Herbs and spices series: Basil

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Basil plant

Going herbal, this is now the trend when it comes to beauty products, food supplements, medicine and even lifestyle. Everybody is now looking for herbal.

At this series I would like to feature the different herbs and spices the Bureau of Agricultural Research – Department of Agriculture (DA-BAR) promoting when I was there in 2009. I am sure DA is continually searching potential plants species that can be used for health and wellness research and development (R&D) program. That’s why I put it in series as I follow its development.

Let’s start with Basil.

Description: Basil is a half-hardy annual plant, best known as a culinary herb prominently featured in Italian cuisine, and also plays a major role in the Northeast Asian cuisine of Taiwan and the Southeast Asian cuisines.

Common Name: Sweet Basil

Scientific Name: Ocimum basilicum

Uses:

basil

As condiment, it can be used fresh or dried. But fresh basil is preferred as the dried herb loses much of its aroma. Fresh basil is used in soups and salads, stews with meat and vegetables, and dishes containing tomatoes, and in barbecue and sauces. It is the main ingredient in pesto and is popular in flavoring scrambled eggs, pizzas, pasta, chicken and grated cheese. Other uses include: medicinal (carminative, stimulant and cure for vomiting, cough, dizziness, and chronic dysentery); cosmeceutical; dental and oral products.

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