Herbs Dictionary A-Z

Basil Leaves

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The basil herb originated in Asia. It is a well-known culinary ingredient, but more than that, it is also a magical and medicinal herb. For centuries, basil has had significant roles in rituals, superstition and healing. It is a known herbal remedy which has been used to cure diseases and soothe the digestive and nervous system. Basil is highly regarded in India (locally known as Tulsi), where Hinduism is widely practiced. In Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva once described it as the holiest plant on earth. The Tulsi’s fragrance is said to spread with the wind, making the surrounding area smell truly beautiful. It brings blessings and opens the gates of heaven and prominently figures in the worship of the god Vishnu.

 

General uses...

 

Basil is also significant in other cultures. In Europe, during the Middle Ages, basil was used to represent a bride-to-be’s virginity. In Chieti, a sprig of basil is worn by young women as a symbol of their virginity. Ancient Romans and modern Italians basil to saw basil as a symbol of love, while the Ancient Greeks considered it as a love charm. Hindu, Greek and Italian women wishing to get married customarily planted a pot of basil for good luck. Similarly, in Elizabethan Europe, bachelors looking for a wife carried basil on their person for good luck. Mexicans believe that carrying basil in their pockets will attract money. The Jews believed that basil adds strength when one is fasting. Several Orthodox Churches use it in the preparation of holy water. In Haiti, it is believed to belong to the pagan protector, Erzulie. Basil is also widely used in rituals and burials. In some parts of Europe, it is placed in the hands of the dead to ensure a safe journey to heaven. Hindus and Ancient Egyptians believed in its power to open the gates of heaven for a person passing on.

 

Basil will...

 

  • Bring money.
  • Protect against evil.
  • Help keep your home peaceful.

 

Magical uses...

 

Make basil water by soaking basil in water for three days. Sprinkle this on your doorstep to bring money, success and happiness in the family and drive away evil. You may also cook or keep some Basil in an open bowl in the kitchen, to be replaced weekly, to increase love in your home. Mix it in a bath with love herbs. The main love herbs can include wild flowers such as Red Clover or dandelions.

 

There have been accounts that Gentian, Rose Buds and Catnip make the potion stronger. Other love herbs include Juniper Berries, Cubebs, and Lavender. to increase fondness and family relationships. Make a Cleansing and Protective bath by mixing it with Rosemary and Rue. Sprinkle dried on the kitchen floor and sweep it out the door to increase peace and happiness in the home and protect it from evil because “Evil can’t stay where basil has been.”    


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