Holy Basil (Ocimum Sanctum)

Holy Basil, commonly referred to as Sacred Basil, is a very interesting variety that is known for its many health and medicinal benefits.

Have you grown, tasted, cooked with or had any experience at all with this basil variety? If you have, I'd love to hear about it! Share your experience here.

This herb produces either light green (sometimes referred to as white) or purple leaves. The leaves of this variety are smaller and narrower than other varieties. In both the light green and purple varieties, the leaves are slightly fuzzy with scalloped edges and the plant produces a beautiful display of pinkish-purple flowers.

holy basil It originates from India where it is called Tulsi. In the Hindu religion it is known as Sacred Basil because it is believed to have many medicinal benefits, including stress relief, relief from the common cold and cough and for antibacterial and antifungal protection.

It can grow as a perennial in warm climates, but it is considered an annual in climates with cold winter months. The plant will grow to about 3 feet tall and the flowers should be pinched off to promote continued growth. It prefers full sun, but will tolerate partial shade.

The scent of the leaves are said to repel mosquitoes. Since it grows well in a container, it is commonly potted and used as a patio herb to keep the mosquitoes away from outdoor living spaces.

It has a clove-like flavor that intensifies when it is cooked. It is for this reason that the herb is so frequently used to add spice to Thai recipes.

If you are using this herb as part of your container garden, and you live in a climate with cold winter months, you should bring your plant indoors for the winter. If you have planted this herb as part of your outdoor herb garden it will not survive a cold winter. Over winter, you can start this herb from seeds and transplant the seedlings when after the last frost.

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