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, savory notes to soups, sauces, stews, and pasta dishes. Basil leaf can also be infused in herbal tea blend.
The varieties of basil are nearly endless, with different cultivars providing a slightly different product within the same species due to hybridization and growing conditions. Generally speaking, the herb is sweet, slightly minty and slightly peppery. Basil grows best outdoors in a warm, sunny environment as a garden herb, and can also be potted and grown in a window with plenty of sun. Basil is sensitive to cold and will grow as an annual in regions that frost during the winter. Due to its environmental sensitivity, the herb should be planted in late spring or early summer after the risk of frosting has passed.
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 flavoring agent, basil is best added at the end of cooking as the intense heat will quickly deteriorate its characteristic taste and aroma. In addition to its culinary uses, basil is used to add fragrance to perfumes, soaps, shampoos, and other body care products.
Precautions No known precautions. We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.