Sweet basil is an ANNUAL growing to around 50cm with oval green leaves and white flowers. It can be grown as a PERENNIAL in warm climates, but dislikes the cold and will succumb to frost. Basil prefers well-drained moist soil in a full sun position away from cold drafts.
Leaves are edible and used fresh or cooked, or dried in various dished, notabley Italian cooking. Pairs well with tomato dishes, garlic, eggplant or peppers. Seeds are edible too.
Use the clove-like leaves in Italian cooking, or steep for a spicy tea. Seeds can be added to bread dough as a flavouring or soaked in water it becomes mucilaginous and is made into a refreshing beverage
Sweet basil has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb and is antibacterial, aromatic, antispasmodic and an appetizer among many other actions. It is digestive and eases flatulance and stomach cramps. Used in Indian and Chinese traditional medicine. It is insect repelling and can be grown indoors for flies, or among plants to deter whitefly. Common companion to tomato plants.