Today, Ocimum basilicum grows in many places around the world. Many people even grow basil in their kitchens or gardens. This fragrant herb is used as a seasoning in a variety of dishes, and plays a key role in Italian and Thai cuisine.
Sweet basil has a very strong smell and a recognizable flavor. Different varieties of basil offer slightly different flavors. For instance, lemon basil has a tangy lemon taste, while mint basil has a refreshing minty taste. It always makes a colourful and flavourful addition to many different dishes.
It contains many vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants such as lutein, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. Many of the health benefits come from these antioxidants, as well as its essential oils. These compounds mostly disappear during the drying process, so opt for fresh whenever possible to gain the most benefits.
Reduction of Oxidative Stress
It is full of antioxidants. The sweet variety contains a compound called eugenol, and lime and lemon basils have limonene. These antioxidants, along with others such as anthocyanins and beta-carotene, help to fight free radicals in the body that can otherwise lead to cell damage and increase your risk for a variety of health conditions, including cancer, heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.