In many cultures around the world holy basil is mainly used for its medicinal and healing properties. Occasionally, holy basil leaves are used for culinary purposes by adding a dash or two to meals for extra flavoring. Some cultures consider holy basil a sacred herb, and use it during prayer or with their rosary beads. Compared to common basil, holy basil's leaves are not as smooth or broad and it can vary in colors from red to green.
Unlike many other herbs holy basil is used mainly for its spiritual and medicinal properties, rather than its ability to add flavor to foods. Holy basil is known as a cleansing plant because it contains compounds that help kill germs. It also has anti-inflammatory activity because of the high levels of eugenol. Other chemicals in holy basil are thought to help decrease high levels of blood sugar in diabetics. Holy basil is also considered an adaptogenic herb and works to overall improve the body and bring it to homeosta- sis. Holy Basil is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-bacterial, and has long been a staple plant in households around the world.