1,8 cineol, linalool, eugenol
Common basil, sometimes called Saint Joseph's Wort, is widely cultivated in Egypt and Mexico. This herb offers the same great taste as European sweet basil grown in the U.S., but tends to be more robust with minty undertones.
Basil, Thai basil, or sweet basil, is a common name for the culinary herb Ocimum basilicum (pronounced /ˈbæzɪl/, /ˈbeːzɪl/, or'bɑçɨl/) of the family Lamiaceae (mints), sometimes known as Saint Joseph's Wort in some English-speaking countries.
Basil is originally native to India, having been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years, but was thoroughly familiar to Theophrastusand Dioscorides. It is a half-hardy annual plant, best known as a culinary herb prominently featured in Italian cuisine, and also plays a major role in Southeast Asian cuisines of Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and the cuisine of Taiwan. Depending on the species and cultivar, the leaves may taste
somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, often sweet smell.
There are many varieties of Ocimum basilicum, as well as several related species
or species hybrids also called basil. The type used in Italian food is typically called
sweet basil, as opposed to Thai basil (O. basilicum var. thyrsiflora), lemon basil
(O. X citriodorum) and holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), which are used in Asia.
While most common varieties of basil are treated as annuals, some are perennial in warm, tropical climates, including holy basil and a cultivar known as 'African Blue'.
Basil is commonly used fresh in cooked recipes. In general, it is added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavor. The fresh herb can be kept for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator, or for a longer period in the freezer, after being blanched quickly in boiling water. The dried herb also loses most of its flavor, and what little flavor remains tastes very
different, with a weak coumarin flavor, like hay.
Basil is one of the main ingredients in pesto—a green Italian oil-and-herb sauce. Its other main ingredients are olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts.
The most commonly used Mediterranean basil cultivars are "Genovese", "Purple Ruffles", "Mammoth", "Cinnamon", "Lemon", "Globe", and "African Blue". The Chinese also use fresh or dried basils in soups and other foods. In Taiwan, people add fresh basil leaves to thick soups (Chinese: 羹湯; pinyin: gēngtāng). They also eat fried chicken with deep-fried basil leaves. Basil (most commonly Thai basil) is commonly steeped in cream or milk to create an interesting flavor in ice cream or chocolates (such as truffles). The leaves are not the only part of basil used in culinary applications, the flower buds have a more subtle flavor and they are edible.
Thai basil is also a condiment in the Vietnamese noodle soup, phở.
Potential health effects
Recently, there has been much research into the health benefits conferred by the essential oils found in basil. Scientific studies in vitro have established that compounds in basil oil have potent antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties, and potential for use in treating cancer. In addition, basil has been shown to decrease the occurrence of platelet aggregation and experimental thrombus in mice. It is traditionally used for supplementary treatment of stress, asthma and diabetes in India. Basil, like other aromatic plants such as fennel and tarragon, contains estragole, known carcinogen and teratogen in rats and mice. While human effects are currently unstudied, extrapolation using body weight from the rodent experiments indicates that 100–1000 times the normal anticipated exposure still probably produces a minimal cancer risk.
Basil-infused oils and vinegars are used in skin and hair products and in topical salves, ointments and creams.
Dried cut and sifted, powdered, essential oil
Used in incense blends and perfumery.
Baja California Sur and Egypt
Basil is a source of antioxidant and antibacterial compounds.
Widely used in Italian, Greek, Indian, Mexican,Thai and Vietnamese cuisines. Basil is also added to teas.