Basil herb is originally native to Iran, India and other tropical regions of Asia. This bushy annual herb specially grew for its medicinally useful leaves and seeds. Basil grows best in warm, tropical climates. The fully-grown plant reaches about 100 cm in height. Its leaves vary from light green to dark green and purple, smooth and silky, about 1 to 2.5 inches long and 0.5 to 1 inch broad with "opposite" arrangement. The flowers are quite large, white or purple, arranged in terminal spikes.
Basil leaves hold many important plant-derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties.
Basil herb contains many polyphenolic flavonoids like orientin and vicenin. These compounds were tested in-vitro laboratory for their possible antioxidant protection against radiation-induced lipid peroxidation in mouse liver.
Basil leaves compose of many health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene, and terpineol. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.