In clinical trials, Sweet Basil is proving to be one of the most effective treatments we have for treating depression. Its mood enhancing benefits come from a constituent called linalol which, thanks to 21st century medicine, we know is due to the way it activates the GABA pathways in the body. It lifts the mood and is hypnotically relaxing whilst it invigorates too. It clears the head and focuses the mind - so then Basil would feel to be a most benign herb. Ancient medicine though, has a different story to tell. It links Basil with sea serpents, scorpions and madness. Not just one source either, lots of them. Dioscorides describes how the plant rue, will not grow near it, and she has a reputation for disliking anything poisonous. Discover a herb, so intimately connected with the barbaric practices of slave trade brutality and torture, that voudou women cry out to her Goddess when they are raped and beaten. And yet, each year in churches around the world, on September 14th, altars are covered in basil as testament to the beneficent plant that was growing around The One True Cross when it was reputedly found in the 4th Century. Basil rights wrongs in the most powerful way. It encourages the patient to open doors into his soul to which the keys have been hidden for so, so long. Two very different aspects of medicine. On one side: joyful, benign and refreshing medicine. On the other, a dark and vengeful warrior. By the end of the book though, you may agree that the two sides are one and the same. Come with me and discover Sweet Basil, the darkest and most powerful of the soul medicines.
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