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Cooking Ingredients: Knowing About The Sweet Basil

Updated on December 12, 2014

Sweet basil is famous cooking ingredients all over the world


Basil is kind of spice that is popular and widely used in the culinary world today.

Basil is kind of spice that is popular and widely used in the culinary world today. Basil is known to be used as a spice in Italian cooking, Vietnam, Thailand, and other countries. Basil is very versatile because it is widely used in many different kinds of cuisine. This is because Basil has a distinctive aroma and flavor. Basil can be used as fresh as well as dried condition. Basil is easily available at stores that sell groceries and supermarkets. Basil is also easily grown and do not need a complicated form of maintenance. You can plant them in pots or in the yard. If you grow basil in your home and want to keep it in a rather long period, you can dry the basil leaves by drying it in the oven. After that, you can store it into an airtight jar and you should not put the dried basil in the fridge, it would be better if you keep it in the pantry that is not exposed to sunlight and moisture.

Basil is warm temperate plants. It can be found in many tropical regions. So, if you tried to grow basil, it is better to plant in the open areas where it can get more sunlight exposure. But if you live in cold climates, you can plant it in a pot and put it in a room with a warm temperature.

Basil which in Latin is called Ocimum basilicum. Ocimum basilicum is a species of plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae (Labiatae). There are about 40 species of basil throughout the world but the most widely known is the species of Ocimum basilicum or where we know it as sweet basil. One of the most popular Basil that used as a spice is Genovese. It is commonly used in Italian cuisine because it has a typical aroma and authentic flavor. Basil is a plant that originally came from India and has been cultivated in Asia for more than 5000 years.

Basil has been recommended for years to cope with abdominal pain, flatulence, vomiting and constipation. Basil is also widely recommended by a naturopathic doctor to treat respiratory disorders, diabetes, allergies, and impotence. In this case, the cinnamanic acid-containing of Basil also used to improve blood circulation, stabilizes blood sugar, as well as for respiratory decongestant. Basil is also sometimes used as an alternative to sedative either for headaches or to overcome anxiety. In addition, basil is also rich of antioxidants, especially if it’s extracted or made into oil. Although Basil has many benefits for health, however, such as fennel, Basil contains estragol compounds that can stimulate the onset of cancer in mice. Though the side effects of Basil have not been studied for humans until now, but it's good to not consume basil excessively to avoid certain health problems.

Basil is one of the main ingredients to make pesto, a sort of sauce from herbs and green oil originated from Italy. In addition, basil is also known as a spice for Thailand cuisine. Thai Basil has scented such as fennel, sweet and sour like lemon flavor and traces a sense of cold like mint leaves. In Vietnam and China, Basil is usually used as spice for curries and soups because Basil is said to have a strong sense, almost similar to anise (Pimpinella anisum). While in France, basil is usually used as a spice for soup and salad which has already become a tradition. Most varieties of basil from Asia have strong aromas and flavors compared to basil varieties that have been cultivated in Europe.


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    • ryanjhoe profile image

      ryanjhoe 5 years ago from Somewhere over the rainbow

      You're welcome Tonipet. And also thank you for sharing this article. Hope it's useful for others too. :)

    • Tonipet profile image

      Tonette Fornillos 5 years ago from The City of Generals

      This is a great article Ryanjhoe. I just shared this so others may know of the secret wonders of basil in their recipes. Thank you for sharing. Very useful and voted up!