(ocymum Basilicum Linn) An Annual Herb Of The Order Labiatae

The popular name, derived from the specific, signifies royal or kingly,

probably because of the plant's use in feasts. In France it is known as

herb royale, royal herb. The generic name is derived from Oza, a Greek

word signifying odor.

The plant is a native of tropical Asia, where for centuries, especially

in India, it has been highly esteemed as a condiment. Probably the early

Greek and Roman writers were well acquainted with it, but commentators

are not decided. They suppose that the Okimon of Hippocrates,

Dioscorides and Theophrastus is the same as Ocimum hortense of