from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A name applied in Guam, the Philippines, Peru, and Porto Rico to several aromatic plants of the mint family, especially to Ocimum Basilicum and O. sanctum, which are cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes. See Ocimum, toolsi, and basil.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Behind every pesto sauce is basil (in some regions this is called albahaca or St. Joseph's wart) as well as it's close relative, spinach.