Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is well known for its use in Italian cuisine. It is one of the primary ingredients in pesto sauce. Basil is also commonly included in Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine.
Rich in antioxidants
Results of a study published in the Journal of Advanced Pharmacy Education & Research showed that ethanol extract – Ocimum basilicum – had more antioxidant activity than standard antioxidants.
A 2013 review concluded that, thanks to the phytochemicals Basil contains, including eugenol, rosmarinic acid, apigenin, myretenal, luteolin, β-sitosterol, and carnosic acid, it may help prevent certain types of skin, liver, oral, and lung cancers.
Lab studies have demonstrated that basil has antibacterial properties; this may be because of the volatile oils it contains, which include estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene.
Basil restricts the growth of numerous bacteria, including Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
This could mean that adding fresh basil to a salad not only adds flavor, it also helps reduce the number of harmful bacteria on the plate.