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Basils are loaded with volatile oils, responsible for the heady aroma and strong flavour so essential to cooking. The composition of oils varies greatly in different basil types, thus accounting for the wide range of scents available. Large Leaf Italian basil is regarded as the essential variety for true Neapolitan cuisine, especially pesto.
Pick the extra large leaves and use fresh or dried in tomato dishes, pasta sauces, vegetables and soups. You can also use basil in the garden as a companion plant to repel aphids, mites, and tomato horn-worms.
Genovese grows as an Annual and is a Herb. Being an Annual, it tends to grow best over the course of a single year. Genovese is known for growing with a forb-like habit to a height of approximately 45.0 cm (that s 1.46 feet in imperial).
Italy is believed to be where Genovese originates from.
Genovese Basil is normally fairly low maintenance and quite easy to grow, as long as a level of basic care is provided throughout the year. Being aware of the basic soil, sun and water preferences will result in a happier and healthier plant.
Culinary use: It is used to flavor soups, stews, tomato dishes, meat, game, fish, egg dishes, herb butter, and herb vinegar.
Healing: Sharpen memory, use as a nerve tonic, and remove phlegm from your bronchial tubes. Repeat up to once an hour. Leaves can strengthen the stomach and induce perfuse sweating. The seeds can be used to rid the body of excess mucus.
Fevers: Basil leaves are used for quenching fevers, especially those related to malaria and other infectious, eruptive fevers common to tropical areas. Boiling leaves with some cardamom in about two quarts of water, then mixed with sugar and milk, brings down temperature. An extract of basil leaves in fresh water should be given every 2 to 3 hours; between doses you can give sips of cold water. This method is especially effective for reducing fevers in children.
Coughs: Basil is an important ingredient in cough syrups and expectorants. It can also relieve mucus in asthma and bronchitis. Chewing on basil leaves can relieve colds and flu symptoms.
Sore Throat: Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as a tonic or used as a gargle when you have a sore throat.
Respiratory Disorders: Boiling basil leaves with honey and ginger is useful for treating asthma, bronchitis, cough, cold, and influenza. Boiling the leaves, cloves, and sea salt in some water will give rapid relief of influenza. These combinations should be boiled in about two quarts of water until only half the water remains before they are taken.
Kidney Stones: Basil can be used to strengthen your kidneys. In cases of stones in your kidney, the juice of basil leaves mixed with honey and taken daily for 6 months will expel them through the urinary tract.
Heart Problems: Basil can be used to strengthen those weakened by heart disease. It can also reduce your cholesterol.
Childrenâ€™s Illnesses: Pediatric complaints like colds, coughs, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting have been know to respond to treatment with the juice of basil leaves. Also if the rash associated with chicken pox is delayed, basil leaves with saffron will bring them to the surface more quickly.
Stress: Basil leaves can be used as an anti-stress agent. Chewing 12 basil leaves twice a day can prevent stress. It will purify the blood and help prevent many other common ailments.
Mouth Infections: Chewing a few leaves twice daily can cure infections and ulcerations of the mouth.
Insect Bites: Basil can be used as preventative and as a curative. A teaspoonful of the basil leaf juice taken every few hours is preventative. Rubbing the bites with juice can relieve the itching and swelling. Also a paste of the root is effective for treating the bites of insects and leeches.
Skin Disorders: Basil juice applied directly to the effected area is good for ringworm and other common skin ailments. Some naturopaths have used it successfully in the treatment of leucoderma (patches of white or light-coloured skin).
Tooth Problems: Dry basil leaves in the sun and grind into powder for a tooth cleansing powder. You can also mix with mustard oil to make herbal toothpaste. Both of these methods will counter bad breath and can be used to massage the gums, treat pyorrhoea, and other dental health problems.
Headaches: Basil is a good headache remedy. Boil leaves in half a quart of water, cooking until half the liquid remains. Take a couple of teaspoons an hour with water to relieve your pain and swelling. You can also make a paste of basil leaves pounded with sandalwood to apply to your forehead to relieve headache and provide coolness in general.
Eye Disorders: Basil juice is a good for night-blindness and sore eyes. Two drops of black basil juice in each eye at bedtimes each day is soothing.
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