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Christmas herb: Holy Basil

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The herb basil is used in many recipes, such as making pesto, sauces, as part of both garden and potato salads, and in making teas. The Holy Basil has a much different taste from the basil used in above recipes. It blends well with green and white teas to use as a medicinal herb.

When used in cough syrups and tonics, the clove-like flavor makes taking the medicine a little easier.Try the Holy Basil in fruit smoothies for a really healthy drink.

Holy Basil kills bacteria and is known for treating the fevers of malaria and dengue, as well as fevers arising from strep throat and sinus infection. Crush the leaves of the basil to obtain the juice, then add to green tea and sweeten with raw honey.

There are many herbs and spices that treat sore throats and other upper respiratory illnesses and Holy Basil is one. The crushed leaves can be added to a liter of water and boiled until the water is reduced by half. The medicine can be taken a spoonful at a time or used to gargle with for sore throats and mouth sores.

Along with treating illnesses such as bronchitis, asthma, flu, colds and coughs, Holy Basil is good for treating headaches, and diarrhea in children. When taken regularly, Holy Basil reduces cholesterol, sharpens the memory and calms the nerves by reducing stress.

Holy Basil is also used to reduce pain and to treat ringworm when applied as a paste to affected parts of the skin. Perhaps the greatest value of Holy Basil is its ability to prevent gastrointestinal gas.

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