Basil Facts Sheet

Types of Basil

There are many types of basil with a variety of flavours. I have only mentioned the common ones here:

Sweet basil (most common in Italian cooking)

Bush basil

Lemon basil

Thai Basil (most common in Thai cooking)

Holy Basil (Tulsi)

How to grow basil

Soil: light, well drained soil

Position: sunny and sheltered from winds

Pot: suitable

Height: sweet basil grows to 75cm and other basils tend to be lower growing, around 30cm.

Plant: in late spring for prolific growth throughout summer. Harvest regularly, pinching out the flower heads to increase the growth of leaves and ensure a long season.

It will be necessary to harvest all the leaves in the early autumn as colder weather weakens the plant.

Storing: basil can be stored as a pesto, or chopped and frozen in ice cube trays for use in other seasons.

Companion planting

Basil is well known for being a great companion plant for tomatoes and it also tends to invigorate other vegetables that it grows with.

Medicinal uses:

Sweet basil is beneficial for the digestive system and the nervous system. 

Basil tea can be made from fresh leaves to relieve a tension headache.Blend with lemon balm and/or chamomile.

Holy basil (tulsi) is used in a tea to restore balance and vitality. It has 3000 years of recorded medicinal use. It is thought to promote a long life.

In the kitchen

Sweet basil (shown above) famously teams well with tomatoes and olive oil:


tomato, bocconcini and basil salad

bruschetta with tomato and basil

tomato and basil soup

margareta pizza

Basil also works well with:





zucchini, eggplant, squash

hard cheeses and goats cheese

lemon and lime


coconut based curries

Basil is wonderful in pesto, see pesto recipe.

Simone Jeffries

B. Health Science (Naturopathy)

Healthy made easy

1/17 Randle Street


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Wednesday: 2pm to 6pm

Friday: 8am to 6pm

appointments from March 2nd

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Saturday: 8am to 4:30pm

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