OCIMUM SANCTUM L. - HOLY BASIL.|
Synonym: Ocimum tenuiflorum.
Common name: Holy Basil, Tulsi, Tulasi, Kemangen.
Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family).
Holy Basil is a tropical, much branched, annual herb, up to 18 inches tall; it grows into a low bush.
It is considered sacred by the Hindus; it has small leaves and a hairy stem with a strong smell and purple flowers and has a sweet-camphoraceous fragrance.
There are two varieties: a red - and a green one.
Red holy basil has a stronger smell.
This plant, originally from India, grows abundantly in Suriname.
It is used in the Thai cuisine as a spice.
Apart from the religious significance, it also has substantial medicinal meaning and is used in Ayurvedic treatment.
Tulasi has antimicrobal properties since it is also anti - inflammatory due to the oil eugenol, present in the leaves.
It is useful in respiratory tract infection.
The Ursolic acid present in holy basil, has anti-allergic properties.
The plant can play a role in the management of immunological disorders such as allergies and asthma.
This plant also has a place in Suriname's traditional medicine.
The juice of the leaves is used against diabetes, fever and as an antidote for snake and scorpion bites. It's anti-spasmodic properties, relieves abdominal pains and helps in lowering the blood sugar level.
Hardiness: USDA zone 7 - 11.
Culture: full sun / partial shade, well drained soil.
Plant in frost-free locations.
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