African Blue Basil
Have you heard of an ornamental plant that is called African blue basil? It is a hybrid basil variety plant. It is a perennial plant: a cross between camphor basil and dark opal basil. African blue basil is a plant that produces purple-veined leaves with a strong, earthy flavor and a warm, pleasing scent. Its flowers are good for decoration. It can as well be grown indoors. It is a rare type of basil plant.
It is a plant you can find in Africa and Asia. However, now you can find it in Thailand, Italy, and Vietnam. Bees and wasps are attracted to it. Basil tends to grow best in full sun locations, on well-drained and moist soil. Its leaves are always flat, broad, and smooth. African blue basil always has dark-purpled leaves, the dark leaves depend on its maturity, but as time evolves, it transforms into purple-green followed by bright-green.
African blue basil is a type of herb that doesn’t grow anywhere like that: in a word, it’s a rare plant. The African blue basil grows to a height of 1 meter in height with multiples branches. It is also a sterile plant, which means you can never see it producing seeds. One of these interesting features of the African basil plant that you might want to know is its ability to maintain evergreen green and purple leaves round the year. It is also a fast-growing plant it takes.
If you want to go about planting blue basil, you must start the nursery indoors. Basil takes 8 to 14 days to germinate and develop from the soil. Before you take the step of taking it out to the garden, it must have grown to about 6 inches tall. It can’t survive being over-watered, meaning you must regulate the rate at which you water the plant. You must keep the temperature to 70 degrees Fahrenheit because it’s the best environment for it to germinate.
It is not usually used as a culinary herb, but instead, it is commonly used as ornamental.
Nutritional Fact of African Blue Basils
African blue basil leaves contain the following nutrients you really need to know:
It also contains some essential oils and compounds:
Eugenol, camphene, limonene, citronellol and camphor.
Health Benefits of African Blue Basil
This plant is edible which can as well be eaten raw, and it has a lot of good to do to your body.
Prevention of Blood Clotting
If your blood has ever got frozen, that’s when you can understand the help African blue basil is rendering to you. It prevents blockage in your heart vessels. In order to prevent any heart-related disease, you need to consume foods that contain vitamin K, and an example is an African blue basil.
Ensure Strong Bones
Calcium and magnesium are 2 important nutrients needed to keep your bone strong, and African blue basil contains calcium and magnesium. It works even faster for children than for teenagers and adults.
Improves Your Immune System
The presence of vitamin C in African blue basil functions as antioxidants: which strengthen your immune system and make your body susceptible to diseases.
Your regular consumption of African blue basil leaves will guarantee a reduction in the rate at which you can develop cancer. Its work is not only to prevent, but it can also heal cancer. African blue basil contains a content called monoterpene: it prevents the growth of cancer.
High antioxidants present in African blue basil prevent you from premature aging. If you want to look young as before, consume African blue basil more regularly.
Funny to the ear, but it’s the truth; the scent from African blue basil leaves is capable of reducing your stress. A natural element found in this plant will reduce your stress level.
Prevention of Bacteria Growth
African blue basils combat bacteria due to the properties of its essential oils.
Nourishes the Skin
The antioxidant in African blue basil also plays a vital role in your skin. It prevents your skin from skin disease. It can also be recommended for you as an effective skin-care product.
Control Your Cholesterol Level
Vitamin K will help to reduce cholesterol because it’s hazardous to your heart. For individuals that have a high cholesterol level, it is highly recommended for them.
Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases
The heart is always affected by the body’s cholesterol level and the presence of blood vessel blockage. Regular consumption of African blue basil will be of help.
In addition, African blue basils will help you in the digestion of protein. Vitamin K also quickens the healing of wounds faster.
Other Applications of African Blue Basil
- The dried leaves are used as a flavor because of the camphor scent. Traditionally in some parts of Africa, it is used to alleviate headaches and fever.
- In the case of abortion, some African countries adopted it use some years back to induce abortion. It helped to facilitate childbirth and reduce its related pain.
- It has also aided the management of diabetes.
- You can use the plant for cooking.
You might hit the decision to give African blue basil a chance in your garden. Takes these few guidelines to be its fan.
Foremostly, what you need to know is that you can only propagate by cutting (transplant). It is a sterile plant, meaning it doesn’t produce seeds. Look for a really sunny area with well-drained soil. You can choose to plant it in a garden or a container. Take note: the container must have at least a width of 10 – 12 inches. In its nursery (the beginning of the growing season), apply the necessary fertilizers needed. To your surprise, in a month, it can grow up to 2 feet tall. Alongside African blue basil, you can make some plantations like tomatoes and other vegetables.
This plant grows very fast, so you must endeavor to harvest the leaves. Always keep its maintenance in mind, by getting rid of dead leaves and some thick bushes around it. The plant survives easily during summer, but declines during winters.
African blue basil is a disease-free plant, but it can be attacked by pests (Japanese and fleas beetles, aphids, snails, and bug), but you can get rid of them by cutting off moldy leaves, bump aphids off of plants with a forceful spray of water and use copper flashing barrier to ward off snails, bugs and beetles.
Other Types of Basil Plant That Exist
Summerlong basil: a dwarf variety. It matures early than other basil does, between 30 to 60 days.
Cinnamon basil: a spicy and fragrant variety of favorite herbs in Asian cooking. Good for fried rice, noodles, grilled vegetables, and salads.
Sweet basil: it is the most common variety of basil. It is a good repellant for mosquitoes. You will find sweet basils, mostly in grocery stores; they are mostly present in pestos, salads, and marinades.
Purple basil: this type of basil does not have a sweet flavor. One of its amazing features is its large leaves of 1 2/3 inches when fully grown.
Lemon basil: it has a lemony scent, as the name implies. It is used in grilled vegetables, fish and poultry marinades, teas, and desserts.
Lettuce basil: they have a distinctive appearance with large, floppy wrinkled leaves. It is used in lettuce wrap because its leaves are four inches wide, between 6 to 10 inches. It has a mild flavor.
Lime basil: it makes an excellent pair with lemon basil. It has a sweet, mild, but bright citrus flavor. Used in desserts, sauces, and teas.
Green ruffle basil: it’s a unique plant due to its curly leaves, making it beautiful to grow in gardens.
Thai sweet basil: a spicy, licorice flavor. It maintains its flavor at high cooking temperatures as compared to other varieties of basil.
Genovese basil: it possesses a strong aromatic flavor; it is good for pestos and Italian dishes.
Holy basil: it has highly fragrant with a spicy-sweet musky scent. If eaten raw, it will give you a slightly bitter taste, but it makes a great flavor when cooked. It is good for stomach ailments, kidney conditions, and blood circulation.
Cardinal Basil: this variety is the most striking in the family of basil. It carries huge cardinal red blooms, which makes it easy to be spotted. It adds enough flavor to vinegar and oils.
Greek basil: it belongs to the smallest varieties; it grows to only 8 inches tall. It grows easily in a pot.
Spicy globe basil: from its name, it has a spicy flavor. It’s an excellent choice for indoor gardening and a small pot.
Take note: pregnant women and lactating women should avoid African blue basil.
So it is now up to you whether to add African blue basil to your indoor garden or outdoor garden.