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Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum)


Genovese basil herb plant

Sweet Basil Fact Sheet

You’re probably most familiar with basil as an herb used in Italian cooking. It’s one of the primary ingredients in pesto and gives pizza and spaghetti sauce the pungent/sweet bite that marks it as Mediterranean. But basil has a lot of qualities under the hood that make it a health powerhouse as well as a tasty culinary accent.

  • Genus/Family: Lamiaceae (mint family)
  • Botanical Name: Ocimum basicilicum
  • Origin: Sweet basil is native to India, but has been grown throughout Europe for centuries.
  • Description: Sweet basil is a herbaceous plant with large, silky, dark green oval leaves set opposite each other on the stem. It bears spires of small, white flowers. The leaves and stems release a spicy fragrance reminiscent of cloves and anise.
  • Parts Used: fresh leaves, dried leaves, essential oil, flowers, seeds
  • Types of Use: Culinary, Healing, Aromatherapy, Cosmetic, Magickal

Growing Sweet Basil

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When to Plant Basil

How to Plant Basil

Basil in Containers

Overwintering Basil

Special Considerations

Sweet Basil Nutrition Facts

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Cooking with Basil

Looking for ways to incorporate the flavors and benefits of basil in your diet? Check out these basil recipes for inspiration.

Classic Pesto Recipe

Spicy, savory and sharp all at once, pesto is one of the most popular Italian herb dishes of all time. Enjoy it on toast or as a sandwich spread to add some high-quality protein and energy to your daily intake.

Pistachio Pesto Recipe

Try this tasty twist on the classic Italian condiment, using pistachios instead of the traditional pine nuts. Pistachios pack in an extra antioxidant wallop with the addition of vitamin E (about 23 g per 100 g serving) and B complex vitamins, as well as boosting the mineral content of your pesto with copper, manganese, calcium, iron, selenium and magnesium. Photo: bloggyboulga

Caprese Tomato Basil Salad

Fresh basil, tangy tomatoes and rich, homemade mozzarella meld their flavors in a classic Italian insalata. It only takes minutes to throw together, and it gets better as the flavors blend.

Healing with Sweet Basil

Sweet Basil in Aromatherapy

Cosmetic Uses for Sweet Basil

Sweet Basil in Charms and Magical Uses

Learn More About Sweet Basil

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Posted in Learn by Deb Powers on May 27th, 2014 at 6:45 pm.

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