Don't even try to convince me otherwise.
But setting my emotional plant/human association/attachment syndromes aside, basil really is a remarkable plant. And it's one that every gardener should have growing in the garden.
- It's a natural pest deterrent in the garden.
- It's rumored to enhance production and flavor of tomatoes if grown together.
- It makes a nice addition to many recipes.
- It's an anti-stress agent.
- It has strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- It is high in antioxidants.
Of course, I don't just grow basil by my tomatoes. I have this heat-loving plant planted everywhere in my yard, garden, and greenhouse, and even around my animal pens! I love to brush up against it as I pass by, because the invigorating aroma that's released lingers on my clothes for quite a while.
Those very oils are what makes the plant so precious to us, too.
I also use basil leaves, flowers, seeds, and stems in any recipe that involves herbs, which is just about everything I cook--with the exception of dessert. I like to toss a few leaves in my garden smoothie in the mornings, too. But if smoothies aren't your thing, you can always tap into your inner-Italian and mix up a batch of pesto, or a pot of spaghetti, or a pan of lasagne...
Basil will jazz up any old recipe, and the health benefits are pretty snazzy, too.
The antibacterial properties are said to inhibit bacteria (even bacterias that are resistant to some drugs), and the anti-inflammatory component has the same effect as the one found in ibuprofen. Plus, the antioxidants present in the plant help protect our cell walls from attack--even fighting off radiation damage.
That's enough to convince me that this is one super-food that I definitely want coursing through my body...and growing in my garden!
So from my inner-Italian to yours...