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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Leaves and flowers - raw or cooked[1][2][3]. Used as a flavouring or as a spinach[4][5], they are used especially with tomato dishes, pasta sauces, beans, peppers and aubergines[6]. The leaves are normally used fresh but can also be dried for winter use[2]. A very pleasant addition to salads[K], the leaves have a delightful scent of cloves[1]. Use the leaves sparingly in cooking because the heat concentrates the flavour[7].

A refreshing tea is made from the leaves[2]. The seed can be eaten on its own or added to bread dough as a flavouring[8]. When soaked in water it becomes mucilaginous and can be made into a refreshing beverage called 'sherbet tokhum' in the Mediterranean[8].

An essential oil obtained from the plant is used as a food flavouring in mustards, sauces, vinegars etc[9][10][8]

Unknown part

Leaves

Material uses

An essential oil obtained from the whole plant is used as a food flavouring and in perfumery, dental applications etc[11][9][5][10][12][6]. An average yield of 1.5% essential oil is obtained from the flowering tops[13]. When applied to the skin it makes a good mosquito repellent[13]. The growing or dried plant is an effective insect repellent. It is a good plant to grow in the home, where it repels flies, or in the greenhouse where it can keep all manner of insect pests away from nearby plants[14, 20, K]. It has been used in the past as a strewing herb[14].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Sweet basil has been used for thousands of years as a culinary and medicinal herb. It acts principally on the digestive and nervous systems, easing flatulence, stomach cramps, colic and indigestion[15].

The leaves and flowering tops are antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, digestive, galactogogue, stomachic and tonic[13][4][2][16][17]. They are taken internally in the treatment of feverish illnesses (especially colds and influenza), poor digestion, nausea, abdominal cramps, gastro-enteritis, migraine, insomnia, depression and exhaustion[6]. Externally, they are used to treat acne, loss of smell, insect stings, snake bites and skin infections[6]. The leaves can be harvested throughout the growing season and are used fresh or dried[6]. The mucilaginous seed is given in infusion in the treatment of gonorrhoea, dysentery and chronic diarrhoea[18]. It is said to remove film and opacity from the eyes[17]. The root is used in the treatment of bowel complaints in children[18]. Extracts from the plant are bactericidal and are also effective against internal parasites[17][6].

The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Clearing'[19].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow mid to late spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually free and quick, prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If growing basil outdoors, plant out after the last expected frosts.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Ocimum basilicum. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a rich light well-drained to dry soil[20][3][6]. Requires a sunny sheltered position if grown outdoors[21]. Tolerates a pH in the range 5 to 8[6].

Sweet basil is commonly grown as an aromatic culinary and medicinal herb in warm temperate and tropical climates. There are a number of different constituents that make up the essential oil in basil, and the proportions of these vary considerably between plants growing in different regions of the world[6]. From this variety many named varieties with differing flavour characteristics have been developed[11][6]. Basil is a perennial plant in the tropics, but it is frost tender and needs to be grown as a half-hardy annual in temperate zones[22]. It is a very good companion plant to grow in the house or greenhouse, its aromatic foliage helping to reduce problems caused by insect pests[K]. It requires a good hot summer in Britain if it is to do well outdoors[K].

Sweet basil is a good companion plant for tomatoes but it grows badly with rue and sage[4][23][24][14]. When grown near raspberries it can retard their fruiting[14].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Ocimum basilicum. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Ocimum basilicum.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Ocimum basilicum
Genus
Ocimum
Family
Labiatae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
10
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Basilicum (Ocimum basilicum).jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Basilicum (Ocimum basilicum).jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Basilicum (Ocimum basilicum).jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Basilicum (Ocimum basilicum).jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.2 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.42.5 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.2 Vilmorin. A. The Vegetable Garden. Ten Speed Press ISBN 0-89815-041-8 ()
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.4 Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-262-7 (1979-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    6. ? 6.006.016.026.036.046.056.066.076.086.096.106.116.12 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.3 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.3 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.3 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.2 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.4 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34324-2 (1993-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.1 Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre ()
    17. ? 17.017.117.217.3 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.118.2 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.1 Westwood. C. Aromatherapy - A guide for home use. Amberwood Publishing Ltd ISBN 0-9517723-0-9 (1993-00-00)
    20. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    21. ? Larkcom. J. Salads all the Year Round. Hamlyn (1980-00-00)
    22. ? Brouk. B. Plants Consumed by Man. Academic Press ISBN 0-12-136450-x (1975-00-00)
    23. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-00-00)
    24. ? Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (1978-00-00)
    25. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)

    Cite error: <ref> tag with name "PFAFimport-132" defined in <references> is not used in prior text.

    "image:Basilicum (Ocimum basilicum).jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Ocimum basilicum"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyLabiatae +
    Belongs to genusOcimum +
    Has binomial nameOcimum basilicum +
    Has common nameSweet Basil +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partUnknown part +, Leaves + and Seed +
    Has edible useCondiment +, Drink +, Unknown use + and Tea +
    Has fertility typeBees +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone10 +
    Has imageBasilicum (Ocimum basilicum).jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useEssential +, Repellent + and Strewing +
    Has mature height0.45 +
    Has mature width0.3 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAntibacterial +, Antispasmodic +, Aromatherapy +, Aromatic +, Carminative +, Digestive +, Galactogogue +, Ophthalmic +, Stomachic + and Tonic +
    Has primary imageBasilicum (Ocimum basilicum).jpg +
    Has search nameocimum basilicum + and sweet basil +
    Has shade toleranceNo shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy + and Loamy +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameOcimum basilicum +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
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