Friday, January 31, 2020

13 Essential Herbs Series: Basil

In this series, I will be exploring 13 common herbs you may have in your kitchen or garden, dissecting their meaning from science, history, and culture.  



Appearance: Green leafy plant with fragrant smell.
Edible? Yes, though be aware of pesticides.
Origins: Central Africa, Southeast Asia
Other Notable Qualities: Basil is part of the mint family.

Scientific Correspondence:

While basil alone should not be used as a medical alternative, it does have proven antifungal and antibacterial properties that can make it useful in household cleaners.  Basil also has antioxidants, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties, making it a protective plant.

Historical Correspondence:
Mourning - Wealth

Basil was another herb used by Egyptians in mummification.  The plant was also a symbol of mourning in Greece and ancient Greeks believed it would open the gates of the realm of the dead for those passing on.  In India, basil has been placed in the mouth of the dying to ensure they reach God.  Culturally, it has been a consistent symbol of death and mourning.

The name basil is derived from basileus phuton, a Greek phrase eaning magnificent, royal or kingly.  This may be why the French call basil herbe royal, and why we today know it was the King of the Herbs.  This herb was once known to provide protection against poverty and even today is associated with the elegant, exquisite, rich, and wealthy.

Cultural Correspondence (USA/Midwest):

In some cultures today, basil is seen as an herb of love.  Basil plants are presented as part of a gift on certain holidays to a lover, and it's a symbol of love in Italy today.  Because it's a fragrant herb, it's commonly used in cologne and perfumes, and creators often describe it as having a romantic scent.

Sigil to Invoke Basil

Utilize this sigil as a way of invoking the properties of basil if you have none available to you.  You are welcome to print this sigil, place it in a grimoire, use it on a spell or put it in your blog with proper credit.  Do not claim this sigil as your own.

New World Encyclopedia: Basil
Medical News Today: Basil
Healthline: Basil
The Spruce Eats: The History of Basil The History of Basil
Demeter: Basil by Demeter
Fragrances: Basil Note

**Images were found via a search labeled for reuse.
If you would like an image removed or credited, please let me know.**



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