Homemade Basil Remedies & Solutions

Basil Poultice

Try this easy to make basil poultice on insect bites and stings, minor skin wounds, grazes or acne. Leave the poultice in place for a few hours, and re-apply daily for up to a week to see significant improvement and reduction in swelling and itching.

You will need:

  • A handful of fresh, green basil leaves
  • Rolling pin
  • Clean cotton or lint free cloth
  • Cling film or similar wrap

How to make a basil poultice:

  • Cut the cotton or lint free cloth to a size which is big enough to wrap around or cover the affected area.
  • Trim away any excess large pieces of basil stalk.
  • Crush the leaves and small stalks with a rolling pin to release the juices.
  • Apply the mush directly to the skin, providing a good coverage of the area in question.
  • Cover with cotton or lint free cloth.
  • Wrap cling film over and around the poultice package where possible, to secure it to the body.

You can also make a poultice with dried basil, although its effects won’t be as potent:

  • Grind or crush the dried herbs into a powder with a pestle and mortar or a rolling pin, and transfer them to a small bowl.
  • Add just enough water, a little at a time, to make a thick paste, sufficient to cover the area of skin affected.
  • Spread this paste onto your piece of cloth, and bind to the body as before. Use hot water if you’d prefer a warm poultice, or use a hot water bottle to provide extra heat to the area while the poultice is in use.


Basil Insect Repellent

Basil is well known for its insect repellent properties, and it’s very easy to harness these qualities into a homemade spray. Shop-bought insect repellents can be expensive and some irritate sensitive skin – with this homemade basil version, you can keep insects at bay without worrying about cost or adverse side effects.

You will need:

  • Fresh basil leaves or basil essential oil
  • Water, if using fresh leaves
  • Vodka or rubbing alcohol or witch hazel
  • A spray bottle

How to make basil insect repellent using fresh basil leaves:

  • Steep 4 ounces of fresh basil leaves in 4 fluid ounces of boiling water for several hours.
  • Strain the cooled liquid into a spray bottle.
  • Add 4 fluid ounces of either vodka, rubbing alcohol or witch hazel to the spray bottle.
  • Shake gently to mix.
  • Spray directly onto your skin or clothes, but avoid your eyes.

How to make basil insect repellent using basil essential oil:

  • Add one part basil essential oil to ten parts vodka, rubbing alcohol or witch hazel.
  • Decant into spray bottle and shake gently to mix.
  • Spray directly onto your skin or clothes, but avoid your eyes.

Basil Facial Steam

Facial steams are very helpful for both health and beauty – if you have a headache, a blocked nose or a sore throat, the steam helps to restore lost moisture and speeds up healing and pain relief. In terms of beauty, steam opens your pores and acts as a deep cleanser.

Basil has antibacterial properties which make it especially suitable for facial steams, so this is an excellent and cost effective way to promote healthy skin as well as to keep your sinuses and throat clear.

You will need:

  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Large towel
  • Hair band, if you have long hair

How to make a basil facial steam:

  • Add a handful of fresh basil leaves to a saucepan of water and heat.
  • While the water is heating, tie back your hair and ensure you have somewhere to sit and somewhere safe and sturdy to put the bowl of steaming water.
  • When the water is steaming, pour it into a strong bowl.
  • Sit over the bowl and use the towel over your head to create a “tent”.
  • Relax, and inhale the basil infused steam for 3-5 minutes. You can leave your eyes open or closed, as you prefer.
  • When time is up, dispose of the hot water safely, and then splash your face with cold water to close the pores again and to refresh yourself.

We’ve come a long way since medieval concerns that basil was a dangerous herb. It’s now one of our best loved herbs in the kitchen and in the household, and its many medicinal and health properties are only just beginning to be explored.

By growing your own basil plants at home, you can enjoy the full range of this amazing plant’s properties – and you’ll never be short of ingredients for a pasta sauce either!

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