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A Guide To Basil Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

A Guide To Basil Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses In Aromatherapy

Basil essential oil (Ocimum basilicum) is "a fragrance of reality — the reality of physical existence and the reality of spiritual existence," states aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul. She goes on to say the emotional benefits of basil are to encourage positivity, purposefulness, concentration, decisiveness, assertiveness, trust, enthusiasm, clarity, and strength.

At least 60 varieties of Ocimum basilicum exist. "The variety of species, subspecies, and chemotypes of basil offer us virtually the entire arsenal of aromatic substances," according to Advanced Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy.

This profile applies to the linalool chemotype of basil (Ocimum basilicum ct. linalool), also called sweet basil.

The Indian herb tulsi, also known as holy basil, is a different species — Ocimum sanctum. Holy basil shares some properties with sweet basil but also has different properties.

Basic Basil Facts

Plant family: Lamiaceae/Labiatae

Production: Steam distilled from the leaves and flowers/buds.

Aroma: Sweet, herbaceous, warm, rich, sharp.

Perfume/Aromatic note: Middle to top

Is basil safe to use during pregnancy? No.

Is basil essential oil safe for children? Some sources recommend not using with children under age 2.

Cautions: In large amounts, basil can be overstimulating.

Main components of the linalool chemotype of basil:

linalool      53.7–58.3%
eugenol      9.4–15.2%
1,8-cineole  6.0–6.7%

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Ed.


Benefits Of Basil Essential Oil

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: The scent of basil relieves headaches, sinus congestion, and head colds. Also helpful for indigestion, arthritis, sore muscles, and oily skin/hair. Emotionally, basil is uplifting and helps relieve lack of confidence, indecisiveness, negative thoughts, stress, depression, fear, anger, and mental fatigue.

The Heart of Aromatherapy: Use basil ct. linalool in blends for focus and relaxation, respiratory support, calming skin inflammation, soothing sore muscles, easing joint pain, clearing mucous and congestion, relieving headaches, and supporting digestion.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Sweet basil may help relieve muscle spasms and contractions, rheumatism, digestive problems, nausea, flatulence, menstrual cramps, headaches, migraines, tension, stress, and physical and mental exhaustion.

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): Use basil for insect bites and as an insect repellent. The essential oil may help relieve gout, muscle aches and pains, coughs, flatulence, nausea, menstrual cramps, colds, and flu.

Aromatherapy Bible: Basil is restorative, fortifying, and clearing. The oil is the first choice for relieving intellectual fatigue when the mind is weak or indecisive. Psychologically, basil is awakening, uplifting, and strengthening. It is a subtle psychic protector.

Basil Oil Uses

PMS Relief

  1. Blend 2 drops each of basil, sage, and rosemary essential oils.
  2. Apply the blend to a warm, moist hand towel.
  3. Place the towel on your abdomen.
  4. Relax.

Source: Dr. Axe 101 Ways To Use Essential Oils

Soothe Insect Bites and Stings

In a small glass container, mix:

  • 2 drops basil
  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 2 teaspoons aloe vera gel
  • 1 teaspoon jojoba oil

Apply a small amount of the blend to the bite or sting, as needed.
Source: Rocky Mountain Oils

Gardener’s Hand Scrub

  • 2 tablespoons medium-grain pink Himalayan salt or other medium-grain salt of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 7 drops rosemary essential oil (verbenone chemotype)
  • 10 drops basil essential oil
  • 2-ounce (60 ml) dark glass jar
  1. Put the salt into the jar.
  2. Add the avocado oil.
  3. Add the essential oils and stir gently with a glass stirring rod or the handle of a stainless steel spoon.
  4. Use as needed.

Adapted from Aromahead

Inhaler For Stomach Upset

This recipe can help ease an upset stomach and a headache at the same time.

  • 7 drops basil ct. linalool
  • 5 drops bergamot mint (Mentha citrata) essential oil
  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil

Add the essential oils to a blank aromatherapy inhaler. Use it as needed to calm indigestion or nausea.

Source: Aromahead Newsletter

Other Basil Uses

Aromatherapy diffuser blends from The Healing Art of Essential Oils:

  • For mental focus: 3 drops basil, 3 drops lemon essential oil, 2 drops rosemary essential oil.
  • To boost energy: Equal parts basil, peppermint, and grapefruit essential oils.
  • To uplift your mood: Equal parts basil, rosemary, peppermint, and orange essential oils. Alternately, use equal parts basil and lemon oils.

The book also suggests:

  • To relieve fatigue: Blend 3 drops basil in 1 teaspoon carrier oil. Massage your feet.
  • To relieve itchy skin: Mix 5 drops basil in 1 teaspoon carrier oil. Apply to itchy area.
  • To reduce motion sickness: Place one drop basil on a cotton ball and inhale the aroma for at least one minute.

Buy Basil Oil

I recommend basil essential oil from Young Living.



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Photo Credit: JeannieNadja [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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