spice shop 07


Ocimum basilicum

holy basil

Aromatic Note: Middle note


Basil consists of some 35 species of aromatic annuals, all are rich in volatile oils and most, if not all, of which are easily used for incense.

It’s common name, basil, is said to be associated with basilisk, a mythical serpent-like creature whose glance and breath were fatal, because it was believed that basil could turn into scorpions. Still others note the origin of its name to be from the Greek ‘basilicon’, meaning royal.

One species, Ocimum tenuiflorum, is a sacred plant in India and is grown in most Hindu homes and around temples for its protective influence.

It’s said holding basil protects against thunder and wearing a string of beads made from basil stems wards off infections and induces religious tendency and longevity.

In the tropical Americas and Caribbean, species of basil are used to repel mosquito’s.

Basil can be easily grown in your garden or potted and grown indoors.


Family: Lamiaceae

Synonyms: sweet basil, Genovese basil

Origin: tropical Asia and Africa, now cultivated worldwide

Parts Used: fresh or dried leaves

Aroma Description: sweet-spicy, slightly green, fresh, with faint woody and balsamic undertones

Cosmetic Uses: perfumery, aromatherapy

Culinary Uses: leaves are used to flavor salads, soups, meat dishes, pasta sauces, vegetables, herb oils and vinegars, stuffing’s, etc. Seeds are soaked in water, mixed with coconut milk and sugar as a cooling drink.

Medicinal Attributes: antibacterial, restorative, warming herb; reduces fevers, relaxes spasms, improves digestion, fights intestinal parasites, used to treat skin infections, loss of smell, insomnia, migraine headaches, low spirits and anxiety. Its oil is used in dental products and insect repellants.

Essential Oil: Yes, the leaves are steam distilled. Two types are created, Sweet Basil oil (US or European grown) and Réunion Basil oil (grown in Comoro Islands, Seychelles, Madagascar).

Note: The essential oil may cause irritation for some people.

Mixes Well With: coriander, frankincense, galangal, white copal, lemon balm, oakmoss, opoponax, rosemary, clary sage, lime peel, etc.

Medical Disclaimer: Information on this web site is for entertainment purposes only. This information is NOT intended as medical advice or for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional.


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