Scientific Name: Ocimum basilicum
Plant Characteristics: Basil is considered a tropical annual herb. It is part of the mint family, and thus shares a mind identification characteristic of having a square stem. The leaves have a sweet and spicy smell and taste.
Culinary: Even today, basil is used as a fresh or dried herb for cooking.
Medicinal: It was thought that “a root of basil held in the hand with a swallow feather [would] relieve the pains of a woman in childbirth.”