The Virtues of Basil Tea

SONY DSC "You know what this is."

I was handed a bunch of fragrant teardrop shaped leaves. Inhaling the sweet scent, I knew without a doubt- "basil!"

During my stay at the Rohdes Hall Plantation in Jamaica a few weeks ago, we happened upon a large patch of basil while on a guided walk.

I know basil well, I have a hearty stretch growing in my herb garden in Maryland that I use to make summer salads and to season buttermilk biscuits and lemonade. What I wasn't aware of was the use of basil in Jamaica as a medicinal tea. From diabetes, to asthma, stress, to arthritis, basil taken as a tea can prove a powerful healing tonic. To prepare basil tea, simply pull about a dozen fresh sprigs from the earth and rinse. Bring your water to a boil then add the clean basil sprigs seeping for five minutes. Basil tea is a fantastic early morning tea as basil is known to bring mental clarity.

For an extra kick of green, I like to add a teaspoon of mint flavored chlorophyll. The taste combination is lovely.