Ocimum basilicum

Basil: Ocimum basilicum

A culinary favorite of many people, Basil is a member of the mint family with many varieties grown in Colorado. Basil lives up to its botanical name that means "to be fragrant". Basil is suitable as an ornamental or border plant or in the vegetable garden.

Basil has been shown to provide protection against bacterial growth. Basil can act as an anti-inflammatory and decrease free radical damage. Basil is delicious in pesto, and wonderful with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese in the summer salad, Insalata Caprese.  A few sprigs in a cool pitcher of water make a refreshing summer drink.

Basil is known for promoting muscle relaxation.  Smelling a sprig of basil or it's essential oil is said to be helpful in decreasing headaches caused by tense muscles.