Purple vs. Green Basil: Which to Choose?
Basil is a sacred plant in Indian culture. If the floor space allows, people allocate a special place in their homes to a pot with 2–3 basil bushes. In the morning, women perform a specific ritual in front of the plant, asking to grant them well-being, whereas in the evenings they light icon lamps. People believe that basil cures infectious diseases, and they also use it to disinfect water.
In our part of the world, people do not bestow such an honor to basil, and principally use it as an aromatic additive to their meals and drinks. How little we know about this fragrant herb! For example, do you know what, apart from color, is the difference between green and purple basil? Cook It will fill you in on the details.
Basil Varieties and the Difference Between Green and Purple Basil
There are several dozens of basil varieties, and each has its inherent characteristics. But all of them are roughly divided into two main groups — with green or purple leaves.
Green basil is well-loved in Europe, and particularly in Italy, France, Greece, and Bulgaria. In these countries, people always add it to salads, starters, and pastries. Chefs appreciate the plant for its refreshing peppermint aroma and unusual delicate taste.
Basil is the main ingredient in Italian pesto sauce — green leaves go well with tomatoes and cheese. Usually, you add basil at the very end of cooking hot dishes. Otherwise, it quickly loses its delicate aroma. Alongside parsley, tarragon, thyme, and mint, basil can become the basis of a fragrant bouquet for most European fish and poultry dishes.
Purple basil has a more pronounced and rough flavor, which makes it an essential spice in Asian and Caucasian cuisine. They add it to meat, poultry, vegetables, cheeses. In the Caucasus region, you can seldom find green basil; purple basil is more suitable for adding to hot dishes, particularly when dried.
In Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, they brew amazingly fragrant tea with basil. After adding lemon slices, it acquires a pale pink color. You can’t do this with green basil, though! They drink the tea hot, with fruits and sweets.
Benefits of Basil
Both types of basil have a similar composition. The plant is rich in vitamins A, C, and K; the latter maintains the blood coagulation function and stimulates the metabolism of connective tissues. Basil helps to strengthen the immune system, resist microbes and fungi. It stimulates digestion and outright destroys tapeworms.
Basil heals virtually any disease that occurs in the oral cavity. Fresh leaves, if chewed, destroy up to 100% of bacteria in the mouth, freshen breath, treat tonsils, have an astringent effect on the gums, and prevent the development of periodontal disease.
Both purple and green basil leaves are an aphrodisiac for both genders. So be sure to include several dishes with this herb on the menu for your next romantic dinner.
Basil contains essential oils and antioxidants that effectively fight free radicals and help prolong youth.
So is there a main difference between green and purple basil? Yes, there is! Scientists believe that purple basil is healthier. It owes its deep color to a high content of antioxidants — anthocyanins. And if used regularly, purple leaves can help protect the cells of the body from cancer.
Basil is a spice with an intense aroma and powerful healing properties. It should not be used excessively by expectant and nursing mothers, as well as people with diabetes and central nervous system diseases. Every man and woman on earth can prosper from basil!
What kind of basil do you prefer? Do you add it to your favorite dishes? Do not forget to share this article with your friends!