Morgan Botanicals

  (Loveland, Colorado)
Herbal Information and Recipes
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Basil: The Beneficial Medicinal

 

Jessica Morgan, M.H. Basil, beyond being one of my most valued culinary herbs, is also one of my most valued medicinal herbs. Basil is known to be a great source of vitamin K, calcium, and other nutrients, as well as being abundant in antioxidants.

There are many different varieties of basil used for their medicinal and culinary attributes, but two of my favorites are the simple garden basil (Ocimum basilicum), and Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) also known as Tulsi. Ancient cultures have long used basil to treat various stomach and respiratory problems.

Basil Leaf (Ocimum basilicum) is known to impart sedative, diuretic and antiseptic properties.  The essential oil content of basil helps in the treatment of gastro-intestinal and renal affections, bronchitis and fever. It is also beneficial to the heart, as it helps reduce cholesterol. The herb is safe for children to take, and can help chicken pox to hurry through its course. It's leaves can be chewed to relieve mouth infections. Powdered dried leaves can be used to brush the teeth, which freshens the breath, cleans the teeth and stimulates the gums. A simple cup of tea can help with headaches. The use of basil leaf tea is also recommended in nervous system fatigue, insomnia and painful menstruation. Fresh basil leaf compresses are useful to aid the unpleasant effects of insect stings. 

Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) contains hundreds of compounds known as phyto-chemicals that work together to create strong anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and immune-enhancing properties. Often used to treat cough, sore throat, rash, stings, night blindness, hives, ear infections and fever. Leaves contain a tonic for the nerves and can improve memory. It helps to remove phlegm from the bronchial tubes and strengthens the stomach. Leaves can be chewed to aid colds and flu. One with kidney stones would benefit from basil as it is known to help expel stones from the urinary tract.

Consuming the warm brew of basil herbal tea can promote a more balanced metabolism, build stamina, and increase mental clarity. It is recommended to drink a cup after every meal.

If you're looking for loose leaf, you can buy Dried Basil Leaf and Dried Holy Basil here in my Local Harvest store.

As always, email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

 

 
 

Use Your Violets

Jessica Morgan, M.H. Viola ordorata, or Blue Violet as it’s commonly called, is not only cultivated for its beautiful and fragrant flowers, but is also used in perfumes, food flavorings, and herbal medicines. The plant can either be used fresh, or dried. The young fresh leaves and flower buds are used; and can be eaten raw or cooked. They make a wonderful addition to salad, but a tea made from the flower or leaves is equally as tasty. The flowers are demulcent and emollient and are often used for treating lung troubles. The flowers are also used to make herbal and culinary jellies and syrups.

The whole plant is anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, and laxative. It is taken internally in the treatment of bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, coughs, and asthma. Externally, it is typically used to treat mouth and throat infections.

The dried leaf is traditionally used as a tea, and the fresh leaf and flower is traditionally used in salads, soups and other food preparations. May also be taken as a liquid herbal extract.

I like to use dried Blue Violet Leaf to treat digestive issues related to constipation and lung disorders. A Violet tea infusion is a good choice for lymph congestion due to colds, while Violet syrup is great for relieving respiratory ailments, asthma, coughing, lung congestion and sore throat. Violet Leaf tea is made by simply pouring boiling water over the loose dried herb and allowed to steep before drinking. Purchase Blue Violet leaf.

Blue Violet Syrup Recipe
Ingredients:
* 2 oz of dried Blue Violet Leaf (Viola odorata)
* 1 quart of distilled water
* 3 quarts of honey or glycerin

Place the Blue Violet Leaf in a stainless steel or glass pan and cover with the quart of water. Let it sit overnight. Place over low heat and simmer the mixture slowly until the liquid is reduced to about half the original volume. Remove and strain the mixture, pressing the herbs. Measure retrieved liquid. Take that measurement and add 3 times the amount of honey or glycerin to the liquid. Heat gently until the mixture is incorporated, then pour into sterilized jars and cap. Label and store in a cool place. Syrup made in this manner has a shelf life of 1 year so be sure to date the jars.

Refrigerate after opening. Standard dose for taking a syrup is approximately 1 teaspoonful as needed.

Please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M. H.

 
 
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