Sweet Basil – Ocimum basilicum
Kitchen use: In all tomato dishes, egg dishes, chicken, mushrooms, in butter sauce for white fish
Household uses: A plant around the house discourages flies.
The round, often pointed leaves of the basil plant looks a lot like peppermint to which it is related. It’s highly fragrant leaves are used as a seasoning herb for a variety of foods but has become ever popular as the main ingredient in pesto, the mixture of basil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese. Basil is commonly used fresh in cooked recipes. In general, it is added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavor.
Scientific studies 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. Also it is used for treating pimples on the face, but noted that intake of the seeds in large quantities is harmful for the brain.