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Thai Basil (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora) is a spicy, anise-liquorice flavored basil, which is also known as horapa in the Thai language. With their lovely purple stems and purple-veined leaves on a shiny, dark green background, these plants are not only grown for their culinary uses but also as ornamental specimens. Thai Basil is widely used in the cuisines of Southeast Asia, including Thai, Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian cuisines. It is best when eaten raw—in fact, a plate of raw Thai Basil leaves is often served as an accompaniment to the Vietnamese dish called pho. The plant is said to have the ability to convey good fortune to its user while also protecting him or her from evil spirits.