Basil Varieties And Their Uses

Basil is a popular herb that can be found in various dishes. There are numerous basil varieties, each with its distinct flavor and aroma.

This comprehensive guide will discuss the various types of basil and their uses. Whether a beginner or an experienced cook, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about basil!

As any cook knows, basil is an essential ingredient in various recipes. This popular herb belongs to the mint family and is native to India. Basil comes in many different varieties, each with its unique flavor.

The most common type of basil is sweet basil, which has a mild, slightly sweet taste. Other varieties include Thai basil, which has a licorice-like flavor, and Vietnamese basil, which has a peppery taste. No matter what type of basil you use, it’s sure to add delicious flavor to your dish.

Sweet Basil

The sweet basil plant is a beautiful addition to any garden. Its leaves are medium green and slightly rounded shape, making it a beautiful plant.

In addition to its beautiful leaves, the sweet basil plant is also known for its delicious scent. This plant is often used in cooking to add flavor to food.

The sweet basil plant is also known for its healing properties. This plant has been used to treat various ailments, including colds and stomach problems.

The sweet basil plant is a versatile and valuable plant that should be a part of every garden.

Thai Sweet Basil

Thai basil is a basil variety native to Southeast Asia. It has a slightly spicier flavor than other types of basil and is commonly used in Thai cuisine.

The leaves are smaller and more pointed than those of other basil varieties, and they hold their flavor well when cooked.

Thai basil also has pretty purple flowers that are edible. Thai Basil is an excellent option if you’re looking for a flavorful Basil to use in stir fry.

Purple Basil

Purple basil is a beautiful herb that can add a pop of color to your garden or plate. While it may not have the most robust flavor, it can still add a subtle licorice taste to your dishes.

Additionally, its gorgeous burgundy color will make any dish look more appealing. Purple basil is an excellent choice if you want a beautiful and delicious herb.

Lemon Basil And Lime Basil

Basil is a versatile herb that can be used in many dishes. Lemon and lime basils have a citrusy flavor, whereas most basil varieties have a mild, slightly sweet taste.

These herbs can season marinades, sauces, desserts, and teas. Lemon basil goes well with fish and chicken, while lime basil goes well with fruits and vegetables.

Fresh basil leaves can also be used as a garnish or add color and flavor to salads. Lemon and lime basils are worth trying if you want to experiment with new flavors or simply jazz up your favorite recipes.

Lime basil is a type of basil with a lime scent and flavor. Lime basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) has white blooms and grows 12- to 16 inches tall. It’s a beautiful addition to fish and chicken dishes due to its lime scent and flavor.

Green Ruffles

Anyone who has spent time in the kitchen knows that herbs can make all the difference in a dish. They can add flavor and depth, brighten colors, and even change the texture of a dish. Among the most popular herbs is basil, prized for its unique taste.

While there are wide varieties of basil, the most common is green basil. Green basil leaves are beautifully ruffled, with a mild flavor ideal for salads.

In addition to their flavor, green basil leaves also have several health benefits. They are a good source of vitamins (especially A), calcium, and iron. Green basil leaves can also help to boost the immune system and fight inflammation.

Christmas Basil

Christmas basil is a beautiful plant that can add flavor and decoration to your home. The 2-inch, glossy green leaves and purple flowers of the plant make it a great addition to any salad or drink.

Not only that, but the plant also makes a gorgeous border plant, averaging 16 to 20 inches tall.

So if you’re looking for a way to spruce up your home this Christmas, consider adding some Christmas basil to your landscaping. You won’t be disappointed!

Cinnamon Basil

I love the Cinnamon Basil variety. It’s got a delightful fragrance and spicy flavor. It’s also a beautiful plant, 25- to 30-inches tall with dark-purple stems and flowers accented by small, glossy leaves.

It’s my favorite basil for fresh arrangements and in fruit salads and garnishes. It has a delightful fragrance and spicy flavor that enhances savory and sweet dishes.

When planting, give it plenty of room to grow; Purple Ruffles can quickly become overgrown if it’s not given enough space. 

Once it matures, you can harvest the leaves throughout the growing season. Simply cut off the stem about an inch above a leaf node, and the plant will branch out and produce even more leaves. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice, Purple Ruffles is a great variety to add to your garden.

Holy Basil

The Tulsi plant, also known as Holy basil or Sacred Basil, is a revered plant in the Hindu religion. The leaves of the Tulsi plant can be used to make tea, which is believed to boost the immune system.

Tulsi is also considered an ornamental plant, and it is not unusual to find it growing in gardens.

The leaves of the Tulsi plant are mottled green and purple, and the plant itself grows to a height of 12 to 14 inches.

While the primary use of the Tulsi plant is for making tea, it is also commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. In Ayurveda, the Tulsi plant is believed to have many health benefits, including aidin digestion, relieving stress, and reducing inflammation.

Napoletano Basil

Napoletano Basil is a variety of sweet basil originating from Naples, Italy. Its large leaves are used for wrapping poultry, fish, and cheese, and they can be added to soups, sauces, fish, and meat dishes for a bit of extra flavor. T

his variety of basil can grow up to two feet tall and is relatively easy to care for. With proper care and attention, your Napoletano Basil plant will provide fresh leaves all season long.

Lettuce Leaf Basil

Because of its mild and less aromatic flavor, the large wrinkled leaves of this basil resemble lettuce and are widely used in salads and fresh dishes.

Because the leaves are large, 3-5 inches in length, they are ideal for lettuce wraps. When eaten raw, the flavor is more delicate than that of other basils, making it a good choice for those new to the herb or sensitive to its more pungent cousin.

The leaves can be chopped and added to salads, used as a wrap for sandwiches, or even decorate fruit and cheese platters.

However you choose to use it, this variety of basil will add a touch of flavor to your dish.

Cardinal Basil

The most noticeable feature of cardinal basil is its striking red flowers. The clusters of tiny flowers are very eye-catching, and the plant has a spicy scent that can be pretty strong.

Cardinal basil is often used in cooking despite its strong scent, as it adds a unique flavor to various dishes. The plant is also a popular ornamental, as it adds color and interest to any garden. 

However, cardinal basil does have one drawback – it can be pretty invasive. If you’re not careful, the plant can quickly spread and take over your garden.

But if you keep it under control, cardinal basil can be a beautiful and versatile addition to your home.

Pistou Basil

One of the shortest varieties of basil is named after a sauce made with basil, garlic, and olive oil known as Pistou sauce. Although small, its evenly shaped leaves are still packed with flavor and are perfect for garnishing.

The leaves of this variety are dark green and shiny, with a slightly serrated edge. They have a strong, pungent aroma and a slightly spicy flavor.

Pistou basil is easy to grow and can be started from seed or cuttings. It thrives in warm, sunny conditions and does not tolerate frost.

This variety is also relatively drought-tolerant and does not require frequent irrigation. It is best to cut the stems just above a node to encourage new growth when harvesting.

Pistou basil can be used in many dishes, including soups, stews, pasta sauces, and pesto. It is also a beautiful garnish for salads and other dishes.

African Blue Basil

Among the wide varieties of basil, African Blue Basil is genuinely unique. This tall variety can grow up to four feet in height, and its leaves have a fragrant, spicy aroma.

What’s more, African Blue Basil is easy to propagate from cuttings. Simply take a cutting from an existing plant and root it in water or soil.

Within a few weeks, you’ll have a new African Blue Basil plant to enjoy. So if you’re looking for a unique basil variety to add to your garden, be sure to give African Blue Basil a try.

Italian Large Leaf Basil

There are many different types to choose from when it comes to basil. Each variety has its unique flavor profile, ideal for other recipes.

One type of basil that is not as well-known as others are Italian Large Leaf Basil. This variety has a slightly sweeter smell and taste than other types of basil.

If you’re looking for a hint of sweetness in your recipes that call for basil, then this is the perfect pick!

This type of basil is also very easy to grow, so if you’re thinking about starting your herb garden, this would be a great choice.

Clove Basil

Clove Basil, also known as African basil, Tree basil, East Indian basil, and Himalayan basil, is a type of basil with a strong clove-like aroma. It is used in soups and stews and can also be used as tea.

Clove Basil has many health benefits, including improving digestion, boosting immunity, and relieving stress. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Clove Basil is a versatile herb used in many different dishes. When cooking with Clove Basil, it is essential to remember that it has a strong flavor, so it should be used sparingly. A little goes a long way!

Ararat

If you’re looking for a type of basil that is delicious and beautiful, you’ll want to try Ararat basil. This variety of basil has a sweet flavor with a hint of licorice, making it an excellent choice.

But Ararat basil is also an excellent option for décor or use in a flower arrangement. The vibrant green leaves and delicate purple flowers will add a touch of beauty to any setting.

So whether you’re looking to add flavor to your food or beauty to your home, Ararat basil is an excellent option.

FAQs

What Is The Most Common Type Of Basil?

Sweet basil is the most common type of basil found in grocery stores. It has dark green, glossy leaves, and a sweet but slightly spicy flavor.

If your recipe doesn’t specify what type of basil to use, it’s probably safe to assume it calls for sweet basil.

This type of basil is versatile and can be used in various dishes, from pesto to Caprese salad. When choosing sweet basil, look for leaves that are brightly colored and free from brown spots or wilting.

What Variety Of Basil Is The Sweetest?

Italian Large Leaf Basil is a not-so-common type of basil that smells and tastes sweeter than other varieties. If you’re someone who likes a hint of sweetness in their recipes that use basil as an ingredient, then this is the perfect herb for you.

This plant’s large leaves are perfect for pesto or as a garnish.

Which Basil Is Good For Cooking?

Basil is a delicate herb with a sweet, slightly minty flavor often used in Italian cooking. Although it is sold both fresh and dried, fresh basil is typically preferred for cooking. The drying process draws out more of the mint flavor and less of the anise, resulting in a less flavorful herb.

When using fresh basil, it is best to add it towards the end of cooking so that the heat does not dull its flavor. Dried basil can be used in recipes that call for longer cooking times, such as stews or braises.

However, if you are looking for maximum flavor, fresh basil will always be better.

What Is The Easiest Basil To Grow?

There are many different types of basil, but the most common is sweet basil. This variety has a mild, sweet flavor that pairs well with many dishes.

Other popular types of basil include purple basil, lemon basil, and Thai basil. Purple basil has a slightly earthy flavor that is less sweet than common basil.

Lemon basil has a tart, citrusy flavor that is perfect for adding a zesty touch to salads and pasta dishes. Thai basil has a licorice-like flavor that is essential for authentic Thai cuisine.

Basil is easy to grow, but it only thrives outdoors in warm weather. So if you want to enjoy fresh basil all summer long, be sure to plant it after the last frost date in your area.

What’s The Difference Between Sweet Basil And Italian Basil?

Genovese basil is a type of basil commonly used in Italian cuisine. It is named after the city of Genoa, Italy, where it is said to have originated.

Genovese basil leaves are slightly larger than those of sweet basil, and they are flatter and come to a point. The plant is more aromatic than sweet basil, with dark green, shiny leaves.

Genovese basil has been described as having hints of mint and clove while peppery and spicy.

In addition to being used in many famous Italian dishes, Genovese basil is also used in Thai dishes, such as pad ki mao.

What Type Of Basil Is Used In Italian Cooking?

Sweet basil (Ocimum bacilicum) is the only variety of basil used in Italian cooking to avoid the mint flavor typical in other types. Sweet basil has a strong, sweet aroma and a pronounced, savory flavor. It is used fresh in salads, pesto, and other dishes.

Genovese basil (Ocimum basilicum ‘Genovese’) is a variety of sweet basil commonly used in Italian cooking.

It has large, dark green leaves with a slightly sweeter flavor than sweet basil. Genovese basil is used fresh or dry in pasta dishes, soups, and sauces.

Which Basil Is Used In Pesto?

The Italians have discovered something unique about basil. The traditional ‘Genovese’ variety is a staple of traditional home cooking. Pesto made from fragrant, near-glossy dark green leaves yields the best results.

But it would be best if you also looked out for red and crinkle-leaved varieties and the bushy Greek basil. The tiny leaves of the Greek basil pack a tasty punch.

So, when it comes to basil, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for flavor or fragrance, you’ll find a basil variety that suits your needs.

Can You Eat Basil Leaves Raw?

The leaves are also frequently used in cooking, though some people consume them raw. Holy basil has a spicy and bitter flavor.

There are numerous applications for holy basil in daily life. You can use it in cooking, as a supplement, or make tea.

Holy basil could be the answer if you’re looking for a natural way to boost your energy and immune system.

What’s The Difference Between Genovese Basil And Thai Basil?

Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a variety of sweet basil best known for its use in Asian cuisine. Unlike Italian basil (Genovese basil), Thai basil has sturdy, resilient leaves that can withstand prolonged cooking and extended periods of heat.

The plant is native to Southeast Asia, where it has been used in cooking for centuries. Thai basil has a distinct anise-like flavor with notes of licorice and cloves.

It is commonly used in curry dishes, stir-fries, and noodle soups. Thai basil is a key ingredient in many traditional Thai dishes, such as pad thai and green curry.

It has become more widely available in supermarkets and specialty stores outside Asia. Whether you’re looking to spice up your cooking or simply add a new herb to your kitchen arsenal, Thai basil is a great choice.

Which Is Better, Sweet Basil Or Thai Basil?

While both sweet and Thai basil is members of the mint family and has a similar flavor profile, there are some key differences between these popular herbs.

For one thing, Thai basil leaves are much sturdier than their sweet basil counterparts, which means they can better withstand the heat of cooking.

As a result, Thai basil is often used as a cooking ingredient rather than as a garnish or finishing touch. In addition, Thai basil has a more robust flavor than sweet basil, with notes of anise and cloves.

This makes it ideal for dishes with bold flavors, such as curries or stir-fries.

Whether you’re looking for a fragrant garnish or a flavorful cooked ingredient, Thai basil is a versatile herb worth exploring.

Does Basil Lower Blood Pressure?

If you’re looking to add a little flavor to your food while also getting some health benefits, basil may be the perfect herb. 

According to studies, this common ingredient in Italian cuisine contains compounds that have been shown to lower blood pressure. 

Eugenol, a compound found in basil, inhibits an enzyme that causes constriction of blood vessels. This effect can help to reduce blood pressure and improve circulation.

In addition, basil also contains antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage.

Is Basil Good For Kidneys?

Basil leaves are a well-known home remedy for kidney stones. The compounds in basil help break up kidney stones and flush them out of the body via urine.

Acetic acid is particularly effective in this regard, and it also helps lower uric acid levels in the blood. This is important because high uric acid levels are the root cause of kidney stones. By cleansing the kidneys and lowering uric acid levels, basil leaves act as a powerful kidney tonic.

Furthermore, the antioxidants in basil protect the kidneys from damage, making this herb an excellent choice for keeping your kidneys healthy and functioning properly.

What Is Purple Basil Used For?

Purple basil is a beautiful and tasty addition to any herb garden. Its deep purple leaves make it a striking ornamental plant, and its flavor is perfect for pesto or as a garnish.

Purple basil is easy to grow, and it has won multiple awards for its beauty, flavor, and ease of cultivation.

If you’re looking for an attractive and flavorful basil variety, purple basil is an excellent choice.

Does Basil Have Any Health Benefits?

Basil is a powerhouse of nutrients, making it an excellent choice for those looking to boost their health. This flavorful herb is an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese, which are essential for bone health.

It is also an excellent source of copper, which helps maintain healthy blood vessels, and vitamin A, essential for vision and immune function.

In addition, basil is a good source of calcium, iron, folate, and magnesium. But that’s not all! This nutritious herb also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.

So whether you’re using it to flavor your food or simply as a decoration, basil is a great way to add extra nutrition to your diet.

Can You Drink Basil Tea?

Holy basil has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine, and it is said to possess a variety of health benefits. Today, holy basil is commonly consumed as a tea.

The leaves can be brewed on their own or combined with other herbs. Holy basil tea is caffeine-free, so it is safe to drink daily.

In addition to being a refreshing beverage, holy basil tea is said to promote healthy digestion, reduce stress levels, and boost immunity. Whether you are looking for a way to support your health or simply enjoy a delicious cup of tea, holy basil is worth trying.

What Are The Side Effects Of Basil?

It is essential to be aware of the potential risks of taking basil supplements. One study, for example, found that a chemical in basil called estragole can cause liver cancer in laboratory mice.

In addition, basil oils and extracts may slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. Finally, basil extracts might lower blood pressure.

Is Basil Good For The Liver?

Basil is more than just a delicious herb used in cooking. This simple plant may also have powerful liver-protecting effects. Research suggests that basil can help prevent fat build-up in the liver, a common problem leading to severe liver damage. 

Additionally, basil appears to help restore the body’s natural pH levels and promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria.

Does Basil Cause Kidney Stones?

Basil contains acetic acid, which aids in the breakdown of kidney stones and the reduction of pain. It’s also high in nutrients. This remedy has traditionally been used to treat digestive and inflammatory issues.

Basil juice contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, which may aid in kidney health. So, if you’re looking for a natural kidney stone remedy, basil might be worth a shot.

Is Basil Anti-Inflammatory?

Basil is more than just a delicious herb to add to your pasta sauce; it also has potent medicinal properties. One of the most well-known is its ability to fight inflammation.

The essential oils in basil, including eugenol, linalool, and citronellol, all have anti-inflammatory properties. This means that they can help reduce swelling and pain in the body.

In addition, these oils can help to lower the risk of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

How Do You Preserve Basil Leaves?

Storing basil is simple and only requires a few materials. First, wash and dry the leaves using either a paper towel or a salad spinner.

Next, wrap the basil leaves in a dry paper towel and place them inside a plastic bag.

Finally, seal the bag and store it in a cool, dark place for one to two weeks. By following these steps, you can enjoy fresh basil for many meals.

Is Basil Good For Acid Reflux?

Basil leaves are nature’s antacid, and they can help relieve symptoms of acidity reflux quickly and effectively. Chewing on a few leaves after a meal can help to neutralize stomach acids and prevent them from flowing back up into the esophagus. 

Additionally, basil leaves can help to calm an upset stomach and settle nerves. So next time you’re feeling the burn, reach for some basil instead of the bottle of antacids. Your stomach will thank you!

Bottom Line

Therefore, basil is a versatile herb used in many different dishes. There are many different varieties of basil, each with its unique flavor and aroma. 

Whether you’re looking for a spicy or sweet flavor, there’s sure to be a variety of basil that will fit the bill.

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