DID YOU KNOW: Basil is a member of the mint family and is sometimes referred to as the ‘royal herb’.

And we couldn’t agree more.

There are added benefits to planting basil in your garden.

Here are some reasons why you should consider planting basil in your garden.

Good enough to eat

Basil leaves are perfect in soups, stews, and salads. You can even enjoy it in a warm cup of tea. Planting basil in your garden means you can now make your own pesto (yum!).

Plus, there are tons of great recipes that incorporate a touch of basil.

Interestingly, basil also contains a number of antioxidants and essential oils which are good for your heart, body and mind. 


Garden to Kitchen: Fresh roasted tomato and prosciutto rye with basil pesto recipe

Some health benefits

Basil is packed with powerful antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, which aid in the fight against free radicals, which cause cell damage.

Adding basil to your daily diet can actively reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

This widely grown and popular herb can also be good for fighting inflammation. 

Basil extracts derived from holy basil – or tulsi – are commonly used in supplements. Tulsi is said to contain properties which help with anxiety and depression, this is according to traditional Ayurvedic medicine studies.

Take care if you are on blood pressure medication as a high intake may lower your blood pressure.

Fresh or dry

Fresh basil has the most to offer in terms of incredible health benefits, as most of the plant compounds will evaporate in the drying process.

So it will be great to get a start on planting this noble plant in your garden, fresh and ready.

Dried basil is still full of nutrients and is easily available from your local supermarket.

Or use this herb drying guide to get your DIY on.

In the garden

It’s super easy to grow your own basil plants. Plant your seeds in your outdoor garden at the beginning of the summer months when temperatures are above fifteen degrees Celsius.

Basil is sensitive to the cold, and so needs plenty of sun to grow and thrive.

Once your seedlings begin to sprout, after 10-15 days of sowing, keep them in a protected area away from snails. You may plant basil in a pot and store it indoors (with plenty of sunlight, of course) instead of planting it in your outdoor garden.

For your garden, try out different types of basil and see which one is your favourite.

Sweet basil is typically used to make pesto, boasts a delightful fragrance and is full of flavour. Bush basil or Greek basil has a mild flavour compared to sweet basil and makes for an easy substitute for sweet basil.


5 Types of Basil to Try This Year

Feature image: Unsplash