Herbal Home Remedies for Healthy Families

Learn these simple home remedies for a healthy family including the amazing benefits of ginger, multiple uses for basil tea and how to use juniper berries as a natural disinfectant.

| February/March 1998

Disguised as everyday plants, spices or vegetables, these powerful herbal home remedies are as near as your cupboard, refrigerator or backyard.

Basil (Ocimum Basilicum)

Basil is cultivated worldwide as an annual plant. Many varieties have different compositions and flavoring characteristics. The herb is strongly affected by environmental factors such as temperature, geographic location, soil and amount of rainfall. Its thin branching root produces bushy stems growing from 1 to 2 feet high and bearing leaves of a purple hue, and two-lipped flowers, varying in color from white to red, sometimes with a purple tinge.

Multi-Purpose Basil Tea 

One of basil's great uses is as a multi-purposed, healthful tea. Maurice Messegue, a world-renowned French herbal folk healer, swears by basil as an excellent nightcap tea for restlessness and migraines. The steaming tea is also good for a patient with fever to inhale while covered with a blanket. Cool basil tea is good for all kinds of eye problems and works both as an eyewash and as an internal tea.

Obviously fresh basil leaves and unground seeds are the best to use when making a tea. If these are obtainable in your immediate area, bring 2 pints of water to a boil and add 15 basil seeds. Cover and reduce the heat, slowly simmering for about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 1/2 handfuls of fresh or half-dried basil and steep for another 25 minutes or so.

Drink or gargle with this tea an average of 2 cups per day, as needed. When lukewarm, the strained tea can also be used to bathe the eyes.

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