It is a herb that is grown as a perennial in warm, tropical climates. Basil originated in India and other tropical regions of Asia, and has been cultivated for over 5,000 years. The word basil stems from the Greek word for king, and is still known to be the king of herbs to many cooks even today.
Basil is added to recipes at the very last moment because cooking it tends to destroy its flavor. It is commonly used in pesto, soups, and chicken. In Vietnamese cuisine, basil is used for fruit jams with strawberries, raspberries, or plums, and in Asian cooking it can be found in sherbet.
Basil contains flavonoids that provide protection at the cellular level. It is a very good source of iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. It is also a great source of magnesium, promoting cardiovascular health by improving blood flow through the relaxation of the muscles and blood vessels.
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