Sweet basil plays a role in many Mediterranean cuisines. Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisines also feature this herb. Our family adores freshly made pesto in the summer when the basil leaves are overflowing in the garden. Of course, we’re just as likely to toss a few leaves on our pizza or in our curry. It really is a versatile player in the kitchen. In the diet, sweet basil can provide vitamins, minerals, and a range of antioxidants. Do not confuse sweet basil with holy basil. Tulsi is something else entirely.
We all know basil goes on pizza and in pesto. It’s great at comfort food of the Italian variety. It shines bright in seasoning blends and finishing salts. But did you know there was a sweeter side to basil? I hadn’t really thought about it before, but I definitely have now. Apparently a simple syrup made with basil is used in cocktails, and know that I’m thinking about it, basil infused honey would probably be amazing too.
The one I can’t wrap my head around…and seriously, I need someone to tell me if they make this…is basil ice cream. And not only is there basil ice cream…there are basil ice cream varieties. I’ve listed seven of them below just so we can begin to understand the full spectrum of the basil ice cream phenomenon.
by Completely Delicious
by Fragrant Vanilla Cake
by Tasty Kitchen
by Serious Eats
by The Flavor Bender
by Oh Sweet Mary
by Brooklyn Supper
Seriously, leave me a comment if you make any of these because I don’t know if I’m brave enough to risk that much pesto-y goodness on an ice cream that I can’t imagine as anything other than savory. Except it says if you like mint ice cream, you’ll like basil ice cream and I LOVE mint ice cream. Now I’m conflicted.
Time to move on.
There are many different varieties of basil and not all of them are equally effective when it comes to holistic care. If you plan on using basil for health reasons, always make sure that you are using a variety that is actually medicinally beneficial.
Other Names: Common basil, Genovese basil, Great basil, Saint-Joseph’s-wort, Sweet basil
Composition: The leaves and flowers of basil are used in folk medicine.
Methods of Administration: tea, tincture, salve
Medicinal Properties of Basil
- Aids in digestion
- Cardiac Stimulant
- Central Nervous System Depressant
Holistic Uses of Basil
- Basil helps to repel insects. Its thought that it might even be toxic for mosquitoes.
- Supports liver health
- Aids in reducing abdominal cramps
- Aids in reducing flatulence
- Loss of appetite
- Aids in both diarrhea and constipation
- May help to reduce high blood sugar
- May help to reduce high blood pressure, albeit very briefly
- May help to relieve anxiety and stress
- May prevent memory loss caused by aging
- Might increase your ability to think and reason
- May help with nausea
- May aid in the recovery of strokes
- May thin your blood
- It has a mild sedative action
- Useful for nervous headaches and anxiety
Contraindications, Side Effects, and Interactions
Basil as an herb and sweet basil essential oil have Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status in the United States. There are no known side effects or interactions related to the consumption of basil. Basil does have emmenagogue actions, however, so out of an abundance of caution, if you are pregant, you should avoid basil in quantities larger than are typically found in the diet.
Traditionally, doses of 5 to 10 mL of the herb per cup of water or 2.5 to 5 mL of a tincture, taken up to 3 times daily, have been used.
- Basil makes wonderful potpourris, herbal sachets, and dried bouquets. Try opal, lemon, anise and cinnamon basil for this. It is reputed to keep flies away and has larvacidal properties against mosquitoes and houseflies.
- The antifungal and antibacterial properties of basil may make it useful in making household cleaners.
- After arguing with a loved one, take some time to calm down while sipping some basil tea. Then you’ll be prepared to return to the conversation and settle the dispute peacefully.
- Make an extract with basil and witch hazel to use as part of your anti-aging beauty regimen.
- Make an insecticidal salve with basil to keep away the bugs.
Sweet basil has long been associated with luck and wealth. This herb can help if you want to avoid arguments as it promotes sympathy, peace and understanding. It also provides protection from money related jinxes. In the Greek Orthodox religion, basil is used as a purifying herb in the preparation of holy water. In Europe, it is also a sacred offering to the dead. Bundles of basil are sometimes placed in the hands of the deceased in order to assure them of a safe passage to the spirit realm.
Magickal Correspondences and Associations
Deities – Lakshmi, Ares, Krishna and Vishnu
Zodiac – Scorpio, Aries and Pisces
Planet – Mars
Element – Fire
Gender – Masculine
Crystals – Aventurine, tigers eye, citrine and ruby
Magical Properties of Basil
- Keep a leaf in your wallet to bring success to you.
- Make a three day infusion of basil water and then use that water to mop your entire house to call success to your household.
- If you want to repel someone who has feelings for you which you don’t return, place fresh basil under your bed and let it wilt while thinking about the person you want to discourage. This also works if you want to stop having feelings for someone who has made it clear they don’t share the same feelings. Simply do the same thing but think about your feelings fading away rather than about the other person.
- Basil makes a great addition to a love charm as it invites success in love.
- If you want to call love to yourself, give the person who you are interested in a basil plant or cook them a meal with basil in it.
- Dust the upper half of your body, especially over your heart, with powdered basil to keep your lover’s eyes only on you.
- Place two leaves on a hot coal. Leaves that burn to ash symbolize a successful partnership. Leaves that hiss indicate marital strife.
- Add to peacemaking spells to make up after a fight.
- Serve meals heavily laced with basil during times of family strife and argument to help with reconciliation and peacekeeping.
- Place dried leaves under the bed to reawaken the sex drive in a relationship.
- Consume on a Tuesday to prepare for battle.
- Consume on a Wednesday to open lines of communication.
- Use basil in spells in preparation for astral projection or to bring luck in physical journeys.
- Plant basil outside your home to repel negative energies and malevolent intent.
- Keep a bit of basil in each room to protect the home and family. To protect you when leaving the house, rub some basil on your forehead.
Dig Deeper into your herbal education by exploring more herbs and essential oils.
Disclaimer: Please note that I am a not medical professional and everything written here is a product of my own research. Don’t take any advice given here over that of a trained doctor. If you ingest any herbs, always make sure that you’re 100% sure that they’re safe. If you’re pregnant or giving to a child, always consult a doctor before ingesting herbs and plant you aren’t familiar with. Magickal instruction and spells are for personal entertainment purposes only. The desired result/outcome cannot be guaranteed as a result of using any magickal item, and should not be used as a replacement for medical/professional assistance.