Botanical name: Ocimum basilicum
Some other names: Anise basil, liquorice basil, horapha
How to grow it:
Thai Basil basil is a perennial in warmer areas though is probably better planted as an annual. The bush can get quite large and leaves become a less tender if the plant isn’t regularly pruned and flowers removed.
Prefers full sun but will handle a little shade, moist, well drained soil. Doesn’t handle drought or frost well – keep it well watered for best results.
Great plant to grow in a pot – you can move it to shelter it in the cooler months and get a longer harvest.
Propogation is generally by seed, though I prefer to buy seedlings in spring. If you allow a plant to go to seed, you’ll find it popping up all around your garden.
Thai basil contains vitamins A, B & C and volatile oils that have many herbal actions. High in calcium, magnesium, zinc & copper.
Regular consumption of basil is thought to strengthen your immune system.
In the kitchen
Thai basil is used widely in asian cooking for it’s anise/licorice flavour. Can be used as flavouring or garnish.
This flavour can make it unsuitable for mediterranean dishes, pesto etc., but I will use it in place of sweet basil sometimes.
Also makes a delicious and nutritious tea – combines well with many other tea herbs.