Basil is a common kitchen herb well known for its use in Italian dishes, as well as a major ingredient in pesto. It is has an extremely fragrant aroma and taste that has perpetuated its popularity within the kitchen. But this little gem isn’t just about great flavors – it has a wealth of nutrients and compounds that offer great benefits to our slow pressed juice.
There are about 150 varieties of basil, all of which belong to the mint family of plants. It is an easy to grow annual herb that tends to produce long stalks covered in broad, deep green leaves – although due to the many varieties of basil, the appearance can vary greatly.
Originating from parts of Asia and the Middle-East, basil quickly spread throughout the West as it traveled along the spice trails. It is thought to have been cultivated and used for both medical and culinary purposes for over 5000 years. The name basil actually derives from the Ancient Greek word basilikohn, meaning “royal”, and it is an insight to the reverence this plant held within Greek society. This is also reflected in other cultures, such as India, where basil was an icon of hospitality, and in Italy, where it was a symbol of love. The power of basil is absolute, and it is why we include it in our cold- and slow-pressed juices.