Discover our herbarium
We have chosen to include Basil in one of our creations. Its fresh and slightly peppery taste is ideal with other decoction plants.
Basil, an aromatic plant famous in the culinary arts and in phytothérapy
ORIGINS OF BASIL
This herbaceous plant comes from Asia and more particularly from India and the Pacific islands. His journey to France has been long. Basil appeared more than 4,000 years ago in India. It passed through the Middle East and then through the Mediterranean region and Italy at the end of the 15th century. It did not appear in England and France until the early 16th century. Basil was imported into America a century later with the first emigrants.
Basil was a synonym of love for the Romans. They offered it to their bride as a commitment and sincerity.
Basil is linked to many stories, some even seem unusual. It is said that the Romans used basil leaves to give birth to scorpions. It seems that placing a few leaves of this plant under a pot made it possible to find, a few days later, a young scorpion. This practice was very popular at one time and made the scorpion the favorite animal for people wishing to make a big change in their lives (field of activity, lover, etc.)
It was only many years later that Basil took on the dimension we know it today in Europe: a gustatory plant with powerful aromas. It is thanks to cookers that Basil began to be used for its perfume, even in other art than the cooking one.
Still on the theme of love, Basil was used for several years, through the placement of a jar of Basil on one' s balcony, to signal to one's lover whether the way was clear or not!
Basil was then offered to guests or people passing through, a sign of welcome and kindness.
It was then used for the culinary arts and it was of course the Italians who began to use it in this field. Basil perfumes ideally all types of food, and today it still has a very important culinary dimension.
CHARACTERISTICS OF BASIL
Name: Ocimum Basilicum
Species: herbaceous plant
Basil plants can be 20 to 60 cm high. Basil can even grow to more than a metre in length if it is well maintained from one year to the next. This plant is slender and majestic. Its oval lanceolate leaves, from 2 to 3 cm, are pale green or dark green depending on its state of health and variety. They tend to become woody and bushy. The Basil flowers are small and white, in the shape of elongated bunches. There are many varieties of Basil: Grand green basil, Fine green basil, Thai basil, Purple basil, Lettuce leaf basil, Lemon basil, etc.
This plant is nowadays considered as perennial. It can be easily found and grown at home. Basil is an annual plant that needs a warm and sunny climate to develop. It can be grown in temperate regions but its maintenance will require more care.
USES OF BASIL
We think directly of the food when we mention Basil. This plant has both peppery and slightly sweet aromas. Basil is the ideal companion in the kitchen to enhance your meals or give them more originality: it goes well with many ingredients!
Pasta is of course one of them, but it should also be noted that its taste goes very well with all types of salads. It can be mixed with several cheeses (which initially taste less pronounced) but also eggs, raw vegetables, chicken, duck and with various sauces. The marriage of olive oil and basil is indeed exquisite.
Basil is also used as an infusion. Once soaked in water, the Basil leaves release all their aromas through a gelatinous envelope.
BENEFITS OF BASIL
Basil is mostly know for its capacities in fighting digestive disorders. Consumed as an essential oil or natural, Basil can help fight flatulence, stomach cramps and other gastric pains.
It is said that Basil essential oil also helps to control stress. Basil seems to help soothe coughs and sore throats. This plant is often found with Thyme or Rosemary in herbal teas. Finally, Basil is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties (fight against skin irritations, insect bites, etc.).