains about 1% of the essential oil, you can help prevent intestinal upsets.
  5. The eugenol, it's essential oil, is both an insect repellent and an anti-inflammatory
  6. It's a good source of vitamin A and helps your cardio-vascular system
  7. It's a good source of vitamin K--along with other vitamins and minerals
Currently my favorite, tea--rich, minty, fragrant. A little bit of ambrosia.
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  1. Thanks for sharing this information. As the season of coughs and sore throats approach I will have to keep this in mind.

    1. Linda, thank you for all your encouragement. I LOVE basil tea. It's got more punch than mint tea.