Tell Me About...Blue Basil


African blue basil flowers via Jengod (Wikimedia)

A prolific number of basils are available to use as an herb in cooking, and it is one of the most well-known herbal ingredients in the United States. While many may be familiar with traditional sweet basil or Thai basil or even holy basil (more on this in another post), one of our more recent tea offerings features African blue basil (Ocimum 'African Blue') as the star component in a refreshing and calming Perennial blend.

In general, basil has several noted medicinal properties. It has antibiotic capabilities as well as antispasmodic properties, which means that it excels in treating headaches, ear aches, and cold and coughs. African blue basil has a subtle licorice- or camphor-like in additional to the usual clove notes that most basils impart upon tasting.

Basil also is a well-known herb for the treatment of stress and anxiety, and recognized as an adaptogen for its ability to help the body normalize the effects of stress and regain balance.

Additionally, those interested in growing herbs for their own use will find African blue basil to be one of the easier basils to work with. Not only is it a perennial basil and adaptable to living indoors, it is immune to the powdery mildew that plagues all basil growers. It is also well-loved by bees, making it a particularly attractive pollinator plant!

The African blue basil used in Perennial's tea comes from Barefoot Botanicals in Pennsylvania. For additional info on basil, read this post from the New York Botanical Garden on the different cultivars.

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Bonnie Rubrecht is a writer and illustrator living on the Central Coast of California. She is also Content Editor for Tea Leaves Blog.
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