Basil (Ocimum sanctum) and its essential oils are commonly used for nutritional and health benefits. Holy Basil originated in India and is not widely grown today. Basil oil has been used to treat wounds, bruises, and depression. The leaves have been used as an appetite stimulant, a remedy for gas, and a means of ridding the body of excess fluid. In Asian medicine, the leaves are also used to treat poor circulation, stomach cramps, bad breath, inflammations, clouded vision, earache, kidney disease, and ringworm. Basil and its essential oil are sometimes taken for fevers, colds, rheumatism, and indigestion. Holy Basil is also known as Tulsi. It is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae. There are two types of Holy Basil, a red one and a green one. The red one has a stronger smell.
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