Basil is a common name for the culinary herb Ocimum basilicum of the family Lamiaceae. It is possibly native to India and has been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years. There are many varieties of Ocimum basilicum, as well as several related species or species hybrids also called basil. While most common varieties of basil are treated as annuals, some are perennial in warm, tropical climates, including holy basil and a cultivar known as ‘African Blue’. There has been much research into the health benefits conferred by the essential oils found in basil. Scientific studies in vitro have established that compounds in basil oil have potent antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties, and potential for use in treating cancer. Come to St. Kitts Eco-Park to smell the various basil!