This is a guest post by David Metz, Clinical Herbalist. Read more about him here: http://ellenkittredge.com/evolutionary-healing-class
What is the first thing that you think of when you hear the word basil? Pesto? Italian food? Or maybe bruschetta? Are you salivating yet? Is it the smell or the taste or both that so entices? Well, it is actually both. The smell of fresh basil can be intoxicating to say the least and there is a very good reason for this. Smells affect how we taste a food, and also enhance digestion. Smells also trigger salivation, which begins the digestive process in the mouth.
The smell of Basil is used in Aromatherapy as a brain booster and mood elevator, and it strongly helps with focus and concentration. Basil has also been used in love potions. No wonder the smell is so attractive. Do you think “Mi Amore” may have been written after eating some pesto primavera? Crush up a bit of fresh basil in your fingers, inhale slowly, and see what comes to mind. You can also try basil in a bath. Crush up the fresh leaves or roll the dried in your fingers to activate the smell, and place in bath water.