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.