History of the plant Basil… connected to three continents!
- The word “basil” comes from the ancient Greek word “Βασιλεύς”, which means “king”. This name was given to the plant in honor of «King» Jesus Christ, because legend has it that the royal sprouted on the Holy Wood and so Saint Helen – mother of the first Byzantine king Constantine the Great – was able to recognize Christ’s cross from the other two of robbers.
- In ancient Greece, however, they had identified the basil with death because there were scorpions nesting there. Alexander the Great probably brought it to Greece from India.
- In India it was named after daughter Tulsi, whose name means Basil, who was transformed into this plant to escape the god Vishnu, who was in love with her. Until today in India, the basil is considered a sacred plant.
- In Egypt it was used as a raw material for the embalming of the dead Pharaohs.
- In Rome it was the symbol of lovers.
- In modern Greece the basil has been used in many songs as a plant of love.