Basil, Sweet (Ocimum basilicum)
Description: GRAS – An annual herb, Basil grows 20-50 cm (8-20 in), and when in bloom the purple- white flowers appear in clusters, framed by oval pointed green leaves.
Blends well with: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Lime, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Lemon, Neroli, and Rosemary.
Aromatic Scent: This variety has a strong, but sweet vaguely anise-like, mint, smoky odor.
Cautions: May irritate sensitive skin. Do not use during pregnancy.
In Greek Basil’s na
me means ‘royal remedy’ or ‘king’. It is a beloved culinary plant of Indian, Asian and Mediterrane and countries. Basil was prized in Ayurvedic medicine for its ability to strengthen compassion, faith and bring clarity. Basil Essential Oil was used to clear the sinuses, promote digestion and stimulate circulation, especially in the respiratory system. The Greeks used Basil to help in repairing connective tissue, asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic nasal catarrh, whooping cough, sinusitis, poor memory, mental fatigue, and loss of concentration. The plant was also used for insect and snake bites, as an insect repellent, wasp stings, gout, rheumatism, muscular aches and pains. Some said Basil was beneficial against flu, colds, constipation, fainting, earache, gas, nausea, cramps, scanty periods, fever, loss of smell, and prostate problems. The beloved culinary plant was also used for hair growth and to add luster to dull hair, acne skin tonic, infectious disease, anxiety, depression, migraine, nervous tension, and stress. Some historic records showed that it was used as an antiseptic, anti-infectious, anti-spasmodic, restorative (stimulant for nerves, adrenal cortex). Others used it a a heart tonic, to stimulate blood flow, decongest veins and pulmonary arteries, while the nurse maids used Basil to promote milk flow.
In the 16th century, powdered basil was used to treat migraines and chest infections. The ancient Egyptians believed that it would open the gates of heaven to a dying person, and the Hindus use Basil sprigs to protect the dead from evil while in transition between lives. Western European lore sometimes claimed that it was a symbol of evil, while the Eastern Orthodox Church used it in the making of holy water.