Ocymum vulgare majus.
BASIL is a small herb, native of warmer countries, but not uncommon in our gardens; it is bushy and branched; the stalks are square, and the leaves stand two at each joint. They are broad and short, and somewhat indented at the edges. The flowers are small and white, and are of the shape of those of the dead nettle; they stand on the upper parts of the branches in loose spikes. The whole plant has a very fragrant smell.
Basil is little used, but it deserves to be much more. A tea made of the green plant is excellent against all obstructions. No simple is more effectual for gently promoting the menses, and for removing those complaints which naturally attend their stoppage.
There are two or three other kinds of basil, but they have not equal virtue.
The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.