Basil is an herb produced by the Ocimum basilicum plant. Basil is used in many culinary applications and is also used as an herbal medicine.

Health considerations

Basil is a good source of vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin, and a very good source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese. As a medicine, basil essential oils and extracts have been studied as a treatment for many illnesses. Basil essential oils have been found to possess antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, as well as lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol.

Keep in mind

Basil leaves are generally not consumed in high enough quantities to contribute significant micronutrients to the diet.

May be found in

Sold as is, Mediterranean cuisine, Indian cuisine, Southeast Asian cuisine, pesto, herb butter, caprese salad, spice mixes


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Nutrition Data

Alternative Spellings and Names

Ocimum basilicum, Sweet basil, Italian basil

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