Grower = Biopark, SA
The round, often pointed leaves of the basil plant looks a lot like peppermint to which it is related.
Its highly fragrant leaves are used as a seasoning herb for a variety of foods and has become particularly popular as the main ingredient in pesto (a mixture of basil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese).
The unique array of active constituents called flavonoids found in basil provide protection at the cellular level. Orientin and vicenin are two water-soluble flavonoids that have been of particular interest in basil, and in studies on human white blood cells; these components of basil protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage.