Holy Basil, Rama
Holy basil has been revered throughout India for thousands of years. Ayurvedic texts describe holy basil as a pillar of holistic herbal medicine and a goddess incarnated in plant form (the mother medicine of nature). Many traditional Hindus worship an alter bearing a holy basil plant that is placed in the courtyard of their home or in another prominent location. Today holy basil remains one of the most cherished of India's sacred plants. The leaves smell of peppermint, cloves, licorice and/or lemon.
Rama (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is known for its cooling and mellow flavor. The plant has green leaves, white-to-purplish blossoms, and a green or purplish stem. It is cultivated in the Indian plains, as well as private homes and gardens around India.
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