Tulsi Ocimum sanctum
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Ocimum tenuiflorum, also known as Ocimum sanctum, holy basil, or tulasī, is an aromatic plant in the family Lamiaceae which is native to the Indian Subcontinent and widespread as a cultivated plant throughout the Southeast Asian tropics. It is an erect, many branched subshrub, 30–60 cm tall with hairy stems and simple opposite green or purple leaves that are strongly scented. Leaves have petioles and are ovate, up to 5 cm long, usually slightly toothed. The flowers are purplish in elongate racemes in close whorls. The two main morphotypes cultivated in India and Nepal are green-leaved (Sri or Lakshmi tulasi) and purple-leaved (Krishna tulasi). Tulasi is cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes, and for its essential oil. It is widely known across the Indian Subcontinent as a medicinal plant and an herbal tea, commonly used in Ayurveda, and has an important role within the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism, in which devotees perform worship involving holy basil plants or leaves. The variety of Ocimum tenuiflorum used in Thai cuisine is referred to as Thai holy basil (Thai language: กะเพรา kaphrao); it is not to be confused with Thai basil, which is a variety of Ocimum basilicum.
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