How to Defend Yourself From Basil, 1595

botanical illustration of basil plant

An Italian, through the oft smelling of an hearb called Basil, had a Scorpion bred in his braine, which did not only a long time grieve him, but also at the last killed him… Take heede therefore ye smellers of Basil.

Thomas Lupton, A Thousand Notable Things

Mend your wicked ways and repent, ye smellers of basil! Is the enchanting aroma of your insalata caprese worth the risk of death by grievous brain scorpion?