Basil is an herb well known for its use in Italian cuisine – it is a major ingredient in pesto sauce. Basil is also commonly used in Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine.
The Oxford English Dictionary says that basil may have been used as “some royal unguent, bath, or medicine”.
In fact, there are quite a number of different beliefs associated with the herb. The French often refer to the herb as l’herbe royale (the royal herb), and in Jewish folklore basil is thought to give strength while fasting.
Basil is used in traditional Tamil medicine and in ayurvedic medicine, which is a form of alternative traditional medicine in the Indian subcontinent. Eat basil to get a natural dose of vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium.
There are different types of basil, which differ in taste and smell. Sweet basil (the most commercially available basil used in Italian food) has a strong clove scent. Whereas lime and lemon basil have a strong citrus scent.
But let’s get to the point– Here are your reasons to LOVE basil!
1) It may be useful in treating arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases.
2) Basil has properties that can help prevent the harmful effects of aging.
3) Helpful in preventing damage caused by some free radicals in the liver, brain and heart.
Did you learn anything new about this pretty little green leaf? Here is a great pesto recipe to put your new basil knowledge to use!
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 cup pine nuts (other nuts, such as almonds or walnuts may be substituted)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
This vegan pesto recipe. Toss with pasta, use as a pizza sauce or serve with bread or crackers for an appetizer. Vegan pesto is very quick and easy to make as long as you have a good food processor. This is also a raw foods recipe.