Mayan Health Use of Basil

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Earaches for children are an age-old problem. Traditional healer Rosita Arvigo learned from Mayan healers to gather fresh leaves of either oregano, thyme, or basil. She warms the herbal leaves over a low flame until the leaves are limp but not burned. When cool, she then squeezes out a few aromatic drops. She then adds a bit of olive oil and rubs the mixture around the painful ear.
The Maya Health Toolkit for Medical Providers lists basil as a well-known remedy that today’s Mayan healers use for ringworm.
Rosita Arvigo recommends making a tea with basil and rosemary for dysmenorrhea (painful periods). Using a cup of fresh or dried herbs, she says to boil them in hot water for 5 minutes. Steep for 10 minutes and then drink as hot as possible.
This modern-day healer was a collector of plants from the Belize rainforest for the National Cancer Institute. She often got cuts and scrapes that sometimes became infected. Basil was part of her go-to remedy for such minor infections. Basil is truly a wonderful herb!
Note: Statements about ancient or current Mayan spiritual beliefs and medicinal practices are merely descriptive. No statement is intended as medical advice.