Ocimum basilicum, Basil and some of its cultivars.

Ocimum basilicum, basil and its various cultivars pictured in this gallery, include the large leaf "lettuce" basil, cinnamon basil, purple basil, Italian sweet basil, small-leaf basil (O. minimum) and basil commercial production. In his Family Herbal (1812), John Hill states, “Basil is little used, [medicinally], but it deserves to be much more. A tea made of the green plant is good against all obstructions. No simple is more effective for gently promoting the menses, and for removing the complaints which naturally attend their stoppage.”(p. 26). In older herbal literature, crushed leaves are recommended for the stings of bees and scorpions. Basil has been used for mild nervous disorders and rheumatic pains. A snuff of the dried leaves is used for nervous tension headaches. What better way to attain the benefits of basil than by eating pesto!

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