Scientific Name: Ocimum basilicum
Popular Names: Holy Basil, Spice Basil
Parts used: Leaves, Flowers
Uses: Liver problems, gastric issues, food poisoning, stomach cramps, indigestion, flatulence, hemorrhoids, intestinal worms, urinary tract infections, asthma, diarrhea, atherosclerosis, toothaches, hair loss, menstrual irregularity, cuts, wounds, boils, fatigue, insomnia, depression, skin infections, anxiety, epilepsy, headache, migraine, whooping cough. sinus congestion, cold and flu
Basil is an annual aromatic herb that grows up to 60cm tall with purple, white or pink flowers. Some varieties have square stems and others oval stems. It blooms from July to September, and is a native plant of India.
Basil has been cultivated around the world for thousands of years for its strong aromatic taste and wide range of medicinal properties.
Grown all over the globe, basil prefers sunny areas with well-drained moist soil.
In India, basil is thought to have a protective power during life and after death. Krishna, a popular Hindu deity wore basil garlands. Holy Basil is considered an earthly manifestation of the Goddess Lakshmi. Many Hindu use a little basil on their chest before sleeping, believing the plant will guide them to heavenly lands while asleep.
Romans and Greeks considered basil to be the herb of fertility and love, holding festivities and rituals to celebrate its blooming. Greek Orthodox priests use basil in the process of making holy water that is used to purify and clean negative energies. In Romania, there is an ancient folk tradition that during a special time of the year, girls can sleep with basil under their pillow to dream of their future lover.
Pliny the Elder, a famous Roman naturalist, recommended basil for its aphrodisiac properties.
There are many varieties of basil, some of the most common being sweet basil, holy basil, lemon basil and purple ruffles basil.
Plant Name Meaning
The latin word ''Ocimum'' comes from the Greek verb "okimon" meaning "to be fragrant."
The "Basil" name comes from the old Greek word "basileus" meaning "king." It is thought that the ancients regarded basil as the "king of herbs" for its many medicinal and culinary benefits. Another interpretation suggests that basil was the preferred herb of kings since it was used to make perfumes for the kings.
There are also stories linking basil with a mythical snake-dragon "basilisk" having the power to kill anyone that glanced at it. Basil was thought as the only cure for the basilisk bite.
Medicinal Benefits of Basil
- Febrifuge (reduces fever).
- Antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antispastic.
- Immunity booster.
- Mildly sedative.
- Tonic for the nervous system.
- Boost daily milk production for young mothers.
- Volatile oils: estragole, linalool, cineole.
- Beta carotene, Vitamin A and C.
- Zinc, Iron.
Emotional and Spiritual Support
The elevated energies of basil purify the human being on all levels, clearing subtle channels and allowing the energies of the being to flow freely. It's also beneficial for quieting the mind, relaxing the heart, bringing clarify, lucidity, and for helping to achieve a state of harmony with the surroundings. It helps energize the body and bring power and stability while providing protection and immunity from subtle energetic attacks.