Ocimum basilicumL.Basilicum: from the latin bašilicu(m), greek basilikon: "royal, befitting a king".
Ocimo: from the greek okimon, of pre-Indo-European origin: "smell, fragrance".
In other words, a perfumed herb befitting a king.
Culinary useWhat more can be said about Basil, that is not already universally known?
Who has not tasted Pesto Genovese, king of Ligurian cuisine and famous the world over?
Or sampled tomato sauce with Basil, a pasta sauce?
Or partaken of any of the endless culinary dishes in which Basil makes its appearance as a conquering hero or a subtle persuader: soups, stuffing, salads, dishes, sauces, sandwiches etc.?
Perhaps a few lesser known facts: Basil enhances the flavor of mushroom-based dishes, and is used to season vinegar and Extra virgin olive oil.
Medicinal propertiesAccording to legend, when an olden-day herbalist gathered Basil, a sacred herb, he was obliged to follow a complex ritual: he must wear clean garments, abstain from touching unclean things and wash his hand in the water of three different springs.
Folk medicine has attributed analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, cough soothing, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, sedative, stomachic, invigorating and, last but least, aphrodisiac properties!
Cosmetic useAromatherapists recommend Basil water to refresh the face and hands and for and invigorating and aromatic bath.
A massage with a Basil-flavored oil soothes tense and sore muscles; inhaling its scent alleviates mental fatigue and uplifts the spirit.
CharacteristicsIt is easy to grow Basil. Simply prune it to make it tiller and delay earing.
Prefers full sun
Cannot bear the cold
Prefers an average level of substratum humidity