Mtule Basil

Ocimum suave

This is a handsome, upright African bush basil that becomes woody with age. Within its native range, the arching, reddish seedheads are a common sight throughout the wildlands. The plant is similar to wild Vana tulsi and is very high in eugenol (oil of clove). Interestingly, the local use of mtule follows the same use that is commonly employed for oil of clove – as an antiseptic and pain reliever for dental woes. Among other uses, local people give the fresh leaves to children to allay teething pain.

Water: Drought Tolerant

Hardiness: Frost Tender

Habit: 4’ tall annual herb which can perennialize if protected from frost

Light: Full Sun

Soil: Any

Origin: Tanzania and the Zanzibar archipelago

Mtule Basil