Basil is a culinary herb of the family Lamiaceae (mints). Its highly fragrant leaves are used as a seasoning herb for a variety of foods. Research studies on basil have shown unique health-protecting effects in two basic areas: basil’s flavonoids and volatile oils. Basil has pointed round leaves. They are green in color, although some varieties feature hints of red or purple. There are more than 60 varieties of basil, all of which differ somewhat in appearance and taste.