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Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Many Uses For Your Basil Bounty

By: Susan Anderson

If you are a gardener growing basil, this time of year is when the plant begins to really fill out and provide you with a lot of aromatic abundance. So what are some of the ways to use this garden delight?. Let's see... how can I count the ways?

1) Make Basil Infused Oil. Here is a link to an easy recipe.

2) After you make the infused oil, why not a companion basil vinegar? Go here to see how to make it.

3) Still have more basil coming in- give it away to family and friend,no one says no! Then they will come back asking for more.

4) Want to save some basil for the winter? Freeze the leaves- Here is a trick I learned a few years ago. Clean and dry the basil leaves, then place in a small jar with good quality olive oil, just enough to keep the leaves wet. Place in the freezer. When you pull out your basil in the dead of the winter, it will be fresh and green. If you just freeze your leaves they will not retain their color.

5) Now who can resist basil pesto? Easy to make! Use right away or freeze. Rather than share my recipe which uses no measurements and is completely done by eyeballing it, here is one that is easy to follow.

6) Crush a few fresh basil leaves to use as a herbal rub and topical treatment for insect bites to reduce the itching and inflammation.

7) Make a herbal tincture with basil leaves to help with relieve nervous conditions and induce relaxation. Click here to learn how to make a herbal tincture.

8) Make a herbal tea with fresh basil leaves and a few of the seeds. Basil is known as a herbal aid in digestive issues. Studies show that basil contain anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

9)For a relaxing bath, add some fresh basil leaves to the warm bath water.

10) Use a cooled basil tea made with the leaves as a hair conditioner.

There are many more ways to use this wonderful herb, but instead of overloading you with ideas, let's just say this is a springboard into the infinite possibilities. Have fun! And by the way, why not share your experiences and ...Tell us about your favorite use.

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