A mainstay of Mediterranean cuisine, basil has earned the title the “ king of herbs,” and it’s earthly, spicy-sweet flavor is today found in kitchens worldwide. It can be eaten raw, cooked, sautéed, blended into pesto, and used to make sauces, soups, and salads. This annual member of the mint family, with its spikes of small pale flowers, originated in India, Africa, and Asia. It is effective for treating stomach irritation, nausea, and flatulence. It acts as an appetite enhancer, increases the flow of bile, and helps to clear nasal passages of mucous and harmful bacteria … Dried basil provides calcium, magnesium, and iron.