Week 1 – Basil

This was the first herb I researched and unfortunately forgot to record the sources. I apologize and again – no copyright infringement intended.

I research these herbs for personal use and not for any commercial benefits.

Basil (Oncimum Basilicum)

Basileus: Greek for ‘king’. Therefore basil is sometimes called ‘The king of herbs’.

Associations: Mars (Tuesday), Jupiter, the element of fire

  • Many varieties of basil exist. It is an annual, meaning that it cannot tolerate frost and it doesn’t like windy spots. It should be kept in a sheltered area near a wall or fence and it needs to be planted in well-drained, warm soil. Basil prefers full sun but will grow in light shade. (A layer of mulch helps to reduce the moisture loss of the soil).
  • If providing consistent moisture is a problem, find a spot with afternoon shade. Avoid watering late in the afternoon or evening.
  • Basil is a fast grower.
  • It is vulnerable to slugs, whitefly and red spider mites.

Planting

Outside: Plant the seeds outside 1 to 2 weeks AFTER the last frost of the season, when the soil has warmed up. Plant successively every 2 or 3 weeks and you will have a fresh supply all summer long.

*Plant seedlings 8 inches apart.

*Keep the seedbed moist during germination and well watered throughout the growing season.

*Don’t rush spring planting.

Indoors: Start seeds 6 to 8 weeks before transplanting outside (more or less 6 weeks before the last spring frost date). Once all frost danger has passed, you can transplant into the garden. Starting a fall crop will keep you in fresh basil all year round.

*Provide well-drained soil and afternoon sun.

à Prune often to avoid flower formation or pinch off flowers as they start to bloom. This way the flavour is maintained. To encourage branching on young seedlings: cut back the stems just above the first set of leaves when plants have developed 3 pairs of leaves. When a stem has developed 4 pairs of leaves, cut each stem down to just above the first set.

à Continue cutting plants back throughout the summer.

Harvesting

Begin harvesting when the plants are 8 inches tall, before they bloom. Or: the tops should be harvested before the flowers completely open.

Harvest from the main stems to improve bushiness.

Harvest when the leaves are young and tender.

*Harvest the leaves regularly during the growing season.

Storing

*Basil doesn’t dry well, but don’t use a dehydrator as consequently the colour and flavour may be lost. This also counts for parsley.

  • Dry by hanging them upside down in a dry area. Crumble the leaves and place them in an airtight container to use all year.
  • Freezing (tastes better):
    • Rub olive oil on the leaves and place them in ice cube trays or bags. Or: freeze them raw in oil.
    • Blanch them and freeze them in ice cube trays.

Parts used: leaves, flower tops, stem

Magickal uses

v  Love, handfasting, relationships, good wishes:

  • Use in love spells.
  • Sprinkle over your sleeping lover to assure fidelity.
  • Use in a ritual bath to bring new love in or to free yourself from an old love.
  • Mends lovers’ quarrels: Sprinkle around the bedroom to banish any negative emotions and bad feelings after a lovers’ spat.
  • The scent causes sympathy between 2 people and is worn to avoid major clashes.
  • Sprinkle the powder over the area of your heart to promote fidelity

v  Wealth and success:

  • Use in prosperity spells.
  • Carry to attract wealth.

v  House blessings, protection, purification, exorcism:

  • Burn basil to exorcise negativity from the home. To do a really thorough cleansing and protection of yourself and your home, also sprinkle a little basil in each corner of each room in the house. Work in a clockwise direction. (Basil on the ground offers protection).
  • Brings good luck to a new home.
  • Brings happiness to the home.
  • Will protect you in crowds.
  • Add to your bathwater for a purification or ritual bath.

v  Funerals

v  Clairvoyance, divination, psychic development

v  Commanding, discipline

v  Harmony, honesty, integration

Medicinal uses

v  Herbal carminative: anti-gas, soothes stomach upsets (digestion, stomach cramps, vomiting, constipation) and menstrual cramps due to a compound called eugenol which helps to ease muscle spasms.

v  Reduces fever, colds, the flu: It is a warming herb. Inhaling the essential oil refreshes the mind and stimulates a sense of smell dulled by viral infection.

v  Headaches

v  Anxiety, hair loss

v  Reputedly abortive.

Steep 2 teaspoons per cup of water for 20 minutes. Take up to a cup and a half per day.

*Preliminary research: Components found in basil may disrupt the chain of events that can lead to the development of cancer.

Aromatherapy

  • Bronchitis, colds, coughs
  • Insect bites, insect repellent (or: crush the leaves)
  • Fatigue, insomnia
  • Loss of concentration, anxiety, depression
  • Migraine, aches and pains
  • Infections, disease

è Basil oil is fortifying, uplifting, warming and purifying

Faeries

The faerie spirit of basil takes the form of an elf. It holds knowledge of integrating sexually and spirituality.

It helps to awaken greater discipline and devotion.

Dragons

They usually dwell in the same environment where basil grows.

They serve as protectors.

They are drawn whenever basil is burned as incense.

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Copyright notice

All entered text is ©2010 of the author, unless otherwise stated.

In order to reproduce any material, permission needs to granted by the author, either Morgana Moonfire or Archangel Amitiel.

Dark Moon Circle

As a sister of the DMC, Morgana aka Funky Chicken would like to honour this wonderfully supportive circle of sisters who never hesitate to offer guidance and share their wisdom.
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