A refreshing tea is made from the leaves. The seed can be eaten on its own or added to bread dough as a flavouring. When soaked in water it becomes mucilaginous and can be made into a refreshing beverage called 'sherbet tokhum' in the Mediterranean.An essential oil obtained from the plant is used as a food flavouring in mustards, sauces, vinegars etc
The leaves and flowering tops are antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, digestive, galactogogue, stomachic and tonic. They are taken internally in the treatment of feverish illnesses (especially colds and influenza), poor digestion, nausea, abdominal cramps, gastro-enteritis, migraine, insomnia, depression and exhaustion. Externally, they are used to treat acne, loss of smell, insect stings, snake bites and skin infections. The leaves can be harvested throughout the growing season and are used fresh or dried. The seed is said to remove film and opacity from the eyes. Extracts from the plant are bactericidal and are also effective against internal parasites. The seeds are said to be a cure for warts.The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Clearing'.
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Bush basil is commonly grown for its edible leaves in warm temperate and tropical climates. A perennial plant in the tropics, it is frost tender and is grown as a half-hardy annual in temperate zones. It is a very good plant to grow in the house or greenhouse, its aromatic foliage helps reduce problems caused by insect pests[K]. It requires a good summer in Britain if it is to do well outdoors. This species is considered by some botanists to be no more than a form of O. basilicum.Bush basil is a good companion plant for tomatoes but it grows badly with rue and sage. When grown near raspberries it can retard their fruiting.
Problems, pests & diseases
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