|Basil | Photo: Fastily|
CRANE Flowering plants
Basil is one of the oldest Oriental medicine. The plant belongs in India but was introduced into Europe long before our era. Nowadays it is mostly used as a condiment in salads, soups and meat dishes. Of the different species of basil are used primarily on large-leaved Ocimum basilicum and the very closely related Ocimum minimum, whose leaves are much smaller but has a finer flavor.
Basilica sweet aroma and flavor of cloves and musk will of a volatile oil containing estragole (also available in the herbs tarragon), and eugenol (also occurs in clove).
Basil leaves, if possible, use fresh, as part of the active ingredients are lost during drying.
The substances in the leaves seems antispasmodic and sedative - in the old days was prescribed basil as a means towards hysteria. Fresh, chopped basil leaves, has a dampening effect on skin irritations. Basil is one of the many spices that are included in chartreuselikören.
Occurrence: Appears wild in India. Are often grown mainly in Mediterranean countries. Can be grown as an annual in our country, but is quite fragile.
Characteristics: In his home country a perennial, shrub-like plant, which is 30 40 cm Stem square, easily breakable. Leaves narrowly oval. They sit opposite the stem. Flowers white ruddy (June September), fairly small, very rich in nectar. The fruit consists of a black-brown klyvfrukt with four delfrukter. A smaller species, O minimum, that only gets 20 inches high, are also grown. Smell and taste aromatic, slightly salty
Using parts: Entire above ground portion of the plant. Fresh and dried plant is used.
Ingredients: Essential oil (0.2-1%) with linalol, linalylacetat, cineole. eugenol and estragole.
Medical effects: Tea of dried plant, which has pleasant taste and smell. is antispasmodic, sedative, and digestive. Wound healing by topical application.
Use: Mainly as a spice.