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Ocimum tenuiflorum' Holy basil' A delicate rich scented basil that shares a religious, medicinal and culinary history.

Ocimum tenuiflorum, watercolour on paper, by an unknown Indian artist, commissioned by William Roxburgh, Kolkata, India, early 19th century. (Image: RBG Kew)

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Ocimum tenuiflorum syn. sanctum ~ holy basil or tulsi and tulasi in South Asia, it is an important sacred plant in Hinduism. The essential oil from some populations of holy basil contains high levels of eugenol. In traditional Thai medicine, the leaf or whole plant is used to alleviate nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and flatulence, antibacterial, Fresh flowers are used to treat coughs and colds. Native to tropical and subtropical Asia.

Holy basil is an important medicinal and religious plant closely related to the basil we use for cooking.

100 Ocimum sanctum Ocimum tenuiflorum Holy Basil by plantsnseeds

Women carry holy basil plants (Ocimum tenuiflorum) on their heads during a religious procession in Hyderabad