Latin Name: Ocimum basilicum
Plant Family: Lamiaceae
Other Names: Common Basil, Sweet Basil, Saint Joseph's Wort, Basilique, Basilicum, Bassilico, Albahaca Menor, Voly Mynte & Rukusuku.
Description: Basil is a highly aromatic, annual bushy herb native to Southern Asia, now grown in many temperate countries around the world. It grows to a height of 30-60cm dependent on the variety and has square stems, and oval, toothed, glossy leaves, which are dark green in colour. Although some varieties such as Purple Ruffles can have a wavy edge and reddish-purple colouring. The small, two-lipped flowers present in whorls and are white to pale lilac in colour. Basil contains vitamins A & C and is rich in calcium and iron.
Brief History: There are some indications that Basil may have originated even farther east of Asia than some historians believe. Ancient records dating back to 907 A.D. mention sweet basil growing in the Hunan region of China. Today, basil is not only used for food flavouring, but also in perfumery, incense and herbal remedies.
Basil contains a naturally occurring source of salicylates and is best avoided by people eating a salicylate free diet.
SUGGESTED USEMost often associated with Italian food and in particular pesto, basil has many other culinary uses, it partners well with tomatoes in all forms, add dried basil to stuffing’s, salad dressings, soups, stews, casseroles, sprinkle on pizza, pasta, omelettes and cheese dishes. Basil can also be used in sweet recipes for biscuits and cakes. In the bath it is refreshing and stimulating, and good for oily skin. The leaves can be added to pot pourri.
Shelf life of two years provided that goods are stored in an airtight container in ambient conditions.
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