The Ocimum type has about 150 species of plants, herbaceous or shruby, annual or perennial, generally aromatic. The best known is the common basil, Ocimum basilicum. 

The name of this well-known and very fragrant plant comes from the Greek word «Basileus» which means «Sovereign King».

This name is not usurped when considering its many therapeutic properties.

Originally imported from New Caledonia, the tropical basil Ocimum gratissimum, called Miri by the people of Pacific, has become wild in Polynesia. Tahitian people grow it near their houses to always be within reach of these small fragrant flowers. Miri leaves are very aromatic and contain a large amount of volatile oil rich in eugenol. Miri is considered as an major medicinal plant in Polynesian pharmacopoeia thanks to its varied benefits, and more specifically to its antibacterial properties.



By its very spontaneous and relatively intrusive nature, Miri is not cultivated in French Polynesia.


Tropical Basil is a useful plant without toxicity. With its strong odor and its many properties, basils are widely used as herbs or spices, and are now entering the composition of many various cosmetic products.
The essential oil extracted from its leaves is known for being antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anti diarrheal, exhilarating, antidepressant, mosquito repellent.