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Ocimum basilicum
Ocimum basilicum
Did you know that… ?
  1. …basil serves to calm the nervous system and helps induce a good mood?
  2. …basil is rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium, so important for proper functioning of our bodies?
  3. …basil is one of the fundamental spices in the southern European kitchen?
  4. …basil in a pot on a windowsill in the summer helps repel flies?
  5. …basil retains its healthful properties even when cooked?
  6. …basil as a spice consists of the fresh or dried leaves of Ocimum basilicum?
  7. …probably the most perfect food created from basil is "pesto", prepared from basil, garlic, cheese and pine nuts?
  8. …basil holds wonderful aromas of mint, thyme, even rose, which are released during cooking?
dried basil leafs

Spaghetti with pesto sauce

60 g fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
30 g pine nuts
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh ground Parmesan cheese
500 g dried spaghetti

In a blender, mix basil, garlic and pine nuts, and slowly add oil. Then add Parmesan and mix briefly. Cook spaghetti in salted water, drain, mix with sauce and serve.


Basil comes from India, where it was sanctified by the god Vishna. It was even considered a sacred herb and was used during religious ceremonies. Its name "basilicum" comes from the Greek word for royal, which shows how highly it was prized. In German-speaking countries it is called "the royal herb" or "royal balsam". Charlemagne brought it to Europe and it was cultivated in monastery gardens as a medicinal herb. Even today it is considered sacred and used in rituals by Roman Catholics, Buddhists and Hindus. There are many varieties and cultivars of "Ocimum basilicum", differing in size, color and aroma. All are suitable for use in the kitchen.