Basil is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium. Studies have revealed that basil can potentially reduce inflammation and swelling, prevent the harmful effects of aging, and may be useful in treating arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases. Basil is well known for its use in Italian cuisine — it is one of the primary ingredients in pesto sauce. It is also commonly included in Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine. Basil is used in traditional Tamil and Ayurvedic medicine, which is a form of traditional medicine popular on the Indian subcontinent.