The time for harvesting Basil is now. Anyone who loves Basil knows about enjoying it with fresh sliced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese pieces and olive oil. What about making a tincture with Basil?

An herbal tincture is easy to make and is usually made with 100% alcohol or a combination of alcohol and water or apple cider vinegar and water, depending on the permeability of the plant material (leaves, flowers, seeds, and such). Inexpensive Potters brand vodka works fine as the alcohol, and pure water, not distilled, is recommended. The right liquid encourages the optimal infusion.

I have the highest respect for plant medicine. Within a period of days a plant completely gives over the fruition of its essence to the liquid for the good of humans. Witness the sacred transfusion of the green or colors of the plant’s life seep into the fluid. Giving a sentient being an opportunity to serve adds exponentially to our collective loving consciousness.  Similar to asking for help from another, when you decide to make a tincture, the plant knows it is being chosen to offer help. Both parties benefit. Plants are wise beings. Discover more on the feeling nature of plants in The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird.

Practically speaking, tinctures offer a long shelf life for your herbs. We know that eating locally grown food is superb for health. Herbs from your own garden give excellent healing support. I recently explored some of the healing properties of fragrant Basil.

Here is a partial summary of the “how to” and medicinal basics of Basil from Making Plant Medicine by Richo Cech.

Parts used: The leaf and flowering tops without the woody stems, harvested in the early flowering stage and used fresh or dried.

Tincture of fresh leaf and flower: 1:2 (one part plant to two parts liquid) 75A-25W (liquid of 75% alcohol and 25% water)

Tincture of dried leaf and flower: 1:5, 50A-50W

Traditional uses: Basil is one of the most commonly prescribed herbs in Ayurvedic medicine, serves to sharpen mind and is considered a stomachic and expectorant with helpful relief of indigestion, diarrhea, coughs, bronchitis, and skin diseases. Preparations of tincture, tea or decoction are considered a prophylactic against epidemics like cholera, influenza and malaria.

Consider a new relationship with Basil. Adding your prayers of gratitude each day of the two week infusion process will surely raise the “spirits” of your tincture.

Being in a loving relationship with plants is a glorious thing. Enjoy yours with Basil!

Many blessings, Barbara

(c) Copyright 2013 Barbara J. Semple

An excellent resource for more about Basil and other popular plants as medicine.