Plant-Lore

Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Holy basil

A species of basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is used in Hindu culture as a protective charm planted by house entrances; I’ve never heard of it being eaten (at least not in southwest India where my family is from). ¬†It relates to Hindu theology and there are several regional tales about it with conflicting information, but they all identify it as a goddess’s earthly form and holy plant [Horniman Museum, Forest Hill, London, May 2016].

Image:  Christina Kundu, Wiki Commons.