Wooden bowl of dried basil surrounded by fresh basil leaves

Wear your herbs: Basil

When I say “basil”, do you think “pesto”? Pesto made with sweet basil happens to be my enduring obsession, but with over 50 different varieties (possibly as many as 150!) distributed around the world, basil is about much, much more.

Since ancient times, basil has found its way into our food, medicine and cosmetics. It’s antibacterial and antiviral, and a good source of vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, and calcium. Medicinally, basil is used to ease headaches, sore throats, coughs, nausea, and to ease nervous tension.

Basil is also reputed to strengthen dry or brittle hair, restoring hair’s natural luster and shine. To cook up your own aromatic, strengthening hair rinse, make a strong tea with Basil leaves and Lavender flowers. Use 2 Tbsp of dried herb per cup of water and steep for at least 15 minutes.

Pour it over your head and catch the runoff in a bowl and keep repeating, or do it lazy-style like me- just dunk your head in a bowl.

For a twist on the recipe:

  • Substitute Holy Basil (Tulsi) for the Sweet Basil. The aroma is heaven!
  • For Brunettes: try a Basil and Rosemary blend.
  • For Blondes and Redheads: mix Basil with Chamomile.

Enjoy wearing your herbs!