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Basil - The Royal Herb

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 (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) Basil - The Royal Herb The name of the herb "basil" comes from the Greek word meaning "king" or "royal", reflecting how the herb was valued.   The French sometimes call basil " l'herbe royale " too.  In Italy, basil was symbolic of love and it was sometimes used as an aphrodisiac.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) The English botanist  Culpeper  cites one "Hilarius, a French physician" as affirming it as common knowledge that smelling basil too much would breed scorpions in the brain.  And  basil did represent hatred in ancient  Greece. But, t here are many much nicer rituals and beliefs associated with basil.   In  Portugal , a dwarf bush of basil is traditionally presented in a pot, together with a poem and a  pom-pom , to a sweetheart,   In Mediterranean countries, a pot of basil on the window sill denoted that an unmarried girl lived in the house.  Scientific studies  have suggested that com