What is the Yoruba name for basil
Basil is a versatile plant - an excellent aromatic herb and effective medicinal plant. The seeds of basil have always served for all defects and ailments of the heart, ward off heavy thoughts and awaken joy and courage in people.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
The approximately 15 - 60 cm high, mostly annual basil (Ocimum basilicum) plant is bushy to heavily branched, herbaceous and has angular stems. Their ovate or oblong-oval, slightly toothed or entire-margined leaves are long-stalked, sometimes arched and usually green, red or a mixture of these. In our latitudes from July to September, the flowers are pink, purple or white in axillary umbels (false whorls).
The variety of cultivars of the past decades makes an exact description almost impossible. You can usually recognize basil by its slightly peppery-sweet, unique taste.
Balsam, basil, bee willow, brown silt, German pepper, brain herb, shepherd's basil, Joseph's herbs, royal balsam, royal herb, Krampfkräutl, clove basil, pepper herb, soup basil
Home and distribution
It is assumed that the basil in the tropical Indian suburbs first bored its roots into the earth. Basil wreaths have already been found in the burial chambers of the old pyramids. In ancient Greece, basil was valued as a medicinal and aromatic herb. We Central Europeans had to wait until the 12th century when it found its way across the Alps to our marketplaces. Nowadays, due to the weather zones, basil cannot be found in the wild north of the Alps. It is mostly cultivated here in gardens and pots.
Essential oils such as eugenol, estragole and linalool. Furthermore glycosides, tannins and flavonoids.
Taste and flavor
Basil can be recognized by its intense, spicy, fiery scent, among other things. The slightly peppery and / or sweet taste is accompanied by a fine note of the different cultivars such as anise, liquorice, clove, cinnamon, lemon etc. etc. The basil pots from the supermarket also have a more or less pronounced chemical taste. The high content of essential oils, which can only develop properly in full sun, makes home-grown basil interesting not only for experimental cuisine.
Cultivation and care
Genovese basil in organic quality from the supermarket
Basil takes a few weeks before the first leaves are ready for harvest. If you can catch a (organic) basil pot that looks healthy in the supermarket or the regional market, you should buy it. The chemical aftertaste here is usually not as pronounced as in conventionally grown basil.
The plant does not like frost at all and puts its stems aside after 1 - 2 freezing temperatures. It thrives best in a warm and sunny climate on a south-facing windowsill or outdoors from mid-May. If you dare to grow your own from seeds, just lightly press the seeds into the soil. Basil is a light germ and can only tolerate a very thin layer of soil.
The seeds should sprout after about 10 - 19 days, provided you place the pot in a light place. Optimal germination temperature of the seeds: 20-25 degrees and always keep moist. If the basil seeds do not sprout during this time, the seed may no longer be able to germinate and you can safely dispose of the whole thing on the compost heap or in the organic bin.
In the sheltered greenhouse or cold frame you can get started as early as the beginning of April. For the field, sowing after the ice saints is recommended. If you have a warm, light window sill, you can try the year-round cultivation. But as already mentioned: basil needs the power of the sun to make, among other things, its essential oils to manufacturethat give the plant its extraordinary taste and also its healing powers.
The plant also needs good, warm and moist soil. It should be as permeable as possible, loamy and not too heavy. If necessary, enrich it with a shovel of sand. If you don't want to do experiments, you can buy the potting soil from the hardware store. You should also prick the seedlings once to get strong plants. Take a clump of the small plants and place them a little deeper than before in a pot with good herb soil or add about 1.5 thimble full of mineral fertilizer to a clay-sand mixture.
From mid-May the basil moves into the garden or on the balcony. A sunny, warm day will please the plants. The plants can now develop splendidly in the sun on the balcony. In the garden, place them at a distance of 25 x 25 cm / plant on a well-prepared, humus-rich and loose bed or between other plants in mixed culture. Hope for a warm summer and keep the soil slightly moist. There is nothing more you can do at the moment. In wet and cold years the basil does not thrive and it is advisable to take care of the pots on the windowsill.
The basil does not feel comfortable in a windy place either. The tips are pinched out regularly. As a result, the basil grows beautifully bushy and vigorous. In the first few weeks in particular, remove all of the buds. When the basil blooms, it stops leaf production and the plant focuses on producing seeds.
Seed growing and propagation
Obtaining germinable basil seeds in our climates is a doomed undertaking. We just don't have enough natural warmth and light for that. If you do, the seeds will remain viable for about 4 years. Alternatively, you can buy seeds or small plants on the market or order special rarities of the popular herbs via mail order. In this direction, hardware stores usually also offer various types of basil in the warm season.
But what you can do to rejuvenate your basil is the following: Cut cuttings approx. 8-10 cm long from the strong, healthy plants. Now put this in a glass of water that you change at least every 2 days. After about 7 days in a warm and bright place, the cuttings should have formed small roots. Now these are planted in a new pot with good soil. When you have reached the appropriate size, you can also harvest the tasty leaves here.
The whole thing works with most varieties without the detour via the water glass. Stick the cut plant parts directly into the soil and keep it moist. When the plant grows, it will have taken root and will soon be able to donate its tasty leaves.
Try it out. Especially in the case of the popular Genovese basil variety, propagation using cuttings is a method of supplying fresh basil leaves for a whole summer until late autumn, even if the seller of the basil does not think that you can buy them so can multiply over a longer period of time. 😉 At some point, however, at least with the annual basil varieties, the end is over and the plant takes a well-deserved rest.
There are various viral diseases that can harm your basil. There is always a risk when you cut fresh cuttings. The interfaces offer the viruses unimpeded access to the inside of the plant. If your basil is infected by viruses, one of the things you will notice is that the leaves are curling up unusually and the plant is slowly dying. Try to harvest a few more healthy cuttings so that you can immediately put them in fresh soil. Sometimes the disease has not yet spread to the whole plant and you will soon be able to harvest basil again from the new pot.
Biological tips and mixed culture
When you have a few plants left, why not add them as a mixed crop between your tomatoes, cucumbers or cabbage. The intense scent of the basil keeps the whitefly away from the cabbage and improves the aroma of the tomatoes. At the same time, the plant reduces the occurrence of powdery mildew and downy mildew in tomatoes and cucumbers.
Basil also goes well with apricots, fennel, lilies, Swiss chard, paprika, parsley, broad beans, marigolds, salads, asparagus, wine, root parsley and zucchini. Only with other herbs such as sage, thyme, rue, wormwood, lemon balm and bulbous ziest does it not like to be so close together.
Harvest and storage
Basil - Zanzibar
You can harvest young, fresh shoots and leaves from the basil, as long as you leave enough foliage for the plant to survive. The leaves taste hotter and harder as they age. A real gourmet does not cut up the basil harvest, but tears or crushes it. So the whole taste from the plant cells can mix with the meal.
Basil loses much of its flavor as it dries. There are some varieties such as basil zanzibar that retain their flavor even when dried, but fresh basil can do this Stopgap not keep up.
Preserving the basil in the freezer does not work either. I have not yet discovered a strain that is suitable for freezing. After thawing, you usually only get a mushy mass that neither has sufficient flavoring power nor looks aesthetic.
The flowering herb is harvested for the medicine cabinet. Basil has a diuretic, nerve-soothing, warming and antispasmodic effect on our body. It relieves gas and stomach upset. The BGA (Federal Health Office) also recognizes this effect. It also stimulates the appetite, strengthens the gastrointestinal area and relieves cramps in it.
It is recommended as a remedy for insomnia as well as for gargling with sore throats or sore throats. And for constipation, to soften the stool or as a poultice for poorly healing or festering wounds.
And this is how you prepare one Basil tea: 1 - 2 heaped teaspoons of basil are poured over with 250 ml of boiling water. Let the whole thing stand for 10-15 minutes and strain. If necessary, drink a cup of this unsweetened brew. Chronic flatulence is best treated with a basil tea regimen according to the following instructions: Drink 2 cups a day. After 8 days, take a break of 14 days. After these 14 days, drink again 2 cups / day for 8 days.
The flowers, leaves and fish shoots are used in the kitchen. Basil goes well with all kinds of herb sauces, herb butters, salads, fatty dishes such as meat, shellfish, tomatoes and other vegetables. What would z. B. a pizza margherita without basil? Correct: no Italian pizza. Handle the herb carefully, however, as it is sensitive to heat. Temperatures over 200 degrees usually mean that only a tasteless green mass of the noble basil remains.
The valuable, digestive herb is popular with young and old. But it should set the tone in the food, as it is easily covered by other spices. Try it in connection with a small addition of sage or rosemary in fried or cooked fish. In the diet kitchen, basil is also suitable as a salt substitute. The colorful flowers can also be eaten and have turned many summer salads into an appealing sea of colors.
Experiment with the fresh leaves. Put them in small pieces and before serving, in the vegetable soup to pamper the eyes and the palate, mix the cabbage with soft and other cheeses, herb quark or simply in the green salad. Your imagination is limited only by the amount of your supplies.
You can also use the leaves and flowers to make a delicious herbal oil: 1 handful of fresh oil is placed in a bottle
Give basil and top up with good olive oil. This mixture has now been in the sun for 3 weeks. After that, it is kept in a dark and cool place. With basil in particular, it is important to strain the herbal oil after 2 - 3 months at the latest, otherwise the green will become slimy. Use it to season sauces, rice, poultry, salads or embark on a very personal taste experiment. It is worth it .. 😉
Basil is also suitable for drying and can be used to make tea, but most of the essential oils are lost through processing and in terms of taste, basil tea can only be recommended with a mixture of other herbs. Store the dried tea in well-sealable glasses in a dry and dark place.
Another way to use fresh basil is to make basil pesto. 100 g of basil should be enough to start a first taste test. Together with 2 - 3 cloves of garlic, 50 g pine nuts, a pinch of sea salt and, as the icing on the cake, 100 g freshly grated pecorino or parmesan. Put all these ingredients in a blender and puree everything finely. Gradually add a good, cold-pressed olive oil to the mixture until it has a creamy consistency.
Then put it in lockable jars. I would like to recommend these twist-off glasses that occur in every household anyway. The top layer of the pesto is covered with a little olive oil so that nothing can go moldy. Keep the pesto in the fridge and surprise your family with spaghetti - mixed with this unique taste experience. Making basil pesto yourself is child's play, versatile and also suitable for making herb butter or for garnishing cold platters.
Place the basil on a windowsill and it will scent away the annoying flies and other animals.
On our own behalf: The times when you put a clove in your cheek after a tooth root treatment or anesthetized with a club or liters of alcohol are over. Nowadays there are more effective ways to maintain your health.
Before using any of the historical uses listed here, you should always consult your family doctor or pharmacist! See the harnessing of flora that our ancestors put in place with a twinkling eye and more than entertaining reading.
Nevertheless, many of these older methods are still effective today and, for example, in times of need and therefore lose little of their importance.
Dioscurides (1st century) said in one of his notes: "Basil oil is prepared by putting the plant in olive oil, straining it, then putting basil in again and straining it again. By the way, the basil is well known. You also need them internally and externally for healing purposes. If you put it in your nose, it makes you sneeze and you have to close your eyes when you sneeze. "
Discurides also recommends basil to promote the production of breast milk and urine or to soften bowel movements. In her Physika, Hildegard von Bingen (1098 - 1179) wrote about the valuable herb: "But if a person is paralyzed on his tongue and he cannot speak, then may he put Basilica under his tongue and he will regain the words. Against tertian and quantum fever, basilica is boiled in wine, recommended with honey. "
A mysterious recipe has been handed down from the Middle Ages: "If you rub the basil between two stones and throw a new port (new pot) over it, scorpions should grow out of it after several days. " They are likely to be attracted to this scent. 😉
The herb fathers also have options for using the basil. Tabernaemontanus (1522 - 1590) wrote: "The herb moves to conjugal works. The seeds of the basil serve for all defects and ailments of the heart, ward off bad thoughts and awaken joy and joy in people. "
Hieronymus Bock (1498 - 1554) in turn said during his lifetime: "Dried basil Kreutter and fermenting a must over it, gives the wine a warm, good taste and smell similar to the Moscatel plate. "
Special species and varieties
By the way, you usually only get that variety Genovese basil to buy in the supermarket or on the regional market. With its rich aroma and large, curved green leaves, it is ideal for basil pesto.
One short I don't want to withhold an insight into the world of basil varieties and breeds from you:
- African blue (Ocimum kilimandscharicum) -> dark green leaves with red veins, purple-pink flowers; Taste: slightly camphor-like; one of the few basilicas that provide healthy leaves for several years in a warm place
- Bush basil -> Indian, bushy growing species with white flowers and small leaves; is suitable for growing on the balcony in boxes and pots; Taste: fine spicy
- Dark opal -> Everything about this variety is red to dark red, leaves, flowers and stems; Taste: slightly tart
- Green Ruffles -> in German: Grünes Krauses; strong wrinkled leaves with strong flavor
- Indian basil (Omicum tenuiflorum) -> also known under the names Holy Basil, King Basil, Tulasi or Tulsi; small pink flowers on slightly hairy small green to reddish leaves and woody stems; important herb of Ayurvedic medicine; every well-stocked household in India has at least one of these plants, which are sacred to them; strengthens the immune system, taste: slightly like cloves
- Thai basil -> also known under the names Siam Queen, Bai Horapa or Horapha; dark purple flowers, green to reddish leaves on reddish stems; Taste: slightly sweet like aniseed and / or liquorice, well suited for basil pesto
- Cinnamon basil -> also available in stores as Cino, Cinnamon or Orientale; purple-veined, green leaves with pink flowers; Taste: not only tastes of cinnamon, but also smells of it
It should also be added that the tastes are known to be different. The taste receptors react differently in many people. Therefore, I recommend, if there is the opportunity, to taste the corresponding basil plant beforehand so as not to be disappointed with the taste afterwards, which should, however, rarely happen.
Side effects of basil
Are not known.
The information on the use of the individual plants given in this article and the entire plant encyclopedia are not to be understood as medical recommendations for action. Before using these plants, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist. Various plants and their ingredients can cause serious side effects in connection with medication that has already been taken. You will receive professional advice only from your doctor. she must before taking of the plant presented here.
Tip at the end of the article
In the table to the books about edible wild plants and wild herbs there is a lot more information about the plants that we not only look for as food. More than 600 books are presented there. 😉
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