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5 Great Uses for Basil ...

By Aprille

Basil is an herb that anyone can grow, even if they don’t have a large garden space available. A single plant can be grown in a container in the kitchen window and many lives can be used from this one plant. Many people associate basil with cooking, but it has many more uses than this. Here are 5 great uses for basil.

5 As a Pain Killer

Basil contains eugenol, which has an anti-inflammatory effect. This phenylpropene is also found in the essential oils of bay leaves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. In small dose it is very helpful in the reduction of pain, but large doses can cause liver damage.

4 Get Rid of Gas

Whether you munch on fresh leaves, eat some pesto, or drink a cup of basil tea, any of these methods of consuming basil will help you to get rid of gas. Basil soothes the stomach, gets rid of nausea, and helps with dysentery which are all prone to causing gas in people.

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3 To Add Flavor to Meals

Many Italian dishes include basil as a main ingredient. Each variety of basil adds its own unique flavor to whatever it is combined with. Sprinkle it on dried or fresh, bake it into a dish, or use it whole.

2 As the Basic Ingredient for Pesto

My family is big on pasta dishes and pasta with pesto seems to be the most common one consumed around here. Making pesto from fresh basil leaves is very easy. Combine in a blender: a quarter cup of olive oil, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a quarter cup of Parmesan cheese, a quarter cup of pine nuts, and 2 cups of fresh basil. Really pack in the basil tightly into each cup when you measure it. Blend all these ingredients and you have a cup of fresh pesto!

1 An Energizing Tea

If you find yourself a bit under the weather, boil some water and steep 1 or 2 chopped up leaves of basil in it. You can strain the leaves out or chew them up when you finish your tea. Add lots of honey and it will taste yummy while it makes you feel better. Be sure not to drink too many cups of this tea in a row. I’ve gotten shaky hands from drinking more than two cups at a time.

Hopefully this short list shows you just how useful basil is. It is quite a handy little herb to have around! Do you know of any other uses for basil?

Top Photo Credit: cathdrwg

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