Herbal knowledge: Healthy basil loves the bright light

Herbal knowledge: Healthy basil loves the bright light

With spring, the appetite for fresh herbs increases. Those who harvest the plant correctly will have longer of the fragrant green. First you use the largest leaves and top shoots up to the next leaf axils. This way new shoots can grow. The stems are cut off with a sharp knife or scissors. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) probably comes from India and Egypt, but has also been native to Europe for centuries. The name is derived from the Greek and means "king".

That is why the spice is also called king herb. The annual plant is one of the labiate flowers and grows up to 60 centimeters tall. There are over 60 species that differ in shape and color of leaves and in their aroma.

In Germany, the common basil is primarily widespread and is available all year round in herb pots, in bunches, dried and as frozen goods. In the garden and on the terrace, the herb thrives particularly well in a sunny and sheltered place. It needs water evenly, but does not tolerate waterlogging.

Basil has a spicy, strong taste and smells pleasantly aromatic. It goes perfectly with tomatoes, olive oil and lemons. Soups, sauces and salads can also be refined with basil. The leaves, however, do not tolerate heat. It is therefore best to use it raw or to add warm dishes at the end. “Pesto alla Genovese” with fresh basil, pine nuts, hard cheese, olive oil and garlic is particularly well known. For preservation, the leaves can be easily frozen in ice cubes or in vinegar or oil.

By the way, the basil contains essential oils and tannins that counteract a feeling of fullness and anorexia. (Heike Kreutz, aid.de)

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