Basil: History, Health Benefits & More

January 19, 2021

Basil: History, Health Benefits & More

If you've ever eaten Italian cuisine, then chances are, you've come into contact with basil. Basil is one of the most beloved herbs in the culinary world that not only acts as a powerful flavor booster but also offers surprising health benefits as well!

History

Basil -- Ocimum basilicum (the scientific name for basil) is a member of the mint family. Originally native to India, Asia, and Africa, basil used to be praised as a sacred or noble herb. The word "basil" itself, comes from the ancient Greek word "basilikhon," meaning "royal."  Today, basil can be grown in your kitchen or garden, as this fragrant herb is wonderful for dishes particularly in Italian & Thai Cuisine. 

What we find surprising, is that there are over 60 varieties of basil! That's a lot of basil! The most widely used variety is sweet basil, as it's more mild in flavor can be used in all kinds of dishes. Sweet basil has a strong fragrance and is quite recognizable in flavor. We use this basil variety in many of our spice blends. Other varieties of basil include lemon basil ( a tangy lemon taste), mint basil (a refreshing minty taste), and Spicy Globe Basil (a more pungent flavor). 

Health Benefits Of Basil

Basil contains many vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. Most of basil's health benefits come from these antioxidants. Basil is also:

  • Anti-inflammatory 
  • Antioxidant rich
  • Immune-boosting properties 

Dried Basil

Of course, fresh basil isn't available year round, which is why this herb is often sought out in its dried form. Dry basil not only lasts longer than fresh basil, but it also has a as a more concentrated flavor composition. You'll find high quality basil in many of our spice and seasoning blends listed below!

Colorado Spice Blends With Basil

Tomato Basil & Chipotle 

Trout & Salmon Rub 

Herb Steak Rub

Tilapia Rub 

New Zealand Lamb Rub 

Herbs de Provence 

Italian Herb Seasoning 

Rice Vinegar Stir Fry



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