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Purple basil: care and what it is for

Purple basil: care and what it is for

scientific name Ocimum basilicumapurple basil or tulsi It is a plant that has traditionally been used both as a culinary ingredient and as a medicinal plant. Currently it is cultivated in practically the whole world, although it is a species native to India.

If you want to learn the purple basil care at home to benefit from all its properties, join us in this EcologíaVerde article, in which we also tell you what it is for.

Weather and Location for Holy Basil

As with common basil, this plant needs to be protected from wind and coldand it is that although it supports cool temperatures somewhat better than its relative, the purple basil is undoubtedly a plant of mild weather.

Its ideal temperature is between 15 and 25 ºC, being likely that from then on the leaves lose that characteristic pigmentation that gives the plant its first name and turn green. Due to the lower limit, it is always necessary to avoid exposing the plant to temperatures below 10 ºC for a long time, although it can occasionally withstand drops to close to 0 ºC.

Find a location where get as much light as possibleeven directly, during between 6 and 8 hours a day. As long as these conditions of temperature, light and shelter from the wind are met, it is possible to grow purple basil both indoors and outdoors, although depending on the local climate it will be more or less feasible to do it in the orchard or garden.

Purple basil: care and what it is for - Climate and location for purple basil

Substrate and fertilizer for purple basil

This plant is not particularly demanding in terms of its soil, the only really important thing being that it is in a soil with a drainage as well as possible, with some moisture retention capacity.

In this case, the universal mix for seedbeds that we usually recommend will be equally valid. Prepare coconut fiber, earthworm humus and peat in equal parts, mix them well, and add a handful of vermiculite and perlite. This gives rise to a soil very rich in nutrients and beneficial microorganisms, light and with great drainage, which thanks to vermiculite and perlite will retain much better moisture for the roots.

Outdoors, look for an area where irrigation water does not accumulate or, if you do not have good soil, empty a space of half a meter and fill it with the mixture described above. A mulch will also help maintain better temperature and humidity levels for the plant.

Regarding the subscriber, it will suffice to add some organic matter such as worm humus or compost in the warm months at the base of the plant, every 15 days.

Here you can learn more details about How to sow and plant basil.

Holy Basil Irrigation

Since it needs a substrate that remains moist (never confuse wet with waterlogged), purple basil needs very frequent waterings but not too abundant. This is especially important if you have your plant in a pot, having to increase the frequency of watering even more so that the substrate never dries out completely, unless you live in a very humid or tropical climate.

Even so, it is necessary to remember that a wet substrate is not a waterlogged substrate: excess water harms practically all plants even more than drought, and holy basil is no exception. If you flood your soil or substrate, pests and diseases are likely to appear.

Here we give you more tips on when to water the plants.

Purple basil: care and what it is for - Irrigation of purple basil

Purple basil pruning

As with all types of basil, pruning is very important for the plant, especially when looking for the be able to harvest it. Since the part that is usually consumed are the leaves, it is necessary to prevent the plant from consuming its energy producing flowers, since this also changes the flavor of the leaves and makes them bitter. When your holy basil begins to produce flowers, pinch them off and remove them immediately. When you need a piece to use in the kitchen, clean a pair of scissors and cut as many leaves as you need, but avoid cutting the central stem.

What is purple basil used for?

What medicinal plantpurple basil is attributed a large number of properties and benefits, among which the following stand out:

  • Powerful antioxidant.
  • Helps against bronchial respiratory problems.
  • Antibacterial.
  • antifungal
  • It has relaxing and anti-stress properties.
  • It is also anti-inflammatory.
  • Protects the cardiovascular system.

Thus, taking into account its properties, it is commonly used for all kinds of stress problems, skin problems, such as acne and insect bites, and as an antioxidant booster and preventive effect against heart problems. It is also taken to reduce symptoms such as fever and is a known support in the prevention of some diseases such as malaria or dengue.

You can have it added to food as an aromatic herbalthough skin problems will require that applied topicallyapplying the crushed leaves with a mortar.

It is also possible to chew the leaves to receive the calming effect, or take a purple basil infusion for bronchial problems or fever, although sometimes it is mixed with cardamom, milk and sugar to improve the effect.

If you liked discovering purple basil, you may be interested in learning about lemon verbena: properties, benefits and contraindications.

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