Basiloc is a small herb that grows abundantly in Southern Sarvonia. It has commonly been described as a small leafy bush with tiny flowers in the summer. There are two different kinds of Basiloc; Asén Basiloc and Common Basiloc. Asén (meaning "sweet") Basiloc is used in cooking and fragrences while the Common Basiloc is used in tea to help calm an upset stomach.
Appearance. Basiloc is a small herb, only growing to be two to five nailbreadths. Since there are two known variaties, one must be able to tell them apart for they serve different purposes. For every season except summer, one must inspect the leaves to tell them apart. In both varieties, the leaves are a triangular shape, yet the colours are different. The colour of the Asén Basiloc’s leaves is a deep sognastheen while the Common Basiloc’s leaves is a lighter gnastheen.
|Image description. One of the abundantly growing herbs of Southern Sarvonia: Basiloc. Picture drawn by Seeker.|
During the summer, both variaties sprout flowers. The flowers sprout in bunches,
usually three or more to one node, or sprouting point. At this
time even a common person can tell the two variaties
apart, if one can remember which is which. The Asén
Basiloc’s flowers are
white as are the common Basiloc’s yet, in
the middle of the flower of the Common
Basiloc, one can see a splash of
Territory. Both variaties of Basiloc prefer moist, yet drained soil and lots of sun. The area where one can find Basiloc growing abundantly is in Southern Sarvonia, particularly central Sarvonia, starting from the Plain of Truoor down to the Tolonian Heath. It barely grows in Northern Sarvonia because it prefers warmer climates.
Many herbal women have added this to their gardens so that they can have it with them. Usually, they only grow common Basiloc as it has medicinal purposes. Some not-so-honest herbal women grow Asén Basiloc to use as medicine, telling the patient that it will help them.
When trying to find a way to grow Basiloc in the North and cooler climates, herbalist Claudirea Greenoak observed the following:
work regarding Basiloc in the North, I've noticed that it dies quickly
when the cold touches it. Yet, I tried an experiment with Common Basiloc.
As I was staying in Vermoth, I planted a seed of common Basiloc in a pot.
After a few weeks, the plant was growing well except that it was smaller
then those that grow down south.
The flowers bloomed sooner then I expected. As soon as they bloomed, I harvested the leaves. Thank the Gods there was a local who had a severe stomach ache. I went to his house and brewed a cup of Basiloc tea. I gave it to him and some time later, I asked him how he was feeling. He said that it was better, but still felt a bit ill.
After comparing the leaves to the dried ones I carried with me, I found that the ones from the North were much smaller than the ones I had with me. I decided to stay longer than I had intended to see if, by keeping the common Basiloc inside near the fire, it would keep during the harsh winter.
Amazing... the Common Basiloc that I planted last year has lasted through the winter. This could be a great finding for the herbal women of the North who do not have immediate access to the herbs of the South. I will share my findings with the local herbal women so that they can know of this..."
-- from the journal of Claudirea Greenoak
Currently, only the town of Vermoth and the surrounding area grows basiloc for few others have heard of Claudirea's findings.
|Image description. Sketch of both varieties of the Basiloc done by Claudirea Greenoak. The image shows the shape of the leaves, blooms and roots of the plants. Image drawn by Olooriel.|
Usages. There are different uses for the different varieties of the plant. The many different uses are listed below:
As true to its name, this variety is much sweeter then it’s counterpart, yet it still retains some of the well-known bitterness. Most people have found it to be very good in their salads. Too add Asén Basiloc to a salad, one only has to harvest the leaves and place them in the salad. The best time to harvest the leaves is right before the flowers begin to bloom (late spring to early summer). If not harvested then, the taste will grow more bitter as the year progresses.
It has many medicinal uses as well as having a scent which relaxes one. It has a bitter taste, but when made just right, it can help to sooth even the most upset stomach.
At first, only medical women knew the way to make Basiloc into a tea that could help the stomach, but, as they traveled around Caelereth, spreading their knowledge, others began to make it as well. Soon, every mother, wife, and grandmother knew some of the secrets of Basiloc, or so it seemed to traditional herbal women.
Claudirea was more than willing to share her recipe, but she notes that "this is not an offical recipe, but merely how one herbal woman, me, makes Basiloc tea.
just harvest the leaves from the plant. The best
time to do this is just before the flowers bloom. At this time, the leaves
have the most potency, as well as being as big as they're going to. Then,
you have to dry the leaves.
Drying the leaves is a very simple, yet it takes time. Too long to just pluck, dry, then place into the tea, or whatever you're making. Which is why I do all my harvesting at one time and dry the ones that I want dried. Also, once they're dried, they stay fresher, if you store them properly, that is.
What? Oh, right. How to dry Basiloc. Well, you take the leaves which you harvested and tie them into bunches. Then, you hang them upside down, that is, with the tip of the leaves hanging down, in a place where they won't get wet. I like to dry them near my fireplace. It seems to speed up the process and it gives my house a nice smell.
After drying the leaves, you'll want to store them in a box or something that will keep them dry and fresh. Now, the leaves are ready for the tea. First, you boil a cup of water. Then, you take some leaves, two or three, depending on the situation. Once, I used five because the person was in such pain that they were doubled over. Anyways, you take the leaves and crush them into little bits. Then, you put them into the hot water and stir till the water turns to a light green. If you want, you can put a bit of honey in there to negate the bitterness."
From a conversation held with Claudirea Greenoak
Another way to get the
curing effects from basiloc is to chew on some freshly picked leaves. Many a
traveler has said to have done this after eating some bad food while traveling.
Reproduction. Basiloc is like most flowering plants in that after the flowers die, small seed pods appear. One simply has to pluck these seed pods from the plant and carefully open them up to reveal the small, black seeds that can be used the following year. The seeds can be used up to 3 years. After that, they aren't effective and can't grow.