Basil is a flavorful, leafy green herb that originated in Asia and Africa. It’s a member of the mint family, and many different varieties exist.
Popular as a food seasoning, this aromatic herb is also used in teas and supplements which may provide a range of health benefits. This article explains all you need to know about basil, its benefits and uses.
The scientific name of the basil commonly purchased for cooking is Ocimum basilicum (abbreviated O. basilicum).
There are many different varieties of O. basilicum, including (1):
Sweet basil: The most widely grown, popular basil, renowned for its use in Italian dishes. Commonly sold dried in supermarkets. Has a licorice-clove flavor.
Bush or Greek basil: Has a strong aroma but mild flavor, so it can be substituted for sweet basil. Forms a compact bush with small leaves and grows well in a pot.
Thai basil: Has an anise-licorice flavor and is commonly used in Thai and Southeast Asian dishes.
Cinnamon basil: Native to Mexico. Has a cinnamon-like flavor and scent. Commonly served with legumes or spicy, stir-fried vegetables.
Lettuce basil: Features large, wrinkled, soft leaves with a licorice-like flavor. Works well in salads or tossed with tomatoes and olive oil.https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/basil?utm_source=Sailthru%20Email&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=authoritynutrition&utm_content=2018-10-18#varieties