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All About Basil | Know Your Spice Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.)

All About Basil | Know Your Spice Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.)

Basil is also known as French Basil or Sweet Basil or Tulsi

Health benefits of basil, benefits of tulsi

All About Basil | Know Your Spice Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) or Tulsi | Health Benefits of Basil – Basil also known as French Basil or Sweet Basil or Tulsi is an erect glabrous herb, 30-90 cm high is indigenous to India.

Basil or tulsi is the common name of an aromatic, herbaceous plant of the mint family Lamiaceae. This species, often referred to as sweet basil, is widely cultivated for its edible leaves that add to benefits of tulsi.

The dried basil leaves and tender four sided stems are used as spice for flavouring and for extraction of essential oil.

Apart from flavouring numerous foods, it is used for seasoning in tomato paste products.

The name Basil is derived from “basileus”, a Greek word of pre-Hellenic origin meaning “king”, “emperor” or “tzar”.

What is the nutrition value & health benefits of Basil?

Basil is an herb in the mint family. It adds flavor to meals, and its nutrients may provide health benefits.

This member of the mint family has been used as a medicinal plant, and its oils and extracts are said to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

Fragrant fresh basil, for instance, offers a healthy dose of blood-clotting vitamin K.

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil provide 27% of the RDA as well as vitamin A, manganese, and magnesium.

Use fresh basil whenever possible, and when cooking with it, add to the dish during the last few minutes for maximum flavor.

The king of herbs basil herb is one of the ancient and popular herbal plants brimming with important health-benefiting phytonutrients.

This highly prized plant is revered as “holy herb” in many cultures all around the world.

What is the Indian name for Basil?

The Indian name for Basil is Tulsi. It is a tender plant, and is used in cuisines worldwide.

Depending on the species and cultivar, the leaves may taste somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, often sweet smell.

What is the Basil history & story?

Know more about the history and origins of basil or tulsi

Basil has been around for over 4,000 years. Throughout history, basil was believed to have almost magical powers. It was used as an antidote for snake bites, and was believed to give strength during religious fasting.

In India, this herb was considered a powerful protector. They planted it around their temples and placed it with the dead to protect them in the afterlife.

In fact, the benefits of tulsi caused it to be highly revered. Most Hindu homes even today keep Basil plant in their courtyards on a pedestal.

It was found in mummies in Egypt because the ancient Egyptians used this herb for embalming. In Greece, basil was a symbol of mourning.

The herb was referred to as basileus phuton, meaning magnificent, royal or kingly herb.

In Crete, basil was considered an emblem of the devil. They placed this herb on their window ledges to help ward away any evil.

Basil is frequently referred to as the ‘King of Herbs’. It was also once known as the ‘herb of poverty’ because it was believed to provide protection to the poor.


Health benefits of basil, benefits of tulsi


What are the uses of Basil?

Know more about how basil is used

Basil is an herb. The parts of the plant that grow above the ground are used to make medicine and the leaves have culinary applications.

Medically, basil is used for stomach spasms, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, kidney conditions, fluid retention, head colds, warts, and worm infections. It is also used to treat snake and insect bites.

The most common use of basil is for cooking, such as in tomato sauce, pesto, or vinegars. But it also can be sprinkled over salads and sliced tomatoes, either whole or chopped.

Actually, don’t chop the basil leaves, but tear them instead for the most flavor.

Basil is used frequently in Italian cooking, but it is also popularly used in Thai and Vietnamese cuisines.

To make oil for salads, pound the fresh basil leaves and mix with a good salad or vegetable oil. If freezing the leaves, coat them with olive oil first. Basil leaves also can be dried and stored in salt.

What is the taste of Basil?

Learn about what does Basil taste like?

The flavor of basil is a fine balance between sweet and savory, with hints of mint, anise, and pepper.

While the initial flavor has pronounced tones of black pepper, this aromatic herb ultimately adds a hint of sweetness to any dish.

How long does Basil last?

Learn about how long does basil leaves last

Fresh basil leaves last up to 2 days when wrapped in a paper towel and put in a plastic bag and then refrigerated. If you cover the leaves with olive oil, they can last up to 2 months.

To freeze basil leaves, clean the leaves and rub them with olive oil before putting them in a plastic bag and freezing.

You can also tear the basil leaves and put them in an ice cube tray. Then, pour olive oil over them and freeze.

How can I dry basil at home?

Learn how to dry basil at home with three options.
  1. How to dry basil in an oven: To dry basil, place the leaves on a baking sheet and dry them slowly in the oven at a maximum temperature of 35°c/95°f. Leave the oven door opened slightly to allow steam to escape.
  2. How to dry basil naturally: You can dry basil leaves in an airy & shaded place, like a shed.
  3. How to dry basil in a microwave: Lay out Basil Leaves between two layers of paper towels. Microwave for 30 seconds, then in 15 second increments until leaves are dry.

Is there a substitute for Basil?

Learn how to use a substitute for basil or tulsi if unavailable

The following herbs are similar enough to dried basil and they may work in your recipe: oregano, tarragon, thyme, and savory.

For an Asian dish calling for dried basil, you could also try substituting dried coriander.

Yet another good substitute for dried basil is Italian seasoning, since Italian seasoning commonly contain basil as well as other herbs including oregano, thyme, and rosemary.

What can I use Basil leaves for?

Learn how to use basil leaves in your food & beverages
  1. As a sauce: Pesto sauce it is great on pasta, pizza and salads, or with meat and fish.
  2. As a dressing or a marinade: A great salad dressing is to mix basil with lemon juice and honey, and a perfect marinade for chicken is a basil, balsamic vinegar and garlic marinade.
  3. As an oil: Basil oil can be used for a drizzle over cooked vegetables.
  4. As a herb butter: Make your own flavored butter using your extra chopped basil leaves.
  5. In a Soup: Basil is great when added to soups. Simply tear the leaves & pop them in.
  6. In desserts: Basil lends its prominent flavor to some desserts too, such as lemon basil yogurt cake & mint and basil syrup.

You can add basil leaves to all kinds of dishes, from scrambled eggs to curries and stir fries.

What are the health benefits of Basil?

Learn about health benefits of Tulsi

Health benefits of Basil leaves or benefits of Tulsi leaves – Throughout history, people have used Basil to treat a variety of ailments.

From the leaves to the seed, holy basil is considered a tonic for the body, mind, and spirit. Different parts of the plant are recommended for treating different conditions:

Many studies support the use of the entire plant of holy basil for human use and its therapeutic value. Here are some notable benefits of Tulsi;

  • Health benefits of basil in cancer – Phytochemicals of basil can help to protect against different types of cancer, including lung cancer, liver cancer, oral cancer, and skin cancer.
  • Health benefits of tulsi as an antioxidants – The spice’s many antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties that prevent disease and support health.
  • Health benefits of basil against skin aging – Sweet basil has properties that might help protect the skin from some effects of aging.
  • Health benefits of tulsi in diabetes – Some practitioners of traditional medicine commonly recommend basil to help manage blood sugar levels especially in Type 2 diabetes.
  • Health benefits of basil in managing blood pressure – basil extract may reduce high blood pressure, possibly due to the extract’s eugenol content. Eugenol can block calcium channels in the body, lowering high blood pressure.
  • Health benefits of tulsi for mental health –Basil oil and extracts may alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression. It can increase the ability to think and maybe effective in preventing age-related memory loss.
  • Health benefits of basil for digestion – Chewing basil leaves may reduce stomach acidity and help to maintain an alkaline balance which improves digestive health.
  • Health benefits of tulsi as an anti inflammatory – Basil’s volatile oils have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in studies by blocking an enzyme’s activity in the body called cyclooxygenase (COX).
  • Health benefits of basil for chronic diseases – The clinical effects demonstrated in the reviewed studies suggest that the Ayurvedic tradition of consuming tulsi or holy basil on a daily basis may be an effective lifestyle measure to address many modern chronic diseases.
Health Benefits of Basil, Benefits of Tulsi
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Dried Basil Leaves or Sookhi Tulsi - How to Dry Basil Leaves in a Microwave | Microwave Dried Basil Leaves

Dried Basil Leaves or Sookhi Tulsi - How to Dry Basil Leaves in a Microwave | Microwave Dried Basil Leaves - A really simple process to make dried basil leaves in your microwave. Make your own 100% fresh, pure dried basil leaves or tulsi. Since dried basil leaves lose their potency in about 6 months, it is better to dry your own in small batches.
Course Spice Powders, Spices
Cuisine World
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Dried Basil, Dried Basil Leaves, Dried Tulsi, Dried Tulsi Leaves, Homemade Dried Basil
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 16 Servings
Calories 2kcal
Author Sumit Malhotra

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 2 Minutes Microwave Heat

Instructions

  • Wash basil leaves or tulsi.
  • Make sure your basil or tulsi leaves are clean and completely dry.
  • Remove the leaves from the stems.
  • Lay the leaves out in a single layer on a kitchen towel that fits in your microwave.
  • Microwave on full power for anywhere from 60 seconds.
  • If the basil leaves feel crispy, they are done
  • If now, repeat the process with 15 seconds intervals till they turn crisp.
  • Let the dried basil or tulsi cool down and then crush them with clean hands.
  • Store them in small jars or plastic bags in a cool dark place and use within 6 months.

Notes

  • Ensure fresh leaves are cleaned and dry.
  • Remove the stems from the fresh leaves. But don’t worry about getting bits of stem in the mix.
  • If they don’t crumble easily then you haven’t haven’t dried them long enough.
  •  

Tools & Equipment Used For This Recipe

The links below the image lead to product links on Amazon.in & Amazon.com respectively

LG Convection Microwave Oven

AmazonCommercial Kitchen Paper Towels

Health benefits of basil, benefits of tulsi

All About Basil | Know Your Spice Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) or Tulsi | Health Benefits of Basil – Basil also known as French Basil or Sweet Basil or Tulsi is an erect glabrous herb, 30-90 cm high is indigenous to India.

Basil is the common name of an aromatic, herbaceous plant of the mint family Lamiaceae. This species, often referred to as sweet basil, is widely cultivated for its edible leaves.

The dried basil leaves and tender four sided stems are used as spice for flavouring and for extraction of essential oil. Apart from flavouring numerous foods, it is used for seasoning in tomato paste products.

The name Basil is derived from “basileus”, a Greek word of pre-Hellenic origin meaning “king”, “emperor” or “tzar”.

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