Botanical name: Ocimum tenuiflorum
Some other names: sacred basil, tulsi, kaphrao
How to grow it:
Holy basil is a perennial in warmer areas but is probably better planted as an annual in more temperate climates. The bush can get large (I’ve seen them almost 2m high) and leaves become a less tender if the plant isn’t regularly pruned and flowers removed.
Prefers full sun but will handle a little shade, moist, well drained soil. Doesn’t handle drought or frost well – keep it well watered for best results.
Great plant to grow in a pot – you can move it to shelter it in the cooler months and get a longer harvest.
Propogation is generally by seed, though I prefer to buy seedlings in spring. If you allow a plant to go to seed, you’ll find it popping up all around your garden.
Holy basil contains vitamins A, B & C and volatile oils that have many herbal actions. High in calcium, magnesium, zinc & copper.
Regular consumption of basil is thought to strengthen your immune system.
In the kitchen
Holy basil is not used in cooking widely – it’s a little strong in clove aroma for most dishes.
IT’s greatest use is as a delicious and highly nutritious tea – commonly known as Tulsi.