Basil is a popular herb for making pesto, or used fresh. The famous signature dish from Italy is Mozzarella served with Basil leaves and Tomatoes. When used in cooking, it is usually added last, or just before serving the dish, as cooking greatly decreases the flavour.
There are many varieties, ranging from European basil to Lemon, African, or Thai varieties.
Basil is very easy to propagate from cuttings. After a few weeks in fresh water, new roots will form and the new plant can be potted up. Basil needs a minimum temperature of 12ºC to grow. Below this temperature the plant won’t grow, and fungal infections are frequent instead. The potted basil sold in supermarkets is grown for consumption and doesn’t grow well. However, it is easily grown from seeds, so if you’re after a plant that lasts longer, try that instead.
Traditionally basil is used to treat headaches, flatulence and indigestion. Modern research does not confirm the efficiency as a medicinal herb, though.