Basil, the oh so sovereign basil, is known as the King of Herbs and lives up to its title in spades.  It is the epitome of a good ruler, providing everything you need for a successful life. Nutrition, confidence, strength, protection, comfort, peace, and prosperity. This plant will also help you see  the royal within. 

Ocimum basilicum L.

Guess what? Peppermint is another medicinal member of the, you guessed it, mint family. Peppermint is not a species. It is a hybrid between spearmint and watermint. It gets its name due to its slightly spicy quality. This herbaceous little perennial can grow 1 to 3 feet tall. It has the Lamiaceae family trait of square, fuzzy stems and serrated fuzzy leaves. While most of us don’t think of peppermint flowers, it does get clusters of small purple flowers. 

Most importantly for us, peppermint has a high quantity of fragrant and volatile oils. These oils are high in menthol and are what gives peppermint it’s healing properties. It is one of the oldest herbs used for both culinary and medicinal products worldwide.  The use of peppermint has been traced back to Chinese and Japanese folk medicine. Ancient Egyptians even placed dried Peppermint leaves inside the pyramids.  The story of Minthe the nymph in Greek mythology is about the origins of peppermint. She is transformed into a sweet-smelling herb that releases a powerful, lingering aroma every time she is stepped on.

Basil is one of my favorite herbs. Whether it’s on a Caprese salad, margarita pizza, or ground up into pesto, you can always find basil in my fridge. Its appearance in my garden every year gives me hope that spring actually has sprung. Basil is so fresh and green it always provides a much needed refreshment after the winter.  Basil is just one more magical member of the Lamiaceae, or mint, family. There are between 50 and 150 species of  basil.  You can find three different species in my garden any given year. This article is highlighting Sweet, or Genovese basil. 

Basil is one of the most popular culinary herbs out there.  Basil gets its taste and medicinal properties from its high content of volatile essential oils. This is why it is most commonly used fresh in recipes. If it is heated too much those oils evaporate, as will the flavor and the benefits.

Fun Facts

The name "basil" comes from the Latin basilius meaning "royal/kingly plant" The plant was believed to have been used in production of expensive perfumes reserved for royalty.

The ancient Egyptians believed that it would open the gates of heaven to a dying person, and the Hindus use Basil sprigs to protect the dead from evil while in transition between lives.

The Eastern Orthodox Church used it to make holy water.

The most commonly used Mediterranean basil cultivars are "Genovese", "Purple Ruffles", "Mammoth", "Cinnamon", "Lemon", "Globe", and "African Blue"

It’s associated with the zodiac sign Scorpio due to the ancient Greek physician Dioscorides noting that it treated scorpion stings.

You can make a ton of pesto in the spring and summer seasons and freeze it in ice cube trays to enjoy it all year long.

Studies of the essential oil have shown insecticidal and insect-repelling properties, including potential toxicity to mosquitos. . bastards.

It’s an old wives tale to plant Basil at the entrances of your home for protection.

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How to Grow

As a subtropical native basil is a toucan, not a polar bear. It does not do well with the cold. In fact, even though basil is a perennial,  in cooler climates it behaves as an annual. Thank goodness it can thrive in a pot to be brought in when the temperatures drop. During certain times of the year I feel my basil plants  go in and out of the house more times than the dog. Basil prefers a hot, dry, sunny spot. Basil is a surprisingly resilient plant. If it gets thirsty enough to wilt like a little drama king, but it comes back quickly with a little water and some sunshine. Its good nature and adaptability is one reason it has been cultivated all over the world. Depending on the species basil plants can reach heights of between 1 and 5 feet tall. 


Basil is one of those bushes that will get leggy if you don’t cut him back. If you cut the stems the plant responds by turning leaflets into new stems. This makes it grow fuller. I start the season cutting back to make it full. Later in the season I tend to let a number of my stems flower for the pollinators and go to seed in the hopes it’ll self sow. Once it’s flowered, however, all bets are off. It’s getting cut back again and harvested. 

Basil can also be propagated from cuttings.  Suspend the cuttings  in water for two weeks or until roots develop. Once you get some roots transfer that little baby in a warm sunny spot!

One of the fun things about basil is its universality. You can use it as a food medicine in the kitchen. You can dry it and use it as a tea, or as a spice. You can also steam distill it and use the essential oil. With basil really your imagination is the limit on how you use it. 

Basil Card

Properties of Peppermint Essential Oil:

Essential Oil Facts

Basil essential oil contains high concentrations of linalool, which calms your ass down  and estragole, which is an antioxidant that reduces headaches and calms anxiety. 

*estragole has been shown to be carcinogenic in mice, however the amount contained in basil is so small basil itself is very safe for humans. 

Part Used- flowering tops and leaves- steam distilled

Scent: Basil has a sweet, spicy, fresh scent.  It is a strong top note.

Adrenaline stimulant, analgesic, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cephalic, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, nervine, stomachic, tonic

Digestive System

The relaxing and analgesic properties of basil make it a wonderful tonic for the digestive system as well. It can help ease the symptoms of gastric pain, hiccups, and even gas. Basil is another wonderful remedy for nausea. I would use it as a tea, or even just eat a leaf or two for this purpose. 

Nervous System

Basil is boss at calming your system down. It can be used to relieve migraines and nervous tension. Basil, however, is no sedative. It calms and tones the nervous system without making you fatigued. 

Respiratory System

Basil is a powerful expectorant. It can be used to relieve sinus congestion,and allergies. It will also help make coughs more productive. Its antiinflammatory properties also means it’s also helpful with relieving asthma symptoms. These properties combined with its antibacterial nature mean basil is a good tonic to use with bronchitis. 

Muscular System

 Once again basil's analgesic anti-inflammatory properties come into play to make it a wonderful tonic for muscular aches and pains. It is also a good mediator for rheumatic pain. Basil essential oil is a wonderful addition to a muscle rub or an epsom salt bath after a long day of physical exertion. 

Integumentary System

One of the areas basil really shines is on the skin. Basil hydrosol  is a wonderful skin toner. Basil has also been shown to combat hair loss. I’ve been treating my hair with an infused olive oil periodically. Basil and rosemary are my go to herbs to add in this mix. Best of all, mosquitoes HATE basil. It is a good addition to natural insect repellent, and has even been shown to be toxic to mosquitos.  iIf they do still get you, however, basil essential oil, or a concentrated tea, provides relief for insect bites. 


Basil is THE premiere oil to use for mental focus and clarity. Basil will help you cut through the crap and get to the bottom of messy emotions. It has a unique combination of relaxing you, yet being a tonic. This provides a unique one two punch for complicated problems. You can relax, center, and focus to a state that the path to solutions becomes apparent. Basil is also an oil of possibility. It opens your mind enough to see opportunities you may have just not thought of. Basil really is the champion of the entrepreneur, at least it is for this one. Diffused basil essential oil is a staple in my home office. 

Energetic properties

Historically basil has been seen as a cleansing and protecting oil. It was used in India and Egypt to protect the dead on their way to the underworld. Even in Europe basil was seen as a funerary and protective herb. It is an herb that will not tolerate negativity. In folklore it is used to banish all things negative. Fun test. Make some pesto for dinner and just  try to be mad after you eat. With its opening qualities basil also boosts intuition. All of these properties, combined with its mass availability make it a wonderful tool to use in meditation. 


Do not ingest basil essential oil. Dilute before use; for external use only. May cause skin irritation in some individuals; a skin test is recommended prior to use. Contact with eyes should be avoided.

Shameless Product Promo

With its opening, protective, and clarifying properties basil was a no-brainer to put in our Ajna essential oil blend. It is also a vital component in our Papa Legba blend.

Ajna- SEE

Basil, Clary Sage, Anise, Copaiba Balsam

The third eye chakra, Ajna, is the seat of our intuition. Located in the center of our forehead, Ajna’s focus is well outside of the physical. Ajna is where we connect with our subconscious. The third eye is where Jungians would say you can connect with the universal unconscious. Ego has no home in the realm of the third eye. This is where we reconcile what we see in the world with the possibilities that could be.


Papa Legba- CLARITY

Lemongrass, Basil, Fir, Clary Sage, Frankincense

The foundation of Papa Legba vegan soap is power of clarity and communication. Papa Legba is the Loa of destiny. Many of us need clarity on that! The essential oils in this our Papa Legba vegan soap center around communication, creativity, intuition, and . . . clarity.

The Papa Legba essential oil blend sits on a bed of frankincense. This offers a woody, and earthy base the rest of the blend launches from. The bright, citrusy lemongrass and the spicy, floral basil sit at the top of the blend. Clary sage bridges the earthiness at the bottom and brings it up to meet the bright top notes. The result is a grounded and uplifting scent.

Vegan Soap Papa Legba (2)