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Links to Joy: Sweet Basil

Happiness can come from countless sources.  One I’m particularly fond of is a good night’s sleep.  As you know, many things can interfere with precious rest.  One thing that ruins my slumber is the fact that hungry mosquitoes seem to think I’m the tastiest snack they’ve ever come across.

There have been multiple occasions while standing outside in a crowd that I am the only person bitten by the little pests.  Within seconds, I develop welts on my skin that no cream or lotion can completely calm.  My grandmother was the same way.  She used to say we were just especially sweet people, and that’s why the bugs liked us better.  I adored her theory, but it didn’t soothe the stinging welts on my ankles.

Thanks to the tasty, easy-to-grow sweet basil plant, my family and I no longer spend restless nights scratching inflamed bug bites.  Here’s how we use this plant to get relief after being a bug buffet:

Crush a fresh leaf and rub it on a recent mosquito bite until you can see the basil juice on your skin. The itching should instantly stop, and by the next morning you usually can’t even see a spot where you were bitten! You have to treat the bumps within the first hour or two of getting bitten, though. When we tried it on day-old bumps, it didn’t help as much.

I heartily suggest you keep a sweet basil plant around for bug bite relief.  Whatever isn’t rubbed on your wounds by the end of the summer can be used to make delicious pesto that you can spread on bread, pasta, or homemade pizza!  (Toss the leaves into a food processor with olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and some pine nuts or almonds.  Extra pesto holds up well in the freezer for several months.)

I have one more suggestion before you go:  Please stop by the page called “Reasons to Smile” and share your comments about what brings you happiness today.  I’d love to hear your encouraging words!

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