Basil Tea, Tonic & Pesto

Basil leaves are highly revered in ayurvedic medicine. Basil contains numerous essential oils that are natural antibiotics effective at killing bacteria, including: Listeria, Staph, and E. coli.

Ayurveda teaches that basil also relaxes the mind and opens the senses.  It can increase intuition and the ability to see the truth.

During the fall season, consume basil leaves regularly to help prevent cold and flu.  They can also be used to reduce the symptoms of flu in the event that you do get sick.  Below read 3 easy ways to use basil to help keep you healthy this season.


Basil Leaf Tonic For Cold/Flu Prevention

This is a tea that can help prevent the flu. Drink 4 cups daily for its medicinal benefits.


  • 8 T fresh basil leaves, loosely chopped
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 4 1/2 c water

Directions: Bring water to boil and turn off heat. Add ingredients and let steep 7-10 minutes. Strain the leaves (eat the leaves through the day).


Basil Lung Soother

If you happen to catch a cold and begin to produce cough and mucous.  This recipe can help calm your lungs and release congestion.  Drink 4-6 cups daily for its medicinal effects.


  • 8 T fresh basil leaves, loosely chopped
  • 1 T fresh ginger root minced
  • 5 whole cloves cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 6 c water


Bring water to boil and reduce to simmer. Add ingredients and simmer 7-10 minutes.

Strain the spices.  Once the tea begins to cool you can add raw honey.  Do not add honey to boiling hot water.  Ayurveda teaches that cooked honey is denatured and toxic.

Basil Boosting Pesto

Basil leaves boost the immune system.  You can chew on the fresh leaves daily or make a delicious basil pesto.  Vegan pesto is generally better if you are weary of illness, or if you are already sick, because dairy stimulates mucous production.


  • 2 c. basil
  • 1/4 c walnuts
  • 1/4 c pinenuts
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 3 T nutritional yeast

Directions: Place the basil, walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor or highspeed blender. Pulse to reduce to a fine coarse mixture.  Slowly mix in the lemon juice, olive oil and nutritional yeast.