Growing basil can be challenging but the results are very rewarding. Basil is part of the mint family. Basil grows best if it is started indoors. After it has sprouted, it can be transported outdoors. Basil may want to sag because of its thinness, but do the best to make sure this herb stands tall. After it has matured, the basil should stand over a foot tall. It is important to water the basil often to keep it healthy. Be sure to use natural and organic methods to prevent pests from ruining your garden as beetles love to tear on the leaves and it will leave your plant with many holes in the leaves.

Cutting basil the correct way is important so you don’t damage the rest of the plant. Cut the basil stem about one fourth of the way down. This will help the other basil leaves start the growing process. If you simply pluck the leaves off, new basil leaves will be unable to grow. This will help maximize the amount of basil leaves that you can grow for your gardening season.

There are several health benefits for using basil. You know things are in your favor when you can get a deliciously tasting seasoning herb that is healthy. There is plenty of vitamin K, iron, calcium, vitamin a, magnesium and potassium in this green herb. Basil can protect your system against unwanted bacteria growth. This is possible from the oils of the basil leaf. It is also proven to help as an anti-inflammatory and provide nutrients for your cardiovascular system. The amount of vitamin A that is in this herb will help prevent cholesterol from forming in your body and can prevent a heart attack and stroke. Basil has the correct properties in them to help as an anti-inflammatory. For your next toothache, no need to take tylenol. Stick a piece of basil on your gum line and you should be feeling better in no time. Many people be sure to eat lots of basil to help with arthritis.

Cooking with basil is delicious and this herb is very healthy for you. Basil is found in pesto and is often used in Italian food. Other herbs and vegetables that are cooked with basil are onions, garlic and olives, which makes this herb taste even better in an Italian dish. Putting some basil leaves in spaghetti sauce is absolutely delicious and it will give your food that extra flavor that it needs. Since you are growing fresh basil, you should cook with it while it is still fresh. Once the leaves dry, you won’t get as much of a flavor with them.

Basil leaves are exciting to grow and taste great in all kinds of recipes. When you start your herb garden this year be sure to include basil for a healthy extra flavoring to your food. Dried basil leaves can be stored in a tightly sealed container for 6 months to a year before going bad.