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Growing Basil in Your Home

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

growing basil

Story at-a-glance -

  • Basil is an easy-to-grow herb with several varieties, and culinary experts call it the perfect herb to pair with tomatoes, as basil cuts through the acidity of the tomato for balanced flavor
  • Varieties of ocimum basilicum include sweet basil, the most common, but several more types, such as holy basil, lime and lemon basil and even the cinnamon variety, possess different oils
  • Like most other herbs, basil has been noted for its powerful health benefits, which can be attributed to the essential oil eugenol, antioxidants and polyphenols
  • Harvesting frequently is like a shot in the arm to a basil plant. Snipping the right leaves at the right time is key for encouraging bushier growth and a greater yield

Savory green pesto sauce, tomato and mozzarella salad, nearly any egg dish, wild-caught Alaskan salmon — these and many more meal options take on a fresh tweak of flavor when basil is part of the equation.


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