Herb consisting of the dried leaves of Ocimum basilicum, an annual herb of the mint family, native to India and Iran. The dried large-leaf varieties have a fragrant aroma faintly reminiscent of anise, with a warm, sweet, aromatic, mildly pungent flavour. The dried leaves of common basil are less fragrant and more pungent. Basil is widely grown as a kitchen herb. Tea made from basil leaves is a stimulant. The heart-shaped basil leaf is a symbol of love in Italy.