Ocimum gratissimum, also known as clove basil, African basil, and in Hawaii as wild basil, is a species of Ocimum. It is native to Africa, Madagascar, southern Asia, and the Bismarck Archipelago, and naturalized in Polynesia, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama, West Indies, Brazil, and Bolivia.
Seeds seem to need strong sunlight to germinate.
The essential oil of Ocimum gratissimum contains eugenol and shows some evidence of antibacterial activity. A polyherbal preparation of a water extract obtained from the leaves of Gongronema latifolia, Vernonia amygdalina and Ocimum gratissimum showed analgesic activity. The essential oil has potential for use as a food preservative, and is toxic to Leishmania. Extracts of the leaves are documented to possess antidiabetic properties, anti-hyperlipidemic effect and recently, it was shown to improve heamatological variables in experimental diabetes mellitus via its well reported antioxidant property.