Red basil is one of the most used herbs after dill and parsley. It is the lilac basil, whose smell resembles allspice, and the leaf structure is dense greens, has taken root in our culinary plane. Green basil is more sweet, soft, supple, varied, but could not win due attention.

In Soviet times, our parents bought "rayon" - a dried basil, whose name translates as "fragrant". It was added to salads, meat, fish dishes, and always in omelets. How has the culture of basil consumption changed, and what modern culinary interpretation has the ingredient received?

Ingredient history

The cultivation of basil originates in ancient India (the primary name of the spice is tulasi). Historians claim that the Egyptians used basil in sacrificial rites. Archaeologists record the presence of the basilica in the tombs of rich people and even the pharaohs.

In Rome, the plant was used exclusively for medicinal purposes. The controversy among scholars Galen and Pliny regarding the benefits of basil has survived. The first considered the plant to be poisonous and dangerous, the second insisted on its healing properties. Europe became acquainted with the plant much later - in the 4th century BC.

At home, the plant is still in tremendous demand and is considered sacred. Hindus believe that Tulasi is the embodiment of Lakshmi, the wife of Vishna (the supreme god of Hinduism). If a local resident accidentally touches the leaves of a plant, he should kneel down and ask the gods for forgiveness for sacrilege.

After the rapid spread of the ingredient, France became interested in basil. To this day, the French call basil the king of spices and introduce it to most dishes of national cuisine.

Basil is rooted in world culinary practices and is found in all cuisines of the world. More than 70 plant varieties were bred, each of which is distinguished by its shade, nutritional value and taste palette.

Chemical composition

Nutrition value (in grams per 100 grams of product)
Calorie content23 kcal
Fiber (dietary fiber)1,7
Vitamin composition (in milligrams per 100 grams of product)
Beta Carotene (A)3,15
Thiamine (B1)0,034
Riboflavin (B2)0,076
Niacin (PP)0,9
Pantothenic Acid (B5)0,21
Pyridoxine (B6)0,155
Ascorbic acid (C)18
Folic Acid (B9)0,068
Tocopherol (E)0,8
Phylloquinone (K)0,4148
Choline (B4)11,4
Macronutrients (in milligrams per 100 grams of product)
Potassium (C)177
Calcium (Ca)295
Magnesium (Mg)64
Sodium (Na)4
Phosphorus (P)56
Microelements (in milligrams per 100 grams of product)
Iron (Fe)3,17
Manganese (Mn)1,15
Copper (Cu)0,385
Selenium (Se)0,03
Zinc (Zn)0,81

Beneficial features

Basil is a stimulating ingredient for the immune system. The plant carries out internal disinfection of the body and creates a specific barrier to viruses and microorganisms. Scientists argue that the components that make up the basil are able to restrain the growth and development of HIV-infected cells. Of course, pathology, which is at critical stages, cannot be cured with a plant. But creating additional protection that can react in time will not hurt.

The plant is recommended to be introduced into the diet for respiratory diseases, viral, bacterial, fungal infections of the respiratory tract. The ingredient facilitates the course of asthma and bronchitis (regardless of stage), by moisturizing and cleaning the respiratory system.

Basil is able to relieve heat and restore normal body temperature. Plant components get into the inflamed areas, remove excess mucus from there, normalize the flow of vital elements to the cells, strengthen the external walls and surfaces of organs.

Alternative medicine recommends using basil to make the mind cleaner, and mental activity more productive. Such arguments are based on the stimulating effect of the product, but are not confirmed by official evidence-based medicine.

What else will basil help to cope with:

  • bad breath;
  • tooth loss (basil strengthens the teeth, disinfects the gum and "fastens" it to the root and base of the tooth);
  • plaque in the tongue (if it is not caused by a disease of the internal organs);

No need to chew fresh basil to heal your teeth or remove bad breath. So you only harm the oral cavity and provoke irritation of the mucous membranes (and if you decide to chew the unwashed sheet, then you will not be protected from infection). It is necessary to use a decoction from the plant or to breed specially prepared dry powder (sold in a pharmacy).

  • cancer pathologies (specific antibodies are produced that perform the function of preventing and preventing the development of cancer cells);
  • problems with potency (again, you do not need to chew the leaves or apply it to the body. Based on the basil, special medications have been developed that will cope even with the most delicate problem);
  • problems with excess weight (enzymes contained in the plant start the process of fat burning, making it more intense and efficient);
  • flatulence.

Application in cosmetology

Basil is a popular ingredient not only in medicines or culinary searches, but also in cosmetics for the face and hair.

The plant activates the growth of hair follicles, tightens the follicle, makes hair shiny, strong and healthy. Enough systematic application of decoctions from basil for 2-3 months to restore lifeless hair, overdried with a hairdryer and paint.

Every girl, at least once in her life, tried to try folk remedies of beauty. If preparing a decoction causes genuine panic in you, then just buy the finished mixture in a pharmacy (just warm it up and apply on the scalp) or pay attention to specialized pharmacy products based on basil.

What is the effect of basil on the skin:

  • Toning
  • regeneration (helps to heal both minor irritations and post-acne);
  • removal of inflammation;
  • rejuvenation.

The leaves of the plant are known for their antibacterial effect. Experts recommend using products with basil to care for damaged and problem skin.

In addition to diluting cosmetics, basil can be used fresh. Leaflets can be applied to damaged areas of the face, freeze them with ice and wipe the skin daily instead of tonic.

How to use face basil:

  • in the form of a tonic. Chilled broth can really be applied instead of the usual tonic. Use a spray bottle to easily apply a decoction or freeze herbs with ice and wipe the skin with it;
  • in the form of a compress mask. Fresh leaves (previously peeled) will help relieve swelling, skin irritation, fill it with moisture and vitamins;
  • in the form of water. Girls know the beneficial properties of medicinal thermal water. Basil juice may well replace expensive cosmetics and show absolutely identical (even better) results.

Cooking use

Basil is introduced into the dish in a raw or heat-treated form. In cooking, the leaves and seeds of the plant are used, and the root and stems (due to the overly bitter taste) are unsuitable for consumption.

Culinary experts advise chopping the basil with your hands, rather than cutting it with a knife.

Where to add basil:

  • the drinks;
  • salads;
  • soups;
  • pastes based on any kind of meat;
  • desserts with a touch of bitterness;
  • Hummus
  • fish and meat dishes;
  • preservation;
  • oils;
  • pasta;
  • home-made sauces.

Remember: the aroma of basil is quite concentrated and can muffle the taste palette of a dish. Do not overdo it with spice, strictly adhere to the stated grammar and taste the food during cooking.

What spices to combine basil with:

  • rosemary;
  • thyme;
  • parsley;
  • cardamom;
  • marjoram;
  • mint;
  • tarragon.

A quick recipe for a baguette with ham, cheese and basil

The nutritional value
Calorie contentSquirrelsFatsCarbohydrates
931 kcal35 g30 g128 g

We will need:

  • baguette - 1 pc (you can take regular French or yeast-free with bran and seeds);
  • ham - 100 g (can be replaced with your favorite meat);
  • hard cheese - 100 g;
  • basil - 5 shredded leaves.


Cut the basil, ham and cheese into small pieces and mix in a suitable container. Cut the baguette across and take out a little crumb so that the filling fits easily inside. Wrap the baguette with the filling in food foil and send for a few minutes in a preheated oven. Take some cheese, grate, mix with your favorite herbs and sprinkle a baguette mixture. As soon as the cheese is melted - get the package, cut into pieces and serve in portions. The dish is high in calories, so serve a baguette for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

Baked Vegetable Recipe with Basil

The nutritional value
Calorie contentSquirrelsFatsCarbohydrates
108 kcal2.4 g5.7 g11.6 g

We will need:

  • olive oil - 50 g;
  • tomatoes - 7 pcs;
  • eggplant - 4 pcs;
  • zucchini - 3 pcs;
  • cucumbers - 3 pcs;
  • basil (dried) - 3 tablespoons;
  • oregano (dried) - 2 tablespoons;
  • saffron (dried) - 1 tablespoon.


Prepare a baking sheet. Cut vegetables into large cubes or strips, pass the garlic through a special crush. Mix vegetables in a large container, add spices, mix thoroughly again. Pour in the olive oil and place the container of ingredients in the oven. The average cooking time is 1 hour with an interval of several minutes. The first 30 minutes, the mixture should be actively heat treated. After 30 minutes, remove the container, add spices to taste to the ingredients and send for the remaining 30 minutes to simmer in the oven.


Remember: eating any ingredient in excessive amounts is harmful to the body. No need to deliberately upset the balance of vitamins and minerals (even useful ones).

What can an excess of basil in the diet lead to?

  • irritation of the walls of the esophagus;
  • irritation of the mucous membranes of the internal organs;
  • poisoning with all possible consequences;
  • heartburn.

To whom the plant is contraindicated:

  • patients with bleeding disorders;
  • people with a post-infarction condition;
  • Diabetics
  • patients with pathologies of the cardiovascular system;
  • pregnant and lactating women;
  • people suffering from thrombosis and thrombophlebitis;
  • children of a younger age group;
  • patients with individual intolerance to the ingredient or component that is part of the composition.

Basil Tips

When choosing a basil, you need to be guided not only by the freshness, but also by the safety of the product. There are unscrupulous manufacturers who stuff plants with chemicals. They stimulate rapid growth, beautiful appearance and long shelf life of the plant, but adversely affect the human body.

To recognize the fraud, follow these rules: buy fresh basil (dried or frozen product may be spoiled. In addition, fresh ingredients have much higher nutritional value, better taste, aroma and benefit); the color of the leaves should be bright and saturated (variations in hue can be any: from pale green to dark burgundy); the leaf should be elastic and juicy, with distinctly visible veins; the plant should not have dirt, inhomogeneous plaque, spots; the product must be dry (but not dried); the color of the leaves on the outer and inner side is significantly different (the inner shade is more muted and matte. But, at the same time, the color on each side of the sheet is uniform and natural); there should be no growths, putrefactive formations on the basilica.

Pound the basil leaf with your finger. If your skin begins to emit a tart saturated aroma, the plant is fresh and suitable for consumption. If the aroma does not appear - find a more responsible and high-quality seller.

Watch the video: Basil, How To Grow More Than You Can Eat (December 2019).