Holy Basil, Batman

images             Seven actors have taken on the role of Batman over the years.Lewis G. Wilson first donned the cape in 1943.  Lewis known as the, “dumpy Batman,” filled out his tights in all the wrong places. In contrast, Christian Bale’s performance smashed box office records with his angst ridden character prominently displayed in a molded body costume. Despite the cult status of The Dark Knight, my personal favorite remains Adam West who portrayed the caped crusader in the 1966-68 TV series. It was in this campy version where we the television audience were introduced to the iconic phrase, “Holy (whatever), Batman,” uttered weekly by Batman’s sidekick, Robin.

As an aside to this post, my husband and I went to see Wolverine last night. I can honestly say Hugh Jackman’s ripped abs benefited greatly from the lack of a costume. (Or for that matter, any clothing at all) And if you haven’t seen the film, all I will add is, “Holy Wolverine, Batman.”

So what does an overused catchphrase from the sixties have to do with a post on basil? Well to be honest, absolutely nothing. And yet while doing research on the homeopathic value of basil (ocimum basilicum), I found myself repeating the phrase aloud in a sappy Robin like voice. I guess that shows both my age and my affinity for the absurd. But hopefully I’ve piqued your curiosity about basil, one of the truly Superhero culinary and medicinal herbs.

Nothing signals summertime like the sweet scent of basil blooming in the garden. Thanks to the right balance of rain and sunshine the common varieties of Genovese or sweet basil, Purple and Thai are flourishing in my herb garden. They are easy to grow in containers and add delightful flavor to any culinary endeavor.

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From pasta to pesto, the cook can find endless uses for this delicious herb. Caprese salad with fresh basil, garden tomatoes and mozzarella is a summertime favorite. Just remember when cooking with basil, its best used within 15 minutes of picking. Exposure to air will cause the leaves to wilt and turn black. Although you can keep fresh basil in the refrigerator for a few days with the stems immersed in water. Please refer to my post on Presto-Pesto found in Culinary Country.

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This post focuses on the herb variety Holy Basil(ocium tenuiflorum) or Tulasi. Tulsi is native to India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and is sacred to the Hindu god Vishnu. Some believe the herb is the goddess in plant form. It has been revered for over 3000 years and is one of India’s most powerful herbs.

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The medicinal properties the herb is cultivated for include:

1.Antibacterial

2.Antidepressant

3.Antioxidant

4.Antiviral

5.Diuretic

6.Expectorant

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Modern studies have focused on the antioxidant and neuroprotective properties of Tulsi or Holy Basil. There are a number of supplements available over the counter and can be found in capsule and tea form. Research shows the herb decreases stress by preventing an elevation in cortisol levels. Some of the additional benefits touted by the supplement include improvement in memory and a reduction of allergic reactions to animal dander and mold. Holy Basil is not recommended to expectant mothers or those women trying to get pregnant because of possible infertility effects.

Bee-Queen.com cannot provide anecdotal evidence to support the above claims but I do chew basil leaves for indigestion and upset stomach and they work quite well. I’ve recently placed an order with, the growers-exchange.com for my first Holy Basil plant which I plan to grow in my fall herb garden. I chose the green Tulsi as it purported to be milder in flavor than the red. I look forward to growing this basil variety and reporting back to you in future posts.It may not turn me into a superhero,(Alas, no cape and mask for me), But I do recall a certain fondness for a Zena, Warrior Princess Halloween costume some years back. Hhmm… So stay tuned for my upcoming adventures with this multipurpose Super Herb.

Editors note: I’ve been drinking Tulsi for the past week or so and must say, it is very soothing and relaxing. Zzz…. Goodnight.


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