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Holy Basil Characteristics
Holy Basil or Sacred Basil, Ocimum sanctun, is called tulsi in Hindu culture and กะเพรา, gaprao, in Thailand. It has small fuzzy green with purple-reddish tinged leaves and a clove-like taste. It should not be confused with Thai Basil or horapah which has an anise-like taste.
It is native to India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and is called "Holy" Basil because it has been revered in India for thousands of years. "Tulsi" translates as "incomparable one". The plant is used extensively in religious ceremonies and is believed to protect any home where it is grown. According to Ayurvedic tradition, tulsi is one of the best herbs to prepare the heart and mind for spiritual practices, resolve colds and flu, treat various skin conditions, and reduce fever.
It is commonly used in Thai cuisine to make a "gaprao" dish with beef, chicken, or squid.