Basil Seeds

About Indian spices

Basil Seeds

Indian Name: Sabzah,tulsi,gulal tulsi
Scientific Name: Ocimum basilicum
Fam: Lamiaceae (mint family)

Other Names

Arabic: raihan
Chinese: lo-le
Dutch: basil icum
French: basilic
German: basilïenkraut
Indian: sabzah,tulsi,gulal tulsi
Indonesian: selasih, kemangi
Italian: basilico
Japanese: meboki
Malay: selaseh, kemangi
Phillipino: belanoi, sulasi
Portuguese: man jericao
Russian: Bazilik
Spanish: albahaca
Sri Lanka: suwenda-tala, maduru-tala
Swedish: basilkort
Thai: horopa, manghk, krapow, bai horapa
Vietnamese: rau que

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    Basil, (Ocimum basilicum), also called sweet basil, annual herb of the mint family (Lamiaceae), grown for its aromatic leaves. Basil is likely native to India and is widely grown as a kitchen herb. The leaves are used fresh or dried to flavour meats, fish, salads, and sauces; basil tea is a stimulant.

    Basil leaves are glossy and oval-shaped, with smooth or slightly toothed edges that typically cup slightly; the leaves are arranged oppositely along the square stems. The small flowers are borne in terminal clusters and range in colour from white to magenta. The plant is extremely frost-sensitive and grows best in warm climates. Basil is susceptible to Fusarium wilt, blight, and downy mildew, especially when grown in humid conditions.


    One of the oldest herbs known to the mankind, basil’s healing and healthful properties have been the most treasured knowledge across the world. Closer home, Holy basil is revered for its strong medicinal and healing properties. One can still see basil plants outside many Indian households, even outside the clamped urban flats. Holy basil is offered to Gods in the form of prasad. Some say, that it is prohibited to even chew the holy basil leaves; one is supposed to swallow it at one go. Basil forms an intrinsic part of various curries and stews. There are significant botanical differences in various types of basil plants. The many varied species of basil include: sweet basil, lemon basil, Italian or curly basil, holy basil, Thai basil and lettuce-leaf basil. The smell and flavour of basil vary upon the concentration of essential volatile oils present in the herb. Cinnamate, citronellol, geraniol, linalool, pinene and terpineol are some of the oils that one can find across all species of basil. And it is the presence of these oils that chiefly affect the medicinal benefits of basil leaves.

    Health Benefits

    Good Source of Minerals

    Flavorless Thickener and Stabilizer

    May support gut health

    May aid blood sugar control

    May improve cholesterol

    Taste and aroma

    The taste of basil will depend on the variety. Sweet basil has a fresh aroma with a subtle peppery flavor and a hint of mint. Other varieties taste of citrus and spice. Thai basil is more savory with a spicy licorice flavor.

    Nutrition Facts

    Omega-3 fat


    Basil holds a place of honor in the Italian and Italian-American kitchen. Seafood and poultry dishes, red sauces, pizza, pasta with vegetables—we find that almost any dish can benefit from the addition of this versatile herb.

    It’s not only Italian food that benefits from basil. Tomato-based dishes the world over—salads, salsas, pizzas, soups and slow-cooked stews—benefit from its fragrant aroma and deep green color. We like tossing a few basil leaves into tomato soup and including them in baked-egg frittatas for a brunch buffet.

    Today’s professional chefs are finding many new and interesting uses for basil. You’ll find it in desserts and sweets, and even in ice cream. Next time you make shortbread cookies, try adding lemon zest and a hint of basil. You’ll love it!