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aromatherapy herb uses

opal basil

Speaking of purple plant pigments, the ones in opal basil are responsible for turning aromatic vinegars a beautiful shade of rose, I always look forward to preparing them during the summer.

For all of us who enjoy this lovely plant it will come as a shock that the Greeks believed the herb to be driving men to madness. It is associated with the basilisk and folk tales say one needs to curse and rant when planting it in order for it to grow, because it embodies hatred and anger and it’s born of scorpion’s poison.

I can attest from personal experience that is not true, I have planted it many times and did not use inappropriate language to spur its development. Nor did I notice any increase in unusual behavior, but then again…

The Italians on the other hand consider it the herb of love and purification. Can you imagine the confusion engendered by trying to use it in the wrong context? Anyway, back to cooking.

It is rich in antioxidants, which makes it a youth preserving herb, and it contains nutrients essential to maintaining a healthy heart, such as magnesium, vitamin K, iron, calcium and B vitamins.

I always have a pot of basil on the terrace, and even though I love the purple varieties best, the large leaved Italian is a lot more fragrant, a very nice quality during hot summer afternoons. The plant doesn’t like dry conditions, so make sure to water it regularly, especially if planted in a container.