Basil, common name for any annual plant of
the mint family, It was known as the herb of kings in ancient
times. In fact, its name may have been derived from the Greek
word basileus, meaning "king", it is also called Sweet Basil it
is a sweet herb used for fragrance and as a seasoning for food.
Basil is native to India and Iran with varieties
like the small-leaf common basil, the larger leaf Italian basil, and the
large lettuce-leaf basil grown in many warm climates. Average height of
the basil plant is about 30cm high. The dried large-leaf varieties have
a fragrant aroma faintly reminiscent of anise, and a warm, sweet,
aromatic, mildly pungent flavor. The dried leaves of the common basil
are less fragrant and more pungent in flavor. Basil is widely grown as a
kitchen herb and used fresh or dried to flavor meats, fish, salads, and
sauces. Tea made from basil leaves is a stimulant.
Basil goes well with other herbs, spices, and flavorings, especially
thyme, garlic, oregano, and lemon.