Member Since: 06/22/2010

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Re: How to Grow Basil

And don't forget to swear when you plant your basil!

"Ancient Greeks and Romans believed scorpions bred under basil plants, and they associated the herb with insanity. They believed that you must curse and swear loudly while planting basil seeds or the herb would not grow."

I do every year just for fun and I've yet to have basil that didn't grow beautifully :)

And on the health side: "Basil is as nutritious as any of the leafy green plants, chock full of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and potassium. It has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, essential fatty acids that can protect against cardiovascular disease. For medicinal purposes, basil is a warming and moistening herb. It is antiseptic and antibacterial. Basil has been used to relieve nausea, headaches and diarrhea, help with sleep and increase
lactation in nursing mothers.

The phytochemicals in basil include rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid, polyphenols which are strong antioxidants. There are also several flavonoids, with all the great anti activities: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic. Basil has the volatile oils camphor and cineole with antibacterial properties."

And don't forget basil for love! "In Haiti, basil is associated with Erzulie, the voodoo goddess of love. Italians also associated this herb with love, and girls would place a pot of basil on their balcony to signal that they were looking for a suitor. If a man accepts a gift of basil from a woman, it is said that he will fall in love with her."

Basil Pesto

3 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
3 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, cut in several pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1. Grind pine nuts, cheese, garlic and salt in a food processor or blender. You can also grind them up in a mortar and pestle.

2. Add basil leaves to processor. While processor is running, pour olive oil into mixture in a thin stream.