Debbie's Garden

  (Dallas, Georgia)
An herbal experience!
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Basil, basil and more basil

Do you know.....there are OVER SIXTY varieties of BASIL??  I've only grown maybe about twenty or so.  Basil is one of the most widely-used herbs in the world.  Whether it be fresh pesto, spaghetti sauce, or just throw some fresh (or dried) basil on a tomato sandwich, basil is a very versatile herb. It has medicinal qualities, too. One use is as a tea to help settle the stomach.   

Basil is a member of the large mint family, and is known botanically as Ocimum basilicum. It has long been used as an embalming and preserving herb, found in mummies of ancient Egypt (Get out!) Perhaps because of its embalming usage, basil was also a symbol of mourning in Greece where it was known as basilikon phuton, meaning magnificent, royal or kingly herb.

Basil may have originated in India, however ancient records from 907 A.D. indicate sweet basil in the Hunan region of China. Basil is also known as St. Joseph's wort. (NOT to be confused with St. John's Wort).  Today, basil is not only used as a food flavoring, but also in perfumery, incense, and herbal holistic remedies.

At this time I am growing the following varieties:  Sweet basil, genovese basil, large leaf italian basil, boxwood, spicy globe, purple petra, ruffles, blue spice, cinnamon, lemon, lime, opal, amethyst, Christmas....I love them all!

Ya'll have an HERBY DAY!  debbie

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I know there are many varieties of basil. However, I have been struggling to located sweet basil in a grocery store . Is the basil sold in stores sweet basil ? Uggh!!! I know I like sweet basil in my awesome homemade pasta sauce but since I've run out - I cannot find any. What's the diff if any btwn basil & "sweet" basil. I was gonna buy some on this site- should I?????
Will welcome any comments. Sorry for sounding stupid. I use over 45 diff spices/spice blends but don't know the details of them all. I just know what I like from taste & experience... I am def a spice user queen!!! Ergo- the endless search to locate this!!!
Thnxxxx so much,
( ha ha - that REALLY is my nickname - for 30 yrs+).

Posted by Pepper on July 03, 2010 at 03:22 AM EDT #

Hi Pepper, I know another girl named Pepperr with two r' sweet basil is pretty equivalent to italian basil or genovese basil.....I actually am growing some sweet basil this year. As long as you stay away from cinnamon, lime, lemon, spice...all the "weird" ones you will probably have an authentic sweet basil type taste.

Posted by debbie on July 03, 2010 at 02:14 PM EDT #

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