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Chap. 047. Of Citron and Clove Basil.

Basil, Citron. Basil, Clove Scented, Largest. Basil, Clove or Gentle. I. The Names. The first of these is called in*********: in Latin, Ocimum, vel Basilicum alteram, Ocimum Citratum: in English, Citron Basil.

II. The second of these is called, ************: in Latin, Ocimum vel Basilicum Caryophyllatum : and in English, Clove Basil, or Basil Gentle.

III. The Kinds. The first or Citron Basil, is the Greatest Basil, and is singular. (Ocimum x citriodorum. -Henriette.)

The Clove Basil is,

  • 1. Ocimum Caryophyllatum majus, the Greater Clove Basil. (Ocimum basilicum. -Henriette.)
  • 2. Ocimum vel Basilicum caryophyllatum minus, the Lesser Clove Basil. (Ocimum minimum. -Henriette.)

IV. The Descriptions. Citron Basil: It has a pretty thick Root, with many Strings, which perishes after Seeding time, or upon the approach of Winter; from whence grows up one upright Stalk, spreading itself into many Branches, not much unlike to the Common Garden Kind, with Leaves set by couples at the Joints, but much larger, and of a reddish Colour in the hotter Countries, but not so in our colder, a little dented about the edges, of a very pleasing Smell, much resembling that of a Citron Peel, and therefore called Citratum, the Flowers are White, like those of the ordinary Common Basil, and the Seed Black also, like those of the former.

V. The Greater Clove Basil: Its Root is like the former, and perishes in like manner, being one of the Great Kind of Basils, and not differing from the former, either in stalks, branches, growing, or largeness of the Leaves, or colour of the Flowers, except that sometimes they are a little purplish; but in the Smell of the whole Plant, it has a stronger and quicker Scent, much like the smell of Cloves, for which reason it is called Caryophyllatum.

VI. The Lesser Clove Basil: It has a pretty long, woody Root, with many Fibres threat, from whence rises one Upright Stalk, which admirably spreads it self forth in Arms and Branches, looking very much like to a bush, and not very much unlike Mother of Time, both in the form of its growing, and the shape and magnitude of its leaves, whish grow more dispersedly upon the Branches; the Flowers grow at the Tops of Branches, after the manner of those of Basil, of a White Colour, but tending somewhat more backwards. The smell is the strongest and most fragrant of all the Basils, and smells perfectly like Cloves, from whence it is also called Caryophyllatum, and this is the true Basil Gentle. An Exact Figure hereof you have in Dalechampius Hist. Plantarum, lib. 5. cap. 51. fig. 5. pag. 681.

VII. The Places. They grow in the Eastern Regions, and hot Countries, where they are more odoriferous, than in our Northern Climes: but now they grow in all the Northern Nations in Gardens, where they flourish well, and yield their Seed in perfection, but their fragrant Scent is not altogether so strong.

VIII. The Times. They Flower gradually during the hottest Summer Months, as all June, July, and some part of August, Flowering at the Top first; and then is gradually Ripe not long after.

IX. The Qualities. These are hot in the second Degree, and moist in the first Degree: Inciding, Attenuating, Opening, Digestive, Resolutive; Carminative and Anodyn. And appropriated to the Head, Nerves, Stomach, Brest, Lungs, Heart, Reins and Womb: they are also Emmenagogick, and resist Poison.

X. The Specification. They comfort the Nerves, prevail against Palsies, cleanse the Lungs of Tartarous Matter, and provoke the Terms.

XI. The Preparations. You may prepare therefrom,

  • 1. A Pouder from the Seed.
  • 2. A Distilled Water from the whole Plant.
  • 3. A Juice.
  • 4. An Essence.
  • 5. A Spirituous Tincture.
  • 6. A Saline Tincture.
  • 7. An Oily Tincture.
  • 8. A Decoction in Wine.
  • 9. A Syrup.
  • 10. An Oil.
  • 11. A Cataplasm.

The Virtues.

XII. All these Plants have the same Virtues with those in the former Chapter, and therefore the Preparations have the same, for which, and their particular Uses we shall refer you thither.


Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter has been proofread by Nick Jones.



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