Basil (scientific name: Ocimum Basilicum) is an aromatic herb long-valued in Ayurveda. This article discusses why you should have a basil plant in your garden, its benefits, and various types of Basil you can grow.
Who doesn’t love aromatic plants in their garden? They not only add an amazing flavor to your dishes but are also known for their medical benefits.
One can also use them to repel pests entering your garden. For this utility, these plants are also called auxiliary flora.
If you grow rosemary or lavender in your garden, you must know that they not only make your garden smell great but also repel insects that eat your plants.
Varieties of Basil
The varieties of Basil include Sweet Basil, the most common, and several other types, such as Holy Basil, and Lime Basil.
All variants of Basil are rich in antioxidants. Among these varieties, Sweet Basil has the highest levels of antioxidants.
In Ayurveda, Basil is used as a treatment for fever, flu, pain, bronchitis, or diseases of heart. It is also used for the treatment of diabetes arthritis, and asthma.
Besides rich antioxidant content, Basil leaves are rich in Vitamin A, C, and K. It also has a high amount of Manganese and essential oils like pinene, which acts as an aphrodisiac.
Did You Know?
In Ayurveda, Basil is called “Tulsi”, which is the Hindi name of the plant.
How to Use Basil?
You can add 3-4 leaves of Basil in your morning tea and boil it for 3-4 minutes to extract its nutritional content.
If you can, chew 2-3 leaves of Basil every morning.
Use Basil to make Pesto sauce which can be used for a delicious pasta or spaghetti.
How to Grow Basil?
- Well-drained soil that is not too compact
- Use of compost, manure and/or other organic material
- Lots of water, but not in abundance
- Full sun
The best time to grow Basil is as soon as the spring begins. Basil is a tropical plant and does best in warm, humid climate.
If you don’t live in tropical regions, make sure your plant receives 5-6 hours of sunlight and amply wet soil.
Put the branch in a glass of water. If you see roots growing, your plant is ready to be planted in your garden soil or in a pot.
Fertilize the soil with organic fertilizers to get more foliage.
If you can’t find Basil seeds or a plant with roots, you can try to grow the plant with a branch. Simply put the branch in a glass of water and wait for 15 minutes for the roots to come. When roots come, plant the Basil in soil.
To get the best out of your Basil plant, grow it with other plants like tomatoes, cucumber, or zucchini. Basil is excellent at protecting its surroundings from pests, mildew, and fungus.
If you have a window through which the sunlight enters for several hours, you can also place the plant in a pot indoors.
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