Behind the Brew: Basil


Ocimum Basilicum

Made popular for adding a culinary wow to Italian cooking, basil is so much more than the base for pesto.  Basil has been revered for centuries. The Romans believed basil would only grow if it was cursed and screamed at, while those in the East thought it to be the cure for a serpent bite.


  • In Romania, if a girl gave a sprig of Basil to a gentleman, they were then engaged.
  • Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that if a basil leaf were placed under a pot, it would turn into a scorpion.
  • In Mexico, basil was given to lovers to ensure that they only had eyes for each other.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Are you suffering from leg cramps? Instead of a banana, brew some basil tea.  The natural magnesium and potassium found in Basil can help with muscle cramps.
  • Holy Basil Tea (Ocimum tenuiflorum), commonly known as Tulsi, has been used for over 5000 years. Today, Holy Basil can be found in a variety of formats from traditionally brewed tea to a sweetened Ready-to-Drink (RTD).
  • Tulsi is considered an eastern “cure all” to help with fevers, coughs, headaches, and even anxiety.
  • Have an insect bite, brew some basil tea.  Rub the juice directly on the bite to relieve both the sting and itchiness.  To speed up the healing process, have a cup of basil tea.
  • Basil is loaded with vitamin A.  Instead of plain water, use basil as a base for soup, your eyes will thank you for it.
  • The natural oils in basil are chockfull of nutrition.  To maximize the basil benefits, do not use a strainer, but brew the leaves directly in water.
  • For an added energy boost, brew basil leaves with freshly grated ginger.
  • Don’t like the taste of straight basil tea, add some leaves to your regular brew to reap the nutritional benefits of this powerful plant.

Try It!

bee pollinating basil


About Author

Anne-Marie Hardie believes in fully immersing herself in each and every experience: from discovering that perfect cup of tea to researching the newest trends. Her writing has been featured in a variety of magazines including Tea and Coffee Trade Journal, Tea Magazine, Growers Talk, CAA magazine and Anne-Marie’s passions are her family, practicing yoga and drinking a fantastic cup of tea.

Comments are closed.