A short-lived, aromatic perennial that grows to 3 feet tall, holy basil is erect, with fine hair and nearly round leaves. The flowers are purple or reddish. It is known as tulsi (“beyond compare”) in India, where it is a sacred plant used widely in worship, cooking, and medicine.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Caribbean, Central America, South America, South Asia, Malaysia
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Adaptogen, antibacterial, expectorant, analgesic, antifungal, nervine, carminative, tonic, hypotensive, antispasmodic, hypoglycemic, antiparasitic, anti-allergen, and is used to treat ulcers, viral infections, depression, respiratory infection, cough, colds, flu, herpes, poor immune system function, headache, indecision, dulled senses, and radiation exposure
For all conditions, boil 2 tablespoons dried
holy basil in 8 ounces water for 10 minutes. Prepare twice per day, and drink while hot.
For all conditions, you may also juice the leaves, setting your juicer to low. Take up to
2 tablespoons per day. For fungal infections, rub the leaves directly on the affected area.
For athletes foot, place the leaves in your socks overnight. To make a tincture, place 1 cup dried holy basil leaf in a glass, one-quart jar. Fill to the top with 100-proof, whole-grain alcohol. Store
a cool, dark place, shaking daily, for six weeks. Drink 1 to 2 drops once or twice daily.
HOLY BASIL OIL Makes 1 cup
This oil is great brushed on chicken or vegetables, or combined with cilantro, parsley, and 1 dried ancho chile. It can be used to create a
1 1/2 cups packed fresh holy basil leaves 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat, and blanch the basil for 10 seconds.
• Drain, and rinse under cold, running water. Pat basil dry with plain, white paper towels.
• Place in a blender. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Blend until smooth. Season with sea salt and freshly ground white pepper.
• Allow to cool, and then cover and chill.
Use within three days.