Basil Essential Oil is derived from the leaves of the Ocimum basilicum botanical, better known as the Basil herb. This plant receives its name from the Latin word basilius as well as the Greek word basilikón phutón, which mean “royal plant,” hence Basil is also known as the Queen of Herbs or l'herbe royale, meaning “royal herb" in French. It may also be referred to as Saint Joseph’s Wort, Great Basil, European Basil, French Basil, Common Basil, or Sweet Basil.
Several religions and spiritual beliefs practice rituals that emphasize the significance of the use of Basil. In Judaism, traditional stories advocate the use of Basil for increased strength during times of fasting. In various Orthodox churches, Basil is often used to either sprinkle or prepare holy water. As well, pots of the herb are often positioned below church altars to pay reverence to the belief that it was found growing around the grave of Christ. According to various other belief systems, such as those of Europe, India, and the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Greece, Basil was buried with those who passed away, as it was believed to have protective qualities that could help keep them secure on their journey to the Afterlife, guaranteeing their safe arrival at the gates of Heaven. In other parts of the world, Basil has come to represent good fortune. Accordingly, in places like Mexico, bunches of Basil are sometimes hung in shop doorways or windows, as the growth of the herb is believed to reflect the owner’s diligence as well as the success of the business.
Throughout history, the Basil herb, believed to have a fortifying effect on a person’s mind and emotions, has been used for multiple applications and was thus made in multiple forms, including teas, dried powders, and oils. The natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibiotic, antiviral, anti-depressant, and diuretic qualities of Basil made it a common component in the traditional medical practices of Asia, such as in India, where it was known as “Tulsi” and was thought of as sacred.
Basil belongs to the Mint family and, traditionally, this culinary botanical’s seeds and leaves – even its essential oil – found their main uses in cooking worldwide, as it was reputed to eliminate harmful bacteria and odors. Basil and its derivatives were popular ingredients in beverages and Italian foods, such as pizza, pasta, and salads. They continue to be popular ingredients in pickled or fermented foods, sauces, pastes, condiments, and meats. Furthermore, they have come to be common additions to perfumes as well as oral hygiene products. Today, they remain ideal for supporting skin, hair, and kidney health, soothing headaches, head colds, coughs, stomach spasms, diarrhea, and constipation, and for addressing a loss of appetite, intestinal worms, and fluid retention.
Sweet Basil Essential Oil is known to emit a warm, sweet, freshly floral and crisply herbaceous scent that has been described as being airy, vibrant, uplifting, and reminiscent of the scent of licorice. This fragrance is reputed to blend well with citrusy, spicy, or floral essential oils, such as Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Black Pepper, Ginger, Fennel, Geranium, Lavender, and Neroli. Its aroma is further characterized as somewhat camphorous with nuances of spiciness that energize and stimulate the body and mind to promote mental clarity, enhance alertness, and calm the nerves to keep stress and anxiety at bay.
Used in aromatherapy applications, Basil Essential Oil is ideal for soothing or eliminating headaches, fatigue, sadness, and the discomforts of asthma, as well as for inspiring psychological endurance. It is also reputed to benefit those who suffer from poor concentration, allergies, sinus congestion or infections, and symptoms of fevers. Furthermore, the scent of Sweet Basil helps to repel insects and to eliminate the bacteria that cause unpleasant room odors, thus effectively deodorizing stale indoor environments, including cars, as well as foul-smelling fabrics, including furniture. Its digestive properties offer relief for symptoms of metabolic malfunctions, such as nausea, hiccups, vomiting, and constipation.
Used cosmetically, Basil Essential Oil is reputed to refresh, nourish, and help support the repair of damaged or lackluster skin. It is often used to balance oil production, calm acne breakouts, alleviate dryness, soothe symptoms of skin infections and other topical ailments, and to support the skin’s suppleness and resilience. With regular diluted use, it is said to exhibit exfoliating and toning properties which remove dead skin and balance the skin tone to promote the complexion’s natural radiance.
In hair, Sweet Basil Oil is known for contributing a light and refreshing scent to any regular shampoo or conditioner as well as for stimulating circulation, regulating the scalp’s oil production, and facilitating healthy hair growth to reduce or slow the rate of hair loss. By hydrating and cleansing the scalp, it effectively removes any accumulation of dead skin, dirt, grease, environmental pollutants, and bacteria, thus soothing the itchiness and irritation that is characteristic of dandruff and other topical conditions. In exhibiting these cleansing and clarifying properties, Sweet Basil Oil helps promote the look and feel of soft, lustrous strands.
Used medicinally, Sweet Basil Essential Oil’s anti-inflammatory effect is reputed to help calm skin that is afflicted with complaints, such as acne or eczema, and to soothe sores as well as minor abrasions. When diluted and added to a warm bath, Sweet Basil Oil is said to soothe menstrual cramps, joint pain, muscular aches and spasms, gout, insect bites, and exhaustion.
With expectorant properties, it is ideal for reducing coughs as well as other symptoms of colds, fevers, and the flu. This helps to enhance immune function and in turn, comforts the distresses of respiratory ailments, such as bronchitis and emphysema. This oil is believed to help protect against the development of infections, soothe burns and insect bites, address water retention, and stabilize irregular menstrual cycles.
As illustrated, Sweet Basil Essential Oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:
For a comforting and emotionally-elevating aromatherapy application that is reputed to decrease stress levels, whether it is anxiety or feelings of unhappiness, simply dilute 2-3 drops of Basil Essential Oil before adding it to a diffuser of personal preference and inhaling it for up to 1 hour. This is known to improve circulation and to soothe symptoms of respiratory discomforts. For enhanced effectiveness, it may be blended with 2-3 drops of other essential oils that are known to share the same uplifting, energizing, and clarifying qualities while also relieving symptoms of colds and the flu. Suggested oils include Eucalyptus Oil and Lemon Oil.
For a naturally soothing, decongestant vapor rub, Basil Essential Oil may be diluted in 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil before being massaged into the chest. Suggested carrier oils include Jojoba and Coconut.
For a nightly de-stressing foot balm that helps to relax the body and mind before bed, dilute 1-2 drops of Basil Essential Oil in 1 tablespoon of any preferred carrier oil and massage it into the soles of the feet, the belly, or the wrist. This is known to have the added benefit of soothing a headache and for clearing the mind of uncontrollable thoughts that cause sleeplessness.
To soothe and prevent acne breakouts, begin by diluting 1-2 drops of Basil Essential Oil in a small amount of a light, fast-absorbing carrier oil. Suggested oils include Sweet Almond and Argan. Next, dip a cotton ball into the blend and dab it onto freshly-cleansed areas of skin affected with acne. This simple mixture is reputed to cleanse the skin of external pollutants, bacteria, and excess oil and to reduce redness. For enhanced effectiveness, Basil Oil may be incorporated into face mask recipe along with honey, lemon juice, and a powdered cosmetic clay. These ingredients are also known to promote the skin’s clarity and brightness.
To cleanse the hair and eliminate excess oil on the scalp, add small amounts of Basil Essential Oil to a preferred shampoo, conditioner, or both, beginning with 3-5 drops per ¼ cup of hair product. For easier mixing, rather than diluting Basil Oil in the bottles themselves, exact amounts of the shampoo/conditioner can be separated into cups before each use. This simple dilution is reputed to enhance the hair’s natural sheen. Alternatively, Basil Oil may be diluted in Apple Cider Vinegar and combined with Baking Soda to remove any build-up of excess oil or product residue and to restore the natural pH of the scalp.
To soothe sore or aching muscles, inflammation, swelling, and tightness, dilute 2-3 drops of Basil Essential Oil in a preferred carrier oil, then massage it into the affected areas. Alternatively, this oil blend can be further diluted in Epsom Salts before being added to a warm bath. For enhanced effectiveness, it can be combined with other essential oils that are known to be conducive to relaxation, such as Lavender Essential Oil. A Basil Oil-enriched bath has the added benefit of boosting digestive function and alleviating pain.
BASIL SWEET ESSENTIAL OIL
Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum, ct. Estragole
Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Steam distilled from leaves
Country of Origin: India
BASIL ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL
Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum L.
Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Steam distilled from leaves
Country of Origin: India
As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, Basil Sweet Essential Oil is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Basil Sweet Essential Oil without the medical advice of a physician, as it may have an effect on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. The oil should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.
Those with the following health conditions are recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders, hormone-related ailments, or epilepsy. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.
Prior to using Basil Sweet Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 drop of the Essential Oil in 4 drops of a Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Basil Sweet Oil must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Basil Sweet Oil include redness, rash, hives, burning, bleeding disorders, decreased speed of healing, low blood pressure, dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, convulsions, and rapid heartbeat.
Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this essential oil as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.