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Check out this interesting article:
Author: OhmyNews International Source: OhmyNews International (S. Korea)
Title: BASIL'S USAGES BOTH PRACTICAL AND SPIRITUAL
Since ancient times, as far back as the Vedic Age, nature and religion have freely intermingled in many ways. For example, a number of plants and trees have come to be regarded as sacred or auspicious, sometimes bringing good luck, health and prosperity to people. The basil plant (Ocmium Sanctum), known as Tulasi in Nepali, is one that has come to be highly regarded by the people of Nepal and India.
Hindus respect and worship basil, and people in other parts of the world believe in it, as well. For example, in Greece and Italy, it is thought to have mystical properties. The people of Thailand believe in basil's medicinal properties. In addition, it is believed that basil grew on top of the grave of Jesus Christ. No less a poet than John Keats has dedicated a poem to this popular plant named "Isabella: The Pot of Basil."
Among Hindus, basil is believed to be an embodiment of the goddess Laxmi (Goddess of Wealth), consort of Vishnu (God of Preservation). Basil is grown in courtyards and temples -- even, sometimes, in a special structure called a Tulasi Ghar, or basil house.
Read more at: http://english.ohmynews.com/articleview/article_view.asp?article_class=5&no=273290&rel_no=1
Ah yes! Basil is a wonderful plant!
According to The Rodale Herb Book; Rodale Press 1974...
The plant Ocimum Sanctum, which is highly regarded in India, is different from the common basil which is Ocimum Basilicum. The first is chiefly a decorative plant, where as the later is good for medicine and cooking.
When I was working for a comunity garden in Baltimore, we raised basil in between the tomatoe plants. Basil imparts specific vitemins and minerals into the soil which strengthen the health/ growth process of other plants, particularly tomatoes! A Basil tea is a healthy treat for your plants.
One could go on and on about basil, and I guess by your post, some do!
Love and Light,
Down here in Campeche, I have some in a little garden out front. The maids tell me it is a witches plant here. I am not sure what they use it for. They have a lot of different herbs here, I wish I could find a good book on Mexican herb uses, both culinary and magical. Any recommendations? :)
Aaquwaa, according to "Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs", Basil is called Witches Herb because witches were said to drink about a 1/2 cup of basil juice before flying off into the air. An extra tidbit of info, Basil is also called Albahaca, American Dittany, 'Our Herb', St. Joseph's Wort, and Sweet Basil.
Thanks for the info Blue.
May have to brew up some of that basil juice. :)
Really interesting thread, would love to see more on herbs.
So Dittany of Crete (Origanum dictamnus) is a type of fuzzy leafed oregano, which is used in some flying potions. But American Dittany is refered to as a wide variety of different plants, depending on the website or book you reference. Always make sure you check out the scientific names of plants before you start experimenting! It gets a little confusing, but is much safer!
I would love to start some "plant at a time" sorts of threads here at AT. Anyone else game?
Love and light,
Would love to learn more about herbs and plants. Crazy plant lady here. :)
Oh and trees would be cool too, can we include them?
Ankou, I'm game too. I like to garden and would love to learn more about the spiritual personalities of the flowers.
Cool... :thumbsup: Lets do that then! Sorry I've been away from the computer, have to work a couple days here and there! I'm just learning about herbs and their uses myself, but I have a couple of reliable reference books and sites that I'm begging to trust. I think maybe we should start with a disclaimer page which can be linked to in each thread. People can get lawsuit happy about the silliest things! And every harbal website/book has them. Maybe I'm being silly.. let me know.
Back to Basil... As a homeopathic herb, basil (Ocimum basilicum) has been used primarily as a stomach and intestinal aid. According to John Lust "It can be used for stomach cramps, gastric catarrh, vomiting, intestinal catarrh, constipation, and enteritis. As an antispasmatic, it has sometimes been used for whooping cough. Basil has also been recommended for headache."
Lust associates Basil with Mars astrologically and with Scorpio in the Zodiac, but doesn't explain why.
In Haiti, Basil is associated with the Goddess of Love Erzulie. It is also considered a powerful protector. Store owners sprinkle basil water to drive out evil and bring buyers and prosperity. Its also regarded as a sign of love in Italy.
Another site on Basil:
Love and Light,
A little more on basil,
Basil has long been associated with death in many cultures. It was planted on graves in Persia and Malaysia. Its blossoms were scattered over the tombs on ancient Egypt.
Mexican Americans sometimes plant basil in front of their houses to ward off evil or carry it for luck in a pocket or purse. It is also used in exorcisms.
Some basil lore from the Herb Society of America:
Its considered an aphrodisiac, used in love spells. While linked to love and attraction, also associated with chastity.
Culpepper and Gerard claimed basil would cure scorpion and bee stings.
Basil was also reputed to cause the spontaneous generation of scorpions and to cause scorpions to grow in the brain.
The Herb Society of America has a great sight and you can enter any herb in the search engine and get history and folklore, literature and Art, and all kinds of info. I don't know how to link or I would link to the basil articles. It is great reading. :)
Basil = PESTO-! yumeeee
OK, I'll shut up now and listen
This really seemed interesting reading! (I love the writer/collater's name too- "Kitchenwitch"....)