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About 35 species, including:
Some species include:
- Ocimum americanum (syn. O. canum) is a native of tropical Africa.
- Ocimum basilicum, or sweet basil, a culinary herb. Most culinary and ornamental basils are cultivars of this species and there are many hybrids between species.
- Ocimum campechianum, or Amazonian basil, is a South American variety often utilized in ayahuasca rituals for its smell which is said to help avoid bad visions.
- Ocimum centraliafricanum, known for growing in soil so rich in copper that nothing else can survive.
- Ocimum gratissimum, also known as African basil, or Wild basil in Hawaii, where it has naturalized.
- Ocimum tenuiflorum (syn. O. sanctum), commonly called Holy Basil or Tulsi, is a sacred herb in India, used in teas, healing remedies, and cosmetics. The plant is worshiped as dear to Vishnu in some sects of Vaishnavism. It is also used in Thai cooking.
- Ocimum × citriodorum, or Lemon Basil, a hybrid between O. americanum and O. basilicum, is noted for its lemon flavour and used in cooking.
- Ocimum kilimandscharicum × basilicum 'Dark Opal'
- Steele, John J., "Perfumeros and the Sacred Use of Fragrance in Amazonian Shamanism." The Smell Culture Reader, edited by Jim Drobnick. Berg Publishers 2006, p. 230.
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