Basil Seeds (Ocimum)
Basil is an herb from the mint family (Lamiaceae). The name basil comes from Greek and means "royal", and for many, basil is actually the queen of the kitchen herbs.
The plant originates from Africa and has spread to the Mediterranean already in ancient times. In central and northern Europe, basil seeds have only been cultivated since the 12th century. Basil is often used in Italian cuisine, but also in the middle and far east, Indian and American cuisine, different basil varieties play an important role. The various cultivars can have very different aromas and taste of lemon or cinnamon, for example.
But basil seeds can be used not only for herb cultivation, they are in fact are quite similar to the now well-known Mexican Superfood Chia seed in terms of health benefits and thus increasingly part of smoothies, muesli, salads or snack bars. Soaked in water, basil seeds increase their volume many times and get a jelly-like consistency which is reminiscent of tapioca.