A token of love and fidelity in Italy, a sprig of basil was an important ingredient of a good marriage proposal. Widely used in Mediterranean cuisine, the king of herbs is pleasant, cooling, stimulating, and essential to pesto, pizza and pasta sauce. Because of its strong flavour, basil does not combine well with most herbs but can be safely used with celery, parsley and mint. Enhancing the flavour of chicken, fish and salads, basil adds an interest to egg dishes and pairs well with every summer vegetable, including eggplant, green beans and yellow squash. Its spicy, clove like fragrance and taste complements tofu and tempeh marinades. For creative drinks and desserts, incorporate the herb into apple compote, add it to blackberry jam or strawberry sangria. You can prepare your body for deep sleep with basil tea, as the herb has a calming effect and can act as a natural sedative. Basil reduces inflammation, helps alleviate kidney stones, wards off flu symptoms and is an excellent digestive aid. It contains anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. Not only that, but the herb is a natural insect repellent. So on your next camping trip for two bring some basil. If the herb doesn’t dazzle your damsel, at least she won’t be in distress and once again, basil will save the day.