Ocimum tenuiiflorum L.

Sub-Family: Not available
English Name: Sacred basil
Synonym: Ocimum sanctum L.
Common Name: Govindapushpam, Thulasi, Thrithavu, Karuthathrithavu, Basil
Flowering & Fruiting Period: Throughout the year
Distribution: Palaeotropic
Habitat: Grown as a sacred plant, elsewhere as an escape
Uses: Leaves edible - raw or cooked. A refreshing tea can be made from the leaves. Sacred basil is a very important herb in the Ayurvedic tradition. A pungently aromatic, warming, antiseptic herb; it induces perspiration; lowers fevers; relaxes spasms; eases pain; clears bacterial infections; strengthens the immune and nervous systems; reduces inflammations; and benefits the digestive system. The plant is used internally in the treatment of feverish illnesses (especially in children), colds, influenza, sinusitis, headaches, rheumatism, arthritis, digestive disorders, including abdominal distension and cramps; low libido and negativity.
Key Characteristics: Subshrubs; branchlets hirsute with reddish-purple hairs. Leaves elliptic-oblanceolate, obtuse at both ends. Calyx purplish, campanulate; lobes 5, upper lip ovate, acute, lower lip hispid without. Corolla reddish-pink, tubular-campanulate; dotted with sessile oil glands; lobes of upper lip oblong-orbicular; lower lip ovate-oblong. Stamens 4; filaments villous at the base of upper pair. Nutlets ellipsoid, dark brown.