Basil ( Ocimum basilicum L.) Oil: As a Green Pesticide

Authored by: N.C. Basantia

Green Pesticides Handbook

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781498759380
eBook ISBN: 9781315153131
Adobe ISBN:


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Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is one of the most popular herbs grown in the world. The name basil is thought to be derived from the Greek words okimon (“smell”) and basilikon (“royal or king”) (Selvakkumar et al. 2007). It is often referred to as the king of the herbs. Basil originated in Asia and Africa. In Hindu houses, basil is used to protect the family from evil spirits. In early 1600, the English used basil in their food and doorways to ward off uninvited pests, such as flies, as well as evil spirits. Several interesting beliefs are ascribed to the historical use of basil. Some Europeans considered it to be funeral and dreamt of it as unlucky, whereas in Italy, women wear it in their hair and the youth stick a spring of it above ear when they are courting. In India, Hindus believed that a leaf of basil buried with them would serve as their passport to heaven (Sekar et al. 2009). Sweet basil has been grown and sold in New York State since the end of the eighteenth century.

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