Basil is a herbaceous annual ornamental plant, with elliptical and oval leaves and white flowers that form at the tops of the shoots.
We find the plant all over Greece as cultivated in the gardens and in the pots of houses for its ornamental value.
It blooms from spring to summer depending on the sowing season. He probably comes from India, from where he traveled 4,000 years ago to Egypt, ancient Greece and finally to Europe.
Basil comes from India where it was a sacred plant dedicated to Krishna and Vishnu. The word basil comes from the Greek word king. However, from antiquity it was transferred to Europe where it became very popular in the Mediterranean basin.
Alexander the Great brought it to Greece, when from his campaign in India he brought, among other things, the king’s plant. He saw him in India, he was impressed, and his army transported him to Europe.
The ancient Greeks did not appreciate the plant as they believed that scorpions preferred to nest under its pots and that its strong smell was a kind of curse. So they considered him a sign of death.
On the contrary, the Romans considered it a love potion, a sign of love and an amulet. The Egyptians used it along with other plants in embalming and the Gauls used it in purification ceremonies along with spring water. Probably from there it keeps its roots and the Christian custom of sanctification with the basil.
It is certain, however, that the Greeks knew him long before Alexander’s campaign and are mentioned by poets before him. Greek folk tradition connects the plant with St. Helen: When he went to Palestine in search of the cross of Christ, he saw a bush that smelled of musk. He considered it a divine sign. He dug under his root and found the cross, the most sacred symbol of the Christian world!
An old adage says that “where basil grows, evil does not go” and “where there is basil, evil does not live”. When basil is donated it brings good luck to a new home. In fact, they use it a lot in cooking. Basil is used in gardening, perfumery, cooking, confectionery and as a healing material.
Method of preparation
Boil 1 kg of dried herb in a pot of water for 2-3 minutes. Leave it for a while until all its oils come out, strain and drink.