The most exciting part of gardening was the idea of growing herbs and eventually making medicines for my family and friends. Those thoughts have become a reality and I am in perpetual awe at the abundance Nature gives. I have been growing basil for the last 2 years and it is an easy to maintain and hardy plant, so I have a ton. After adding the leaves to salads and smoothies, making pesto and drying the leaves out for herbal salts, I was ready to make a tincture. I have been a student of naturopathy for half of my life and there is still so much to explore. The ability to heal, treat and prevent diseases is our birthright and if we just connect with the Earth, all that we need is within reach.
Making the tincture was fairly simple, yet exciting none the less. I harvested about a cup of basil leaves, macerated them, placed them into a sterilized mason jar and covered them with Everclear. I prefer the taste of rum better, so the next batch will be made with Bacardi instead of the grain alcohol. Plus when using fresh matter, such as the basil leaves an alcohol content of 40% is sufficient for pulling out the necessary minerals and properties of the plant. After sealing the jar and placing it in a dark cabinet, I knew that I would have to shake or swirl this material around daily. The first day was the brightest as the chlorophyll filled the jar and gave the glow of an emerald elixir. I couldn't wait until it was complete, which would be around 6 weeks. I am looking forward to experimenting with the tincture and sharing the wealth with the people that I care about.
There are so many wonderful benefits of basil that can benefit us all. Basil is rich in Vitamin K, which is needed for healthy bones. It offers the body anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory protection. Basil is rich in vitamin's A and C, both great antioxidants for healthy skin and eyesight. Manganese and Iron are necessary minerals for anemia and skin integrity, and basil packs a one two punch. Basil was once considered among the earth’s most noble and sacred plants. The plant is believed to have originated in Asia, but its use in European culture dates back to Ancient Greece. In Roman times, basil was a symbol of love. In ancient cultures it was regarded as a food of enlightenment. According to Erotic Cuisine: a natural history of aphrodisiac cookery, its aroma was thought to guide both body and spirit into a “unity of perception and acceptance.”
Basil, it's worth a try.