The Ultimate Guide to different types of Basil

By now, you’re probably familiar with the wonders of basil – its growth benefits, and the advantages of incorporating its leaves into your daily diet. But have you ever explored the realm of diverse basil types and their various applications?

During a recent visit to a local nursery to purchase a basil plant, I realized my misconception – I’d assumed there was only one variety. To my delight, I encountered different types of Basil, leaving me undecided on which one to select. If you find yourself in a similar place, this post holds the key to your questions.

The best part? This article not only introduces you to the top basil types but also provides insights into their flavor profiles, appearances, ideal temperature conditions, and the seasons conducive to their growth.

How many kinds of basil are there?

Basil is one of the most popular culinary herbs, it is widely used in various types of cuisine. It is the most famous prime ingredient in different types of basil pesto.

different types of Basil

There are many types of basil leaves:
● Sweet basil
● Thai sweet basil
● Purple basil
● Lemon basil
● Lettuce basil
● Dark Opal basil
● Cinnamon basil
● French basil
● American basil
● Genovese basil
● Lime basil
● Greek basil
● Blue spice basil
● Red basil
● Osmin purple basil
● Spicy globe basil
Here in this post, the top 5 different types of basils are been discussed.

Different types of Basil and their uses:

Sweet Basil:

Sweet Basil is the most common type of Basil grown, the scientific name of Sweet Basil is Ocimum Basilicum. It has a fresh flavor with the finish of black pepper and subtle anise and mint notes and has a medium green color with a rounded cup-shaped leaf.

sweet basil

The plant prefers temperatures between 50°F to 80°F, The cold temperature might kill the plants. It is usually grown in the month of June till September in the US.

Sweet Basil has antioxidants and antibacterial properties, it helps in maintaining good skin and also boosts digestion, and detoxifies the body.

Thai Sweet Basil:

Thai sweet basil is of Southeast Asian origin, it is also called Bai Horapa/ or Anise/Licorice Basil. This type of Basil is used extensively in Thai, Vietnamese, and Laotians Cuisines.

Thai Sweet Basil

It has a slightly spicy, licorice-like flavor. In appearance, Thai basil has a purple stem and small, sturdy leaves with notched edges. The plant prefers temperatures between 72-85°F, It is usually grown in spring or early summer in most climates.

Thai Basil is high in antioxidants, anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties, it has been used in healing for centuries ago, and also, it is used in various Asian cuisine.

Purple Basil:

Purple basil is originally from the tropics of Africa, America, and Asia, where it has been cultivated and used in cooking for centuries. Purple basil is not as sweet as other basil varieties, It is highly aromatic and has a strong clove flavor.

In appearance purple basil has a striking dark burgundy color with jagged edges. The plant prefers temperatures of 70°F and higher. Winter would not be a good season to grow purple basil as it can’t handle the low temperatures.

Purple Basil is rich in vitamin K. It aids in bone strengthening. This kind of basil is used medicinally for its antioxidants and antibacterial properties.

Purple basil oil boosts the immune system and combats aging and skin ailments.

Lemon Basil

Lemon basil is grown mostly in northeastern Africa and southern Asia. The leaves of lemon basil are similar to sweet basil leaves but tend to be narrower with slightly notch edges.

lemon basil tastes like sweet basil with a bit of lemon taste and can add a slightly acidic/tangy taste to a wide variety of recipes. The plant prefers temperatures of 65-85°F.

Lemon basil is usually grown in spring or early summer in most climates. It is used in various Asian cuisines, in antioxidants,
anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.

Lettuce Basil

The leaves of lettuce basil offer a crispy texture, a sweet anise-like aroma, and a very mild herbal, sweet flavor with notes of cinnamon and pepper.

The lettuce basil leaves are four inches wide and between 6-10 inches long. The plant prefers temperatures of 70°F.

Lettuce basil is rich in vitamin A and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Used in various cuisine and extensively used
in salads.

Different types of Basil seeds

Different types of basil seeds found in the market are:
● Micro Basil (aka Spicy Globe)
● Sweet/Italian Basil
● Thai Basil
● Purple Basil
● Lemon Basil
● Lime Basil
All varieties of basils can be harvested after 2 months. They need full sun or 6+ hours of sunlight.

Basil seeds benefits:

● Basil seeds are high in fiber
● Good source of Mineral
● Rich in plant compounds
● Support gut health
● Aids blood sugar control
● Improves cholesterol
● Alternative to Chia Seeds and is easy to use

What are the different types of Basil essential oil?

There are three main types of Basil Essential Oil:
● Holy Basil
● Sweet Linalool Basil
● Tropical Basil

Benefits of basil oil:

● It has a cosmetic application
● Improves digestion
● Relieves cold
● Improves blood circulation

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FAQ

1. Can you plant different types of Basil together?

If you’re planning on making pesto, you can grow several plants. For other uses, one or two basil plants are more than enough.

2. How to store basil leaves?

It is easy to store basil leaves. Just wrap the basil leaves in a dry paper towel and place them inside a plastic cover

3. Is basil good for your stomach?

Basil leaves relieve symptoms of indigestion and help in reducing acidity.

4. How do I use fresh basil leaves?

Fresh basil leaves are used in Cuisines. It is used in pesto, salads, etc.

5. Why basil leaves turn yellow?

The causes of basils turning yellow are overwatering, cool temperatures, or a disease like basil downy mildew.