Basil comes in many varieties which some are sweet basil, lemon basil, lime basil, holy basil, Thai basil, and African Blue basil. Basil is a native to Iran, Asia, and India. There are many benefits asociated with basil and what it symbolizes. In Italy, it is believed to be a symbol of love. In Africa, it is believed that basil protects against scorpions.
Basil is used all over the world in cooking. In China, basil is often added to soup. In Italy, it is added to pesto, olive oil, and sauces. In Tiawan, it is added to soups, ice cream, and chocolates. In Vietnam, it is used with fruits and jam. In Asia, the seeds of basil are used to make drinks and desserts. Lemon basil has a strong lemon smell and in Indonesia lemon basil is added to salads, cabbage, green beans, and cucumbers. It is also served with fish and duck.
Basil has small white flowers and light-green silky leaves. Basil will not thrive in cold temperatures. It grows in warm to hot climates and requires a bit of sunlight. Basil grows best outside, but can be grown inside. It can br grown in a garden or in pots. Basil requires regular watering. In the United States, basil is usually planted outside in the summer months. When basil leaves turn yellow it means the plant needs more water.
Recent studies show the health benefits of basil. Basil contains a high amount of antioxidants. Basil also has antiviral, anti-cancer, and antimicrobial properties. In India, basil is used to treat asthma, stress, and diabetes. Caution should be taken when using basil seeds in large amounts because they may be toxic and harmful to the brain. As with using any herb for medicinal benefits please consult a doctor or herbalist first.