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Holy basil info Tips and Information

Holy basil info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.


holy basil info

Holy basil is considered one of the most sacred plants of India and is native to the indian subcontinent. It is an integral part of Hindu ceremonies and sacraments. Holy basil forms an essential part of worship in thousands of homes and temples in India where it is associated with the Hindu god Vishnu who wears a garland of basil leaves. According to ancient custom a gift is considered to be truly given away when a basil leaf is given with it. In a Hindu wedding therefore the parents of a bride give her away by presenting a basil leaf to the groom. Wealthy Hindus have this leaf made of solid gold intricately carved or studded with precious gems. This is later set into an ornament for the bride.

How it grows
Holy basil is a herb which is extremely easy to grow in the right climate. Most people grow it at home otten in tall square pots which are decorated with images of gods and godesses. The branched erect plant grows up to 75cm high and has small fragrant leave. It bears spikes of tiny purple or scarlet flowers. Several species of basil are widely grown.

Appearance and taste
Holy basil leaves range from dark green to almost purple and have uneven edges. They are small and quite ornamental. The whole plant has a green wnwland perfume and the leaves taste peppery almost like a cross between ginger and mint.

Buying and storing
Holy basil plants need sunlight so they should be kept on a sunny window sill and watered regularly. As Holy basil is so seasonal outside India the best way of preserving it for use in the colder months is to dry the leaves and seeds. This can be done by wiping them gently and then spreading them thinly on a plate to dry in a warm shady place. The leaves are delicate so do not crush them or leave them to dry in the sun as they will turn black. Store the dried leaves in a clean dry jar. Any trace of water will produce a fine cottony fungus on the herb. Dried Holy basil is too fragile to sustain long periods in the store cupboard so use I up what you have within 2 to 3 months.

Medicinal and other uses
Holy basil has wonderful medicinal properties. An infusion of the leaves is a quick home remedy for bronchitis and colds whereas an infusion of the seeds is an excellent diuretic. A decoction of the roots is said to relieve malarial fever.

Culinary uses
Although the plant grows so easily in India it is hardly used in few. Instead it is used to make refreshing herbal drinks. Experiment with it in soups fish dishes and sweets. Dried basil leave should ideally be boiled or steamed in the recipe and not fried as this destroys the delicate fragrance.

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