Also known as sweet basil or common basil, this plant is probably the most commonly grown kitchen herb. It is recognizable by its shiny green to purple spear-shaped, serrated leaves and its spicy scent.
Its reputation over the centuries has been divided. with those on one side demonizing it with a variety of ridiculous side effects such as insanity, coma & spontaneous generation of scorpions, among other things; and those on the other side praising it as both a delicious condiment & medicine. In many countries basil was used to protect against evil and as a symbol of love.
Today basil is still used as common cooking herb, popular in pesto, & as a seasoning for many dishes & desserts.
Relieves nausea, flatulence & bloating due to gas & helps digestion
An-inflammatory effects that ease arthritis pain
Fights breast cancer & heart disease
Helps with diabetes & high cholesterol
Protects the liver
Parts used: leaves
Collection: leaves are best harvested in summer before plant blooms
Basil aromatherapy clears congestion in the head & chest. It can be beneficial for cold & flu symptoms, sinus & respiratory problems. It is also used to refresh & uplift while relieving tension.
Topically basil essential oil soothes insect bites, sore muscles and joint pain.
Deities: Vishnu, Erzulie
Basil is commonly added to love sachet, incense & spells. Fresh leaves can be used as a love perfume & it’s scent is said to sooth tempers & create sympathy between two people.
To encourage fidelity in a relationship, sprinkle powdered basil over you body, especially your heart, while your lover is asleep.
Basil can bring luck to a new home when given as a house warming gift.
When placed in wallet or carried in pockets, basil brings wealth. For a business, a basil leaf placed next to the cash register or widow sill will attract customers.
Basil is also popular as a protective herb. It is said that where basil is no evil can live (place it in all 4 corners of a room or sprinkle in on the ground). It is also used in exorcism incense & baths.
A form of Love Divination using fresh basil leaves:
Place two basil leaves together on a a live coal.
- If they stay still and burn fast, your love will be harmonious.
- If the leaves crackle, this signals quarrels in the future.
- If they separate, this signifies an undesirable relationship.
- Magic & Medicine of Plants, by Readers Digest
Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham