Basil essential oil information
Our basil essential oil is extracted from the herb Ocimum basilicum, of the Lamiaceae (Labiatae) family. It is also known as European, French, common or sweet basil.
This crisp smelling essential oil is often used in aromatherapy, as it awakens the mind to clarity of thought, steadies the nerves, while easing sinus congestion, cooling down fevers and treating menstrual problems.
The oil has a watery viscosity and is pale greenish-yellow in color. The aroma is clear, light and peppery and gives a sweet, green top note to blends. The essential oil comes from North Africa, Cypress, Seychelles and Europe.
Basil originates from tropical Asia and the Pacific Islands, but is now cultivated throughout Europe and the USA. The plant is an annual hairy herb growing up to 1 meter (3 feet).
The flowers range from white to pink, depending on the species and attract swarms of bees in summer time. Basilicum comes from the Greek word 'Basilicos' meaning 'king' or 'royal'.
A much favored herb in India, it is held sacred to Krishna and Vishnu, and the leaves are even chewed before taking part in religious ceremonies.
It is said to have protective qualities, a Basil leave is placed on the chest of a Hindu when resting. It is also used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.
The oil is extracted by steam distillation from the leaves and the flowering tops.
Basil oil has various chemical compounds that include a-pinene, camphene, b-pinene, myrcene, limonene, cis-ocimene, camphor, linalool, methyl chavicol, y-terpineol, citronellol, geraniol, methyl cinnamate and eugenol.
Although basil oil usually stimulates, in excess it can have a stupefying effect and should not be used during pregnancy or on children under 16 years.
Since it can irritate a sensitive skin, it must be used with care on people with sensitive skins. It also has emmenagogue properties, so it must be avoided during pregnancy.
The therapeutic properties of basil oil are analgesic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, anti-venomous, carminative, cephalic, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, insecticide, nervine, stomachic, sudorific, tonic and stimulant.
Basil oil is a good tonic for the treatment of nervous disorders and stress related headaches, migraines and allergies. It is used to clear the mind and relieve intellectual fatigue, while giving clarity and mental strength.
It has a beneficial action on the respiratory tract and is often used for asthma, bronchitis and sinus infections. It furthermore is also effective in cases of constipation, nausea, vomiting and cramp, and is also good when used for menstrual problems.
Due to the emmenagogue properties, it is often used to relieve scanty periods and normalizing menses.
It helps to minimize uric acid in the blood, thus relieving gout. It is useful in arthritis as well and when used on the skin, it helps to control acne. In general it refreshes the skin and can also be used on insect bites.
Basil oil is a very beneficial oil and can be helpful not only for headaches and migraines, but also has an uplifting effect on depression.
It is effective in digestive disorders, ranging from nausea to hiccups, and for infections in the respiratory tract. It is useful for wasp and insect bites, particularly that of mosquitoes.
Although essential oils blend well with each other, Basil oil goes particularly well with oils such as: Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cedarwood, Fennel, Ginger, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Neroli and Verbena.
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