Ocimum basilicum from which Basil Leaf is harvested is a tender low-growing herb that is grown as a perennial in warm, tropical climates. Basil is originally native to India and other tropical regions of Asia, having been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years but is now grown all over the world and features in almost all cuisine styles.
Basil Leaf is also known as St. Joseph’s Wort and Sweet Basil.
It is prominently featured in varied cuisines throughout the world including, most notably, Italian, Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian.
The plant tastes somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, sweet smell. Basil is very sensitive to cold, and best growth in hot, dry conditions. While most common varieties are treated as annuals, some are perennial, including African Blue and Holy Thai basil.
History of Basil:-
The word Basil comes from the Greek βασιλευς (basileus), meaning “king”, as it is believed to have grown above the spot where St. Constantine and Helen discovered the Holy Cross. The Oxford English Dictionary quotes speculations that basil may have been used in “some royal unguent, bath, or medicine”. Basil is still considered the “king of herbs” by many cookery authors. An alternative etymology has “basil” coming from the Latin word basilicus, meaning dragon and being the root for basilisk, but this was a likely linguistic reworking of the word as brought from Greece.