Queen Basil - herb worthy of the name

.. Her name is of Greek origin .. "Basileus" meaning "king". Apparently her so she called a kind of Byzantine princess, which had consisted deep admiration. For many nations, was a sacred herb basil, a symbol of love, protect and guide the deceased to paradise. For us it has become an indispensable spice with the aroma of the Mediterranean, is a herb that not only tastes good, but also heals ..

Although we basil primarily associated with Italian cuisine, its origin dates back to today's Iran and India. There are many varieties of basil, differ from each sheet size and coloration, may have a slightly different flavor, but their use and effective ingredients are almost the same. The best known and most commonly grown basil us right typically has oval, shiny leaves and slightly sweet pungent smell, somewhat reminiscent of cloves. The aroma and flavor of fresh basil is very expressive and captivating. As a spice it is not just something to replace. However, it has many very beneficial and therapeutic effects on the human body, is not only spices, but also cure.

Cultivation, harvest and preserve basil
Basil we can grow ourselves as the garden and in the crate or other container. Likes sun, so it will be well in a sunny spot in the garden, on the balcony or window. Předpěstované plants can be purchased in larger supermarkets, but it is not difficult to grow from seeds. In our country, it is annual, outside nepřestojí winter because of low temperatures. When she provide enough light in the apartment it can be grown throughout the year.
Individual basil leaves can be harvested throughout the year, tops the best seedlings before flowering.
We use fresh basil or dried or freeze for later use. To maintain its typical aroma is probably the best freezing, because when drying her taste considerably changed and watered down. Leaves let either freeze in a plastic bag, or sliced ​​with a little water in the form of ice cubes. We should be dried in a thin layer, and as quickly as possible to nezčernala. Other possibilities for its preservation is loaded into oil. Thus preserved basil is especially suitable for cooking meat and vegetables or salads.

Positive effects on our body basil
Adding basil to food not only can influence and enrich its flavor and aroma. Substances contained in this bylince have a very positive effect on our digestion. Because they stimulate the production of bile, the stomach, and even our metabolism, can greatly aid in the digestion of fat and heavy meals. At the same time assist in various flatulence and catarrh, stomach and intestinal problems.
In our latitudes is less known use of basil as a tea. Tea made ​​from the dried basil has a calming and slightly antiseptic effect on the stomach and the whole digestive system is effective for nausea and colic. Also relieves headaches, anxiety and nervous tension, it is said that the herb basil is a good mood. It is a suitable complement to the treatment of flu and colds, facilitates expectoration and a mild antiseptic. Gargling brine helps in the treatment of gums and other inflammations in the mouth or sore throat.
Interesting information for breastfeeding mothers for sure is that sensible eating basil stimulates the production of breast milk.

External use basil
Essential oils of basil are considered one of the most effective natural essences with the effects on our nervous system. Essential oil with basil extracts are very effective with stress, headaches, fatigue and nervousness. It is said about them, being one of the strongest natural antidepressants. (Some sources report that these her fragrance not be used in pregnancy.) Inhalation of vapors or essential oils from basil marinade helps in the treatment of rhinitis is often recommended for asthma and respiratory diseases.
Due to its antiseptic effects, basil also suitable for external treatment of skin, such as stings and insect bites or minor skin injuries. Simply crush the leaves and attach to the quirks. Because the insect is not overly fond of its aromatic scent, it can be used as a natural insect repellent for flies or scarecrow placed in the crate on the windowsill.

Basil in the kitchen
Basil is a symbol for us, especially Mediterranean cuisine. It adds an unmistakable flavor favorites foods such as pizza, pasta, grilled meats and vegetables, legumes and fresh salads. It is added to soups, mayonnaise, sauces and is one of the main ingredients for the famous pesto, basil pasta with parmesan cheese and pine nuts. When using as basil seasoning quickly come to the taste very good friend with garlic. In the last part of our series, we reported the recipe for delicious herb butter with basil and garlic , in previous articles and other recipes and examples of using basil in cooking, for example, for home preparation of marinades for grilling meat and vegetables or making home herb vinegar . This herb offers us many opportunities really use the kitchen and the taste and smell of food can significantly enrich.

Recipe for Tea / infusion: 1 teaspoon dried basil 2dl pour hot water, 5 min. steep
- Used as tea, gargle or tiles for inhalation can add more powdered drugs

.. And a simple and quick recipe for my favorite mňamku with the scent of Italy ..
Bruschetta
for 2 persons: Italian ciabatta bread (or baguette or French bread), a few tablespoons olive oil 4 large tomatoes, about 10 fresh basil leaves, 2 cloves of garlic, a bit of foliage spring šnitlíku or 1 respectively. small red onion, ground pepper (preferably green), a pinch of salt
- Bread ciabatta or baguette slices, lightly brush the garlic and cook in the oven for a while. Tomatoes Cut open and get rid of seed remaining fleshy part cut into small cubes with onion. Garlic cut into thin slices or see the picture. Mix together the olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and chopped fresh basil. Mixture served on toasted slices of bread.

[2006-08-16]
The author Queen Basil - herb worthy of the name: Michaela Vorlová