Lamiaceae (mint family).
The name basil is derived from Greek basileus king, because of the royal fragrance of this herb. Best harvesting season is before flowering.
The essential oil is of complex and variable composition. Within the species, several diferent chemical races exist, and furthermore climate, soil and time of harvest influence not only the amount but also the composition of the essential oil. The most important aroma components are 1,8 cineol, linalool, citral, methyl chavicol, eugenol and methyl cinnamate.
Basil, it is fundamentally used in italian cuisine. It is a flavouring for tomato sauces, mixtures of ricotta cheese and pesto.