Classic Italian style Sweet basil (Genovese basil) plays a role in many Mediterranean, and particularly Italian, cuisines. It forms the basis of pesto and adds a distinctive flavor to salads, pasta, pizza, and other dishes. Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisines also feature this herb, and in the Caribbean it's a common addition to bush tea!
In the diet, basil can provide vitamins, minerals, and a range of antioxidants. Its essential oil may also have medicinal benefits.