Holy Basil

(Ocimum tenuifloru) see TULSI HOLY HERB

A name for VERVAIN (Verbena officinalis); in folklore it is the Holy Herb. The Romans gave the name verbena, or more frequently, the plural form verbenae to the foliage or branches of shrubs and herbs, which, for their religious association, had acquired a sacred character. These included laurel, olive and myrtle, but Pliny makes us think that the herb now known as verbena was regarded as the most sacred of them all. The Greeks also looked upon it as particularly sacred (Friend), and burned it during invocations and predictions (Summers). The same sacredness was part of Persian belief (Clair), while it was called "the tears of Isis" by the priest-physicians of Egypt (Maddox). Vervain is herbe sacree in French, too. Holy Vervain is sometimes used (Northall) instead of Holy Herb, and Devil's Bane or Devil's Hate follow necessarily.

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