Basil is a warm-weather, fragrant culinary herb for the family of Lamiaceae. It is a tender plant and is used in cuisines worldwide. Basil is native to tropical regions from central Africa to Southeast Asia. Basil leaves are glossy and oval-shaped, with smooth or slightly toothed edges that typically cup slightly. The leaves are used fresh or dried to flavor meats, fish, salads, and sauces.
This plant is extremely frost-sensitive and grows best in warm climates. Basil is susceptible to Fusarium wilt, blight, and downy mildew especially when grown in humid conditions.
A number of varieties are used in commerce, including:
Basil provides some macronutrients, such as calcium and vitamin K, as well as a range of antioxidants. Basil is also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and iron. It may help to lower blood pressure. The essential oils in the herb can help to lower your cholesterol and triglycerides. Basil also contains magnesium, which can help to improve blood flow by allowing muscles and blood vessels to relax.
Basil is used for stomach spasms, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, kidney conditions, fluid retention, head colds, warts, and worm infections. It is also used to treat snake and insect bites. Women sometimes use this before and after childbirth to promote blood circulation, and also to start the flow of breast milk.
Basil is unsafe when taken by mouth as a medicine for the long term. These contain estragole, a chemical that might increase the risk of getting liver cancer. Basil extracts might lower blood pressure. In theory, taking basil extracts might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.