With over 60 species to choose from, basil is one the most varied herbs in aroma and symbolism. From spicy, citrus to cinnamon basil covers a multitude of fragrances from its essential oils. Sweet basil is one of my favorites, reminiscent of anise or licorice and is easily grown indoors or outdoors.
Considered sacred in Hindu, basil or tulsi represents love, eternal life and purification after the goddess Tulasi. There is no reference to basil in the Bible although the herb was said to have grown near the crucifixion. In Italy, basil was used to attract a lover and in Moldovian folklore if a man took a sprig of basil from a woman he would fall in love with her. It has represented chastity, hatred and love. A sprig of basil in your pocket would produce wealth, and sprinkling it at the door would bring customers. What a complex herb! Its original purpose was for embalming and taking the poison out of insect bites. Today its properties are so varied it should be considered the super herb. In Ayurvedic medicine it is used as a treatment for diabetes, impotence, allergies, infertility and respiratory ailments. Basil contains natural antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. My preference is basil coupled with bergamot, in my basil bergamot hand wash and lotion, spicy and crisp