Written By Priestess Hypatia
For Coven Life
Basil is the king of herbs. Here we enter the land of royalty in herb law. The word origins come from the Greek word meaning king or emperor.
A member of the mint family, basil is native and spread throughout the tropical regions from Central Africa to South East Asia. Its texture is tender with a pungent intoxicating aroma that is used in cuisines worldwide.
The Many Beliefs of Basil
The many beliefs about the herb ranged and ranges from, the ancient Greeks placing it in the hands of the dead to ensure a safe passage to the underworld. In India it is dedicated to the Gods Vishnu and Krishna. In ancient Egypt they would embalm their dead. In Mexico it is carried around for prosperity and wealth. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that it was a symbol of malice and lunacy. Pliny a Roman scholar believed that it was an aphrodisiac, it was not only given to animals for successful reproduction but also used as an herb to welcome love among couples. Basil is also gifted to new homeowners and new business owners as it attracts prosperity.
Very easy to grow basil can be grown indoors on a sunny windowsill or outdoors in a sheltered sunny position.
Tomatoes, goats cheese, Mozzarella cheese, lemon, eggs, mint, shellfish, lamb, chicken, raspberries, strawberries, figs.
A few torn basil leaves over fresh raspberries is absolutely delicious. Add a handful of basil leaves when making strawberry ice-cream. Poach white peaches in sugar syrup and add a handful of basil leaves then serve with extra shredded basil. Make bruschetta- one of my absolute favorite as a snack with a beautiful glass of vino!
Try this recipe by clicking on the link below:
A beautiful basil Pesto Humus
The volatile oils present in the herb has many healing properties. Used in a variety of culinary preparations some of the benefits of basil include:
- Good for digestion– It fortifies the nervous and digestive system and can be good for headaches and insomnia. Assisting with the body’s acid balance it restores the bodies PH balance. Our digestive system is a very important part of our immune system.
- Anti-inflammatory- Eugenol, citronellol and linalool are the powerful essential oils that can help lower inflammation through their enzyme inhibiting properties. Consumption of basil could also soothe fever, headache, sore throat, cold, cough, flu. Its anti-inflammatory properties may help lower risk of heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel conditions. Wonderful as a digestive.
- Skin benefits– applying as a facial mask by making into a paste with olive oil, or make your own basil oil, using a base oil of almond or olive, a bunch of leaves in a jar, top with base oil, seal, infuse for a few weeks, strain, ready to use.
- Mood disorders– Known as a hormone regulator. Drink as a tea.
- Liver support– assist with liver detoxification, awesome cleansing ability. Drinkbas a tonic. Tonic made by infusing dried basil leaves in a jar with spirits.
As if the above is not magick enough. Here I will be briefly mentioning some of its metaphysical properties. According to Paul Beyerl, Basil is associated strongly with Dragon-like Basilisk and its contemporary association with the salamanders and dragons. It is used to invoke astral and mythological creatures. One can burn basil to invoke these creatures to assist in advice, inspiration and protection.
Basil has been planted upon graves and used as incense in the ritual of the dead. I suppose this goes back to the above mentioned ancient Greeks sending off their dead with basil in their hands. I love using this herb as incense during Samhain.
One can use basil in a fertility spell work, to enhance psychic vision and used in a mojo bag for protection.