The Legend of Holy Basil
Meanwhile, Ocimum sanctum L. (O. tenuiflorum) family-Lamiaceae is related to basil that is often used in cooking. Also known as holy basil, its leaves are pale green and have a somewhat hairy appearance. Holy basil has long been used as a traditional medicine in China and India. Some cultures regard the plant as sacred.
Holy basil is an important component of the Indian tradition of medicine as well as culture around the world. This plant appears in the ancient texts of Ayurveda as an “elixir of life” (life saving) herb. It has been worshipped for over 3000 years due to its healing properties. Currently, however, about 80 % of the patents on this plant are on extracts or the plant parts (essential oil components).
In traditional medicine holy basil has several names such as “The Queen of Herbs,” “The Incomparable One,” and “The Mother Medicine of Nature.”