The Herb Basil
Basil is a well-known seasoning in Mediterranean cuisine.
Which dishes does it suit, and what properties does it have?
Below, you will find more information about this popular herb.
Properties of Basil
- Family: Labiatae
- Species: Ocimum basilicum
- Biotope: Well-drained soil, sun; tropical Asia.
- Height: Up to 60 cm
Basil has wrinkled, long-stemmed leaves that are egg-shaped and taper to a point. The serrated leaves have a spicy smell (of cloves).
The plant is an annual (also called a short-lived perennial) and has square stems. It flowers in late summer with small white flowers.
There are many herb varieties, such as lemon basil (Ociumum basilicum var. citrodorium), red basil (Ociumum basilicum ‘purpereum’), and Ocimim basilicum var. minimum, with tiny leaves.
Name in Different Languages
- English: Basil
- German: Basilienkraut
- French: Basilic
- Italian: Basilico
- Spanish: Albahaca
Use and Application of Basil
The flavor of basil is somewhat similar to pepper and strong and dominant. It goes well with garlic, tomato, and vegetable dishes (like aubergines) and Italian dishes.
The herb gives flavor to pesto, oil, and vinegar. It is also part of the herb mix Provencal herbs.
The leaves of lemon basil go well in sauces and with chicken.
The variety Ocimim basil var. Crispum variety has vast leaves a powerful aroma and goes well with garlic, tomatoes, peppers, fish, eggs, and chicken.
The Essential Oil and Other Applications
The essential oil of basil is used in many ways. Basil oil gives flavor to liqueurs.
It is said to refresh the mind when one inhales the oil. The oil is also used in soap and perfumes.
The leaves are made into wine, considered a tonic and aphrodisiac as it stimulates the adrenal cortex. The leaves repel mosquitoes and flies.
In addition, an infusion is bactericidal and promotes digestion.
Healing Substances in Basil
The active substances in the essential oil of basil are methyl chavicol, cineol, linalool, folic acid, and flavonoids.
It is sweat-dispensing and also helps against flatulence.
- Take a course of basil tea and drink 2 cups every day for one week.
- Stop for two weeks and then keep it up for another week.
It also appears that basil can increase breast milk production in breastfeeding women.
So enjoy eating pesto with basil!