This morning I was thinning out my plug trays of Holy Basil. We are going to grow two varieties for seed at the farm this year, and they were getting big enough to select out the less vigorous individuals. Often when I'm cruising through a tray of starts I don't think much about saving the plants I thin out- instead most end up in the compost.
Today I decided to keep those little starts and toss them in my teapot. I had tried tea of the dried leaves of Holy Basil before, and thought it would be nice for a quick cuppa before I headed to the upstairs office to update my seed logs.
What a treat! The leaves didn't change the color of the water, but they imparted a wonderful, peppery flavor to the liquid. I drank the whole pot!
According to the book Adaptogens by David Winston and Steven Maimes, Holy Basil is said to be an adaptogen as well as anti-bacterial, antidepressant, antioxidant, antiviral, and it lowers blood sugar levels.
If you want to grow this herb, it is found growing naturally throughout Asia and India- so it needs extra heat to perform. This should do well in a greenhouse or other covered area like a hoophouse. If you are looking for seeds, we'll have some next year at www.rootandradicleseedco.com!