Originally native to India, basil may actually be best known as a seasoning in Italian cuisine. There are several varieties and hybrids of basil cultivated worldwide, with Ocimum basilicum being one of the most common species used. Sweet basil, or common basil, has a sweet and slightly pungent flavor imparting herbaceous, savoury notes to soups, sauces, stews, and pasta dishes. Basil leaf can also be infused in herbal tea blend.
Basil is well known for its sweet aroma and the fresh, delicious flavor that it lends to food. Basil is traditionally used to spice up pasta, proteins, soups and sauces. It is the key ingredient of pesto sauce, where it is mixed with hard cheese, pine nuts, and olive oil. As a flavouring agent, basil is best added at the end of cooking as the intense heat will quickly deteriorate its characteristic taste and aroma.
Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.