Aloe Vera, The “First Aid” Plant

All About Aloe Vera

 

Aloe Vera Properties

Aloe Vera Is:

·       Anti-inflammatory
·       Antibacterial
·       Antifungal
·       Antiviral
·       Antioxidant

Aloe Vera plants produce a variety of substances with antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antioxidant properties; Aloe Vera made the list of superfoods and super herbs!

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For thousands of years, people have used the gel from aloe vera leaves for healing and softening the skin. Aloe Vera is the “First Aid” plant.  The gel inside the Aloe Vera leaves is soothing & has incredible, natural, skin care properties!

Aloe Vera plants provide high amounts of vitamins and minerals; its leaf is filled with a gel containing at least 75 nutrients, 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, & 18 amino acids.

Aloe Vera produces at least six natural antiseptics, which are able to kill mold, bacteria, funguses, and viruses.  Learn about  ways to put your magical Aloe Vera plant to use after splitting the leaves lengthwise down the middle.

Aloe Vera Recipes

Exfoliate dry skin by mixing two tbsp. each Aloe Vera gel and organic brown sugar with two tsp. lemon juice

Mix equal parts of Aloe Vera gel with lemon juice to decrease dark spots and brighten skin. Aloe Vera can decrease pigmentation

Make a homemade burn healer by mixing 1/4 cup each Aloe vera gel and liquid Calendula with a few drops of vitamin E oil & Lavender Essential oil. Store in a little, airtight jar. Give Aloe Vera as gifts, share Aloe Vera with friends & family!

Soft feet! Get rid of Eczema!  Exfoliate feet, knees and elbows with a mixture of 1/2 c. each oatmeal, four tbsp. Aloe Vera gel, and 1/2 c. coconut oil

White flakes? Reduce hair dandruff by mixing Aloe Vera juice with coconut milk and wheat germ oil. Massage into scalp and rinse.

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Uses for Aloe Vera

Shaving – Replace shaving cream and use Aloe Vera gel; soothe razor burn and save money & your skin!

Dandruff – White flakes? Reduce hair dandruff by mixing aloe vera juice with coconut milk and wheat germ oil. Massage into scalp and rinse.

Exfoliator – coconut oil mixed with sugar or sea salt is a very nourishing and effective exfoliator and safe to use all over the body.

Athlete’s Foot – Relieve athlete’s foot by mixing Aloe Vera Gel with a drop or two of Tea Tree essential oil; it works!!

Frizz – helps smooth away those pesky static-frizzed hairs. Simply rub a bit of coconut oil in your hand and swipe over your hair

Burns, poison ivy, and blisters – Aloe Vera contains cooling properties similar to menthol. Combine with Lavender or Peppermint essential oils for a dual benefit!

Healing – apply to cuts, sores, and other skin infections;  Aloe Vera has excellent antibacterial properties

Make up remover – save your money while healing your skin!

Beauty – Apply straight Aloe vera gel to skin to reduce age lines, remove scars and stretch marks; Cleopatra did!

Shower – Rub the inner sides of a cut Aloe Vera leaf on skin to use as a shower scrub (slice the aloe leaves lengthwise and use the inner sides)

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Hair – Stimulate hair growth & say goodbye to frizzy hair by massaging aloe into the scalp and hair; leave on for as long as possible, at least half an hour.
Aloe Vera restores for silky smooth and promotes growth.  Aloe Vera keeps hair well moisturized, combating the heat from styling appliances.
Moisturizer – simply scoop some out and apply; Aloe Vera absorbs quickly

Allergies, rashes – Relieve itching due to allergies and rashes or take the sting & itch out of insect bites (fight back! grow Citronella & Lemongrass plants in pots where you gather outside to keep those bugs away!)

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Aloe Vera Sugar Lemon Scrub Recipe

Mixing Aloe Vera gel, lemon juice or essential oil and organic brown sugar makes for an energizing exfoliation experience! Want a healthy glow?

Stir Aloe Vera gel, organic brown sugar and Lemon Essential Oil or juice together and ta-da!

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Homemade Burn Healer Recipe

Make a homemade burn healer by mixing 1/4 cup each Aloe vera gel and liquid Calendula with a few drops of vitamin E oil & Lavender Essential oil. Store in an airtight jar.

DIY Homemade Burn Healer
Jar
1/4 cup Aloe Vera gel
1/4 cup Calendula liquid
Few drops of Vitamin E oil
Few drips of Lavender Essential Oil

Give as gifts, share with friends & family!

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Oatmeal Coconut Aloe Scrub

Soft feet! Get rid of Eczema!

Exfoliate feet, knees and elbows with a mixture of  1/2 c. Oatmeal
4 tbsp. Aloe Vera gel
1/2 c. Coconut Oil

Aloe Vera’s healing properties repair skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and rosacea, as well

Relieve athlete’s foot by mixing Aloe Vera Gel with a drop or two of Tea Tree essential oil; it works!!

I hope you enjoyed this post!!!  Have a sparkling day!
Vanessa
vmbsrm@mindbodysoulessentials.com
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Calendula, Calendula, Calendula

They should make a song about Calendula.  Or maybe they already have.  It should be catchy and light and fancy free.  Simply put, Calendula ROCKS.

Calendula is is a beautiful flower, when looked upon brings a smile to your face.  An even bigger smile should appear when you find out that it is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial – among other things.

Look at this gorgeous creature

Calendula

Calendula Powder, Flowers, Oil can be fund to purchase at Mind Body Soul Essentials!

Calendula has been used medicinally for centuries to heal wounds, burns and rashes, internally and externally. Calendula flowers have also been used traditionally to support the immune system and lift the spirits.

Calendula flowers, are also known as Calendula officinalis, Gold-bloom, Marigold, Marybud and Pot Marigold.

The resin, which forms at the green base of the Calendula flower head, are an important part of calendula’s healing. If you are buying calendula, make sure it has a bright yellow or orange color, which is a good measure of its freshness and medicinal quality.

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Therapeutic Properties: Anti-inflammatory to skin and mucosa, Lymphagogue (moves lymph), promotes healing of damaged tissue, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, stimulates menstrual flow, warming, drying, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial

Topical Uses: poultice, compress, infused oil and salve. Dilute tincture with water (1 part tincture to 3 parts water) for topical use.

Common Uses: Rashes, stings, wounds, burns, sunburns, abrasions, swellings, eczema, acne, surgical wounds, scrapes, chicken pox, cold sores, genital herpes sores, and as a douche for bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection and cervical dysplasia.

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Calendula Inspiring Information

Calendula tea is commonly used to help heal peptic ulcers, esophageal irritation from GERD, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Calendula may be called upon for grief and sadness along with other cheering flowers: rose, mimosa and lavender.

Gargle for sore throat, canker sores, periodontal disease, thrush, sore and bleeding gums.

Calendula helps heal inflammation from infection or irritation through its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial actions.

Used for poor immunity, respiratory infection, to help prevent infection through stimulating the lymphatic system.

Helpful herbal companions, Lemon Balm and Lemon Verbena.

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How to Make Calendula Infused Oil Recipe

Put calendula flowers into a mason jar. Cover calendula to the top of the jar with olive oil, stir slowly to relase air bubbles and cover tightly. Let sit for two weeks to infuse. Remember, the long it sits, the stronger the infusion. Drain with a cheescloth and ta-da! You’ve made an herbal infusion! Now store the covered jar in a cool, dark place.
You can also put fresh petals in a jar of oil in the sun for two weeks to create a solar-infused oil.

Organic Calendula Flowers

How to Make Calendula Salve Recipe

To create a calendula salve, blend four parts infused oil and one part melted bees wax. Or combine four parts cocoa butter, shea butter, or a combination with one part beeswax and one part oil. Definately adjust the amount of oil and beeswax to create the consistency you want. According to renown herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, salves are made by adding ¼ cup of beeswax to one cup of infused oil. Heat until the beeswax has melted.
Pour into a wide jar and cover. This mixture will thicken into a salve that you can use for burns and abrasions. It is also useful for diaper rash and other skin ailments.

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How to Make Calendula Tea Recipe
Calendula tea is so easy to make. Put a couple of teaspoons of calendula petals in an infuser ball and pour a cup of boiling water over it; steep for 7-10 minutes. Drink up for tummy aches or use the tea to make a hot or cold compress.

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Making your own herbal products gives you control over the ingredients you chose to put in or on your body. Experiment, experiment, experiment!!  Add other herbs to your salves and infusions.

 

Pinterest!

 

How you can use Flower Waters (Hydrosols)

Create a relaxed state of mind...

How you can use Flower Waters (Hydrosols)

 

Spritz yourself with Flower Waters to cool off, soothe a hot flash, relieve sunburn pain or itching, bolster concentration and wakefulness, or brighten a dull mood,

Add a few cups of Flower Waters to bathwater,

Spritz Flower Waters on face over makeup, on hair for set and scent, and fingernails to maintain health and growth,

Add a few drops of Flower Waters to your creams and lotions to benefit from the plant’s healing and soothing properties,

Many hydrosols are natural airborne disinfectants. Use Flower Waters to disinfect your hands, clean the air, or make homemade wet wipes,

Air Fresheners: Use Flower Waters to add both natural fragrance and healthy, botanical substances to your indoor air,

Flower Waters are free of the cancerous or toxic synthetic chemicals found in most air fresheners,

Spray Flower Waters in dryer before putting in clothes,

Spray Flower Waters on clothes during ironing,

Use Flower Waters as a linen sprays on sheets

Aromatherapy Flower Waters

Jasmine Flower Water

Lavender Flower Water

Orange Blossom Flower Water

Roman Chamomile Flower Water

Rose Flower Water

Ylang Ylang Flower Water

 

“Look in the perfume of flowers and of nature for peace of mind and joy of life.”
-Wang Wei

Create a relaxed state of mind…

Aromatherapy waters have been used as a natural healing alternative for centuries to harness the combined power hidden in essential oils extracted from flowers, herbs, fruits, plants and trees.

Aromatherapy Products and Aromatherapy Supplies

Flower Waters are lovely fragrances ~pleasantly aromatic and not overbearing~
Naturally made with 100% Pure Essential Oils and distilled water
Enjoyed for their wonderful aroma, flower waters also provide hydrating and refreshing benefits to the skin. Mist your body, pour into a bath, or use as a natural room freshener. The most popular flower waters, Sweet Rose and fragrant Orange Blossom, are also suitable for food use as delightful additions to desserts, beverages and candies. The other flower waters include relaxing Lavender, calming Chamomile, sensual Jasmine, and alluring Ylang Ylang, each one packaged in a blue cobalt bottle with accompanying mist sprayer.

Ingredients: Distilled water and 100% pure essential oils.

Come check them out! 🙂

Flower Waters Here!

 

 Pinterest!

 

Best Tips and Recipes for Going Green Series

jBr1tv1355309168  It’s simple! Just follow this blog! 🙂 From now until the end of December, daily tips for going green in our life! Going green is cost effective, easy and fun! Why should you be Going Green in your Home? Do you enjoy the smell of Bleach or Synthetic Air Fresheners? Are you cleaning your body on one end (detoxing) by eating right and then bombarding it with toxins on another end by using toxic products in our home? About 98% of store bought products are made with synthetically made chemicals. And we wonder why we are tired of being tired and sick of being sick! Commercial products you are using in your home are not good for our planet and the environment The home products you are using are toxic to your our dogs, cats and…children! Who is Really Winning? The companies who manufacture drugs, cleaning products, paints, insecticides are slowing killing us with toxicity. They care about their bottom line; not our health. I hope you become committed to going green in your home. Do it as a gift to yourself, your children, your animals and your planet! I wish you the best in your life and your home!

I am now on Pinterest!

Herbal Baths

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Do yourself a favor…
Take some time off, just an hour will do!
Go into the bathroom, turn on some music…
Light some candles – herb candles are great!
…and sink into a hot herbal bath.
Rest your head and neck on a towel.
Your body will feel light in the water – go with it.
Let your arms float.
The rising steam will lift the fragrance of the Lavender and Chamomile around you…
Ahhhhh…just what you needed!

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BATHING BLISSShowers seem more practical when there is not enough time in the day to do everything you are supposed to do.
Quite the opposite is true, though.  Because of the hectic, high pressured speed of our fast paced world, a hot herbal bath can be practical.
Its soothing, healing and refreshing qualities offer vital relief!
It’s okay to say no.  It’s okay to take time for yourself.
For every three things you do for someone else, do something for yourself.
Start small.  Baby steps.

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BURNOUTYou can make a bath to perk you up for a fun evening out or in…
My fun evenings tend to be grocery shopping or working inside the house.  So I decided that I was going to do something for myself, to decompress, to feel better and to take some time for me.  Speaking for myself, I don’t take any time for me.  I’m a mom, so their needs come first.  But what happens when mom’s body shuts down and she gets sick from burn out?

Water alone heals and soothes, but add herbs to the bath and the benefits increase!

Preparing Your Bath

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Just toss the herbs into the water and get in? Nope. Imagine stepping out of the tub and having to pick the leaves and flowers off of your body! One of the easiest ways to prepare an herbal bath is to wrap some herbs in some cheesecloth and hang the bundle from the spout while running your water.


Herbal Infusion

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Another method for preparing an herbal bath is to make a strong herbal infusion from your herbs, then add it to the bath water.Pour boiling water over 1/2 c. of dried herbs; let the mixture steep for 15-20 minutes.  Strain the liquid and add it to the bath.


Temperature

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Pay close attention to the temperature of the water.  Warm baths relax muscles, while cool baths stimulate your body.  Higher temps will make you feel sleepy; warmer temps will feel relaxing but also refreshing.Be careful of hot baths.  They can dehydrate your skin, dry your skin and can be exhausting.  It can also lower your blood pressure and cause fainting. Yikes!

Remember, we are taking care of ourselves!


Decoctions

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Add a decoction to your bath!  Simmering herbs in water is one of the most effective methods for drawing the healing elements from the parts of the plant, such as barks, roots, stems and leaves.To make a decoction, use one ounce dried herb to one pint of water.  Add the dried herbs to water that has just been brought to a boil in a medium sized pot.  Keep water just below boiling for about 30 minutes and let the herbs gently simmer.


You can also use a saucepan (ceramic, enamel, or stainless steel) and a nylon or plastic sieve. Place the herb/herbs in a saucepan and then pour cold water over. Next, bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes until the total volume has reached 1/3 of its original size. The decoction should be taken off of the heat and strained. Lastly, add the decoction to your bath!Experiment and see which way works best for you!


Herbal Bath Recipes

Stress, especially internal tension, can increase the risk of heart problems.
An herbal bath can heal the mind and body.
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SOOTHING HERBS
catnip
chamomile flowers
comfrey
Elder (whole plant)
evening primrose flowers
hyssop
jasmine flowers
juniper berries
lemon balm
linden flowers
marsh mallow roots
melilot
mullein
passionflower flowers
rose flowers
slippery elm inner bark
tansy flowers
valerian roots
vervain (whole plant)
violet

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TONIC HERBS
blackberry leaves
comfrey
dandelion
ginseng root
jasmine flowers
nettle
orange
patchouli
raspberry leaves

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HERBS FOR ACHING MUSCLES & JOINTS
agrimony
bay
juniper berries
mugwort
oregano
poplar buds and bark
sage
strawberry leaves

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HERBS FOR  SKIN INFLAMMATIONS
alder
burdock root
dandelion leaves
hyssop
lecampane
lady’s mantle
marigold leaves
mint
plantain

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HERBS FOR FOOT BATHS
agrimony
alder bark
burdock
goat’s true
lavender flowers
mustard seed
sage
witch hazel
(bark & leaves)
wormwood

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STIMULATING HERBS
basil
bay
calendula flowers
citronella
fennel
horseradish roots
lavender flowers
lemon verbena
lovage roots
marjoram
mint
nettle
pine needles
queen of the meadow
rosemary
sage
savory
thyme
vetiver roots

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ASTRINGENT HERBS
agrimony
alum root
bay
bayberry bark
clary
comfrey leaves & root
dock
frankincense resin
lady’s mantle
lemongrass
mullein
myrrh resin
nasturium flowers
periwinkle
potenilla root
queen of the meadow
respberry leaves
rose flowers
rosemary
strawberry
white willow bark
wintergreen
with hazel
(bark and leaves)
yarrow flowers
Thank you for reading!  Come visit my website & learn some more!

Learn how to make your own Echinacea Tincture

http://www.mindbodysoulessentials.com

ECHINACEA TINCTURE

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Echinacea is also referred to as “purple coneflower”.
ECHINACEA TINCTURE
It takes very little time and money to make your own Echinacea tincture.  It rewarding to to do things for yourself and know exactly what is in the “medicine” you are taking. Making herbal remedies is as grounding and fulfilling as growing our own food.

Echinacea stimulates the immune system and its antiviral activities help fight colds and flu, as well as promote the healing of infections.

This is an oral application.  You will need:
1 one pint glass jar (make sure it is clean) Do not use anything but glass to make your tinctures.
¼ cup dried or 1/2 cup fresh finely chopped or crushed Echinacea flowers and leaves
1 cup vodka (60% alcohol with dried and 80-100% alcohol with fresh)  You can use another alcohol such as rum or gin, if that is your preference.

One part plant to two parts alcohol.  EXAMPLE: Three ounces (dry measure) of fresh Echinacea flower heads would be placed in a jar with six ounces (liquid measure) of alcohol.

Place dried Echinacea in the jar.

NOTE: If you have fresh Echinacea available there is no need to dry it. Fresh is better than dried. If you  use fresh Echinacea, gently wash off the petals and measure about 1 cup of flowers and leaves. You can use the whole plant, flowers, leaves, and root. Many people use the flowers and leaves only since they don’t want to dig up the roots.

Pour vodka over the top. Fill as completely as possible to eliminate air, and seal tightly with lid. Label the bottles with the herb name, date made, and the expected date your tincture will be ready. Store in a cool, dark cabinet until needed.

You have now created a menstruum. A menstruum is the liquid used to extract the soluble principles from the herbs or roots.  Leave menstruum at room temperature for four to six weeks. Place the jar in a cabinet that you go into daily, so you can shake it every day for thirty days.  The tincture will get stronger the longer it sits.  The dark brown color indicates that the essential oils from the root have been absorbed by the alcohol.

After the four to six weeks has passed, you will need to strain the herbs out of the vodka. To do this, place a layer of cheesecloth over a large glass measuring cup or small glass mixing bowl and secure with a rubber band. Pour menstruum slowly onto the cheesecloth and allow to drain for a few minutes. Then use your hands to wrap the cheesecloth around the herbs and squeeze out the excess liquid.

Strain herbs as described above.  Then discard the herbs.
You now have your very own Echinacea tincture!
Pour tincture into dark, glass bottles for storage. And don’t forget to label them.

To use:
At the first sign of a cold or throughout a cold take take ½ to ¾ of a teaspoon 3 to 4 times a day, per day.  Echinacea has shown to be most beneficial at the beginning and for the duration of a cold. It is not intended as a long term preventative.

Tinctures from different herbs can be combined for dispensing as a blend!

For topical applications, use olive oil; it’s much easier on the skin than alcohol, and has it’s own nutritive properties. And you can easily use your tincture made with oil into a salve by melting in some beeswax and adding drops of Essential Oils, if you want.

The key advantages to tinctures are that they are convenient to use, easy to mix into combinations, dosages are easier to control and they have excellent shelf lives.

USING THE ROOTS: You can also use the roots in lieu of flowers and leaves.  Fresh roots should be ground with the alcohol in a blender into a pulpy mush.

The ratio of echinacea root to menstruum is 1 to 2. If there is 1 cup of root, add 2 cups of menstruum.

Harvest Echinacea roots by sinking a garden spading fork (a shovel works, too) deeply into the soil, and lean back on the tool handle to GENTLY lift the root ball. The roots grow deep and wide. The idea is to harvest as much root as possible.  Keep the tops of the plants intact with the roots so that the echinacea will be easy to identify from the roots of neighboring plants

Shake and massage the soil and unwanted plant roots from the clump. This is a good time to kill a few weeds! Leave as much soil as possible in the garden.  Scrub roots with a brush and rinse while rubbing the roots to remove any grit. Place all of the washed roots in a colander to drain.  Slice big roots crosswise into rounds (as if cutting carrots) and then chop them into smaller pieces.

As Echinacea ages, clumps are formed with new plants sprouting around the original plant. The oldest plants in the clump may decline as the younger vigorous plants compete for nutritional resources. Dividing the clumps regenerates the plants and gives a perfect opportunity to harvest the roots for tincture. For tincturing, choose Echinacea plants that are at least three years old.

Echinacea works to prevent.  Once you get a cold, try Thyme. Thyme acts as an expectorant and boosts your immune system 🙂
Hope you try this out!  Thank you reading!
Vanessa
Mind Body Soul Essentials
PS – here are some pictures of my Echi from my gardens!

Growing, Harvesting & Propogating Basil

Growing, Harvesting & Propogating Basil

This is a picture of what my Basil and Rosemary looked like after cutting and placing into small plastic bottles and glass jars to begin growing their roots.

Growing, Harvesting & Propogating Basil

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Basil, Week 2

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Ocimum basilicum, is a popular sweet herb of the Mint FamilyBasil grown indoors requires at least six hours of sunlight

Grows easily from seed ~ Basil loves well drained soil

I use organic soil & peat pots to grow the babies.  In the fall, I cover the way back of my yard with the leaves and every two years, I use that beautiful soil in my gardening.


Basil, Week 3

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Starting Basil indoors: 
Place peat pots in a flat; cover with a plastic dome.  Rotate flat each morning to provide equal sun on both sides.Lift dome & gently spray the pots with water every other day or as needed; replace dome top.  You are checking to see if the soil is moist.

Seed Germination Period is 5 to 10 days.  See pics on this page showing the progress.


Basil, Week 5

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Once the seedlings have developed two (2) pairs of true leaves, then you can thin out the weakest seedlings in each peat pot.  This is when you can begin to use organic fertilizer.
Think of a newborn baby.  The baby needs food and to be kept directly out of the sun or the baby will get sunburned, right?  As you grow your basil, think of your seedlings as babies.  Treat them as such.

Allow adequate drainage ~ after transplanting to a pot, line the base of the pot with dime sized rocks

Hang bunches of stems up to air dry.  We also keep basil cuttings in water in a little gatorade bottle on our dinner table for easy access – whatever works

Basil is easily propagated through herbaceous stem cuttings. Place cuttings in water to root.  You’ll see roots shortly.  It’s amazing to see – get your kids involved


Basil outdoors in the garden

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Mother nature provides most of what Basil needs naturally! Basil is an annual plant, and loves the sun!  

Plant basil outdoors after the last spring frost.  

Plant in well drained soil; basil will grow in soils ranging in acidity.  


Companion gardening with Basil

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Plant Basil near tomatoes to improve growth and flavor. Basil also does well with peppers, oregano, asparagus and petunias. 

Basil can be helpful in repelling thrips. 

Basil is said to repel flies and mosquitoes. 

Do not plant Basil near Sage. 


Basil in my garden!   

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Leaf production slows or stops on any stem which flowers, so you should pinch off any flower stems to keep the plant in production ~ SAVE THOSE SEEDS FOR FUTURE PLANTING    Or if you know that you want your Basil to return, pick the flowers and let them drop to the ground!

After your Basil is done for the season, the leaves are beginning to yellow or wilt, it is time to cut. 


Propagating Basil

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Basil propagation from cuttings is easy!  Share your basil!  Take new plantings and give them as gifts!  Swap herbs with others!  It’s free!Take a four to five (4-5) inch basil cutting right below a leaf node. Remove the leaves off the bottom; approx. two inches from the end making sure that this cutting hasn’t flowered yet.

Place the cutting in a glass of water and put it where it can get good sunlight. Use a clear container so you can watch your basil propagation grow root!  I use little gatorade bottles or cleaned out jelly and sauce jars 🙂

Change the water every few days until you see root growth. Once the roots on your basil cutting are two inches or longer, you can plant the cutting in a pot indoors. Make sure you put the planter in a place where the plant will get sunlight.

Keep the basil on hand for cooking and for adding to your food after it’s prepared!

All of the pictures here are of my basil, from different years.  I have grown to love this herb; in cooking, while growing, the smell of it on my fingertips…
Give it a try!  You’ve got nothing to lose 🙂
Thank you!