12 Cool Facts About Basil

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Basil is by far my most favorite herb in the world.  I use it in everything from pesto to my favorite tomato arrabiata sauce, to salads to vinaigrettes and fruity smoothies. I even make little bouquets of flowers mixed in oregano, purple and green basil sprigs to keep on my kitchen counter.

Bouquet of Green and Purple Basil in a Vase

Not to mention, salads and pizza and even tea. Who doesn’t like basil ?! Here are some cool things and facts:

1. Basil is native to tropical Asia and belongs to the mint family.

2. Sweet basil is also called Genoese Basil, it has a sweet aroma with a warm flavor with notes of clove and anise.  It is the best for pestos and salads.  Combines great with tomatoes, garlic, cheese, lemon, olives, pasta and peaches.

3. Store it in a glass of water at room temperature out of direct sunlight.  The fresh leaves are the parts mostly used, but you may use the flower buds  for garnish or in a salad.

4. Purple Basil is beautiful, highly aromatic with purple leaves and pink flowers.

5. Cinnamon Basil is native to Mexico with a sweet scent and cinnamon notes.  It has pink flowers and purple flushed leaves.

6. African Blue Basil is peppery and minty with purple flowers and green purple leaves.  Makes an amazing pesto.

7. Lettuce Basil has wrinkled large leaves and perfect for salads. Very popular in Southern Italy.

8. Licorice Basil is an Asian decorative plant .

9. Holy Basil is the essential ingredient of the Thai dish ” Stir-fried chicken with chili peppers and basil “

10. Lemon Basil has a fresh lemony fragrance perfect for salads.

11. Thai Lemon Basil or Hairy Basil has a lemony-peppery flavor.

12. Lime Basil has a lime flavor and is great in salads and with seafood.

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  1. One other cool fact about Basil.
    It is an Anti – Depressant!
    You can steep the leaves in water and add it to your bath.
    Or do as I do and have a caprisi salad every day!
    Ciao Bella, Twiggy Nurse

  2. I adore basil. It’s my all time favorite herb. I had no idea there were so many varieties. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. One year I planted all different varieties of basil in one large container. It was the most beautiful display, especially after I let them flower. I tended to it every day like an obsessed mama lol