Holy basil comes from India where it is revered as a sacred herb. The Egyptians burned a mixture of basil and myrrh to appease their gods. Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) was introduced in Europe as a seasoning for food. Also popular in Thai cooking. The herb is said to have medicinal properties – notably its ability to reduce blood sugar levels. It also is believed by some people to prevent peptic ulcers and other stress related conditions like hypertension, colitis and asthma.