Basil essential oil may not be a go-to oil for you, but it does have some surprising natural health benefits that you may be missing out on. Benefits for your skin, joints, mind and so much more.
Basil has a long history of use, going back more than 5000 years. Many cultures have attributed spiritual and healing properties to it.
Basil essential oil is also known as sweet basil or common basil oil. There are at least 35 different species of basil. So you may find other types of basil oils, like holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum sanctum).
You may also see basil written as Basil Linalool or Ocimum basilicum ct linalool. The ct stands for chemotype.
Chemotypes are plants of the same species which look identical but have a variation in the chemical components of their oils due to different conditions of growth. In basil linalool, there is a high linalool count present.
Basil is highly valued in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It has been used as a protector of both physical and mental well-being.
Sweet Basil Essential Oil Facts:
Ocimum basilicum ct linalool.
Plant Part Used:
Leaves and flowers
Sweet, herbaceous, licorice-like
Linalool. See Essential Oil Safety for a complete list of constituents.
May irritate sensitive skin, best to test a small area of skin first. Always dilute before applying to skin. Avoid during pregnancy.
Basil Essential Oil Blends Well With:
Bergamot, Lavender, Cypress, White Fir, Geranium, Helichrysum, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lemon.
Muscular spasm and contraction, rheumatism, digestive problems, nausea, flatulence, menstrual cramp, dysmenorrhea, headache, migraines, tension, stress, physical and mental exhaustion. (from The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Wormwood, page 588)
Basil Essential Oil Uses & Benefits
1. Eases Aches & Pain
-Basil oil has demonstrated pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. One favorite way to use basil is to help ease unwanted muscle spasms. This oil also acts as a powerful cooling agent for the skin and can bring a sense of relief when you need it most.
-Add 1-2 drops of basil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil, like jojoba oil, massage into achy joints and muscles. You can also add to unscented lotion or body cream and rub on affected areas.
-Try using this oil to help relieve a tension headache as well. Make a Tension Headache Roll On: Add 3 drops of basil, 3 drops of lavender, and 4 drops of frankincense to a 10 ml roller bottle, fill rest of bottle with jojoba oil. Shake to blend. To use, roll onto temples (avoid the eyes) and back of neck/shoulders.
2. Calms Anxiety & Stress
-Basil oil is rich in linalool, which makes this oil very relaxing and beneficial for decreasing feelings of stress and anxiety. Use it before bedtime to help you wind down and transition into bedtime.
-Make a Soothing Inhaler: Add 5 drops basil, 5 drops bergamot, and 5 drops of clary sage to a blank inhaler. To use, place the inhaler under nose and inhale deeply. Read more about using aromatherapy inhalers.
3. Clears Congestion & Soothes Cough
-Basil is useful for respiratory issues, colds, and the flu. It is an expectorant and offers antispasmodic actions which may help relieve coughing.
-Make a warm compress by placing 3 drops of oil into bowl of warm water. Soak a washcloth in the bowl and wring out. Lay down, place washcloth onto chest, and just relax.
4. Eliminates Odors & Germs
-You can use basil oil to remove bacteria from surfaces and freshen the air, especially beneficial for cleaning kitchens and bathrooms. It is a potent antibacterial and antiviral oil.
-Create a Purifying Air Freshener: Add 6 drops of basil, 7 drops of tea tree and 12 drops of grapefruit to 4 oz glass spray bottle. Fill rest of bottle with water, leaving room for sprayer top. Shake well before use, spritz throughout kitchen and bathroom to encourage clean air, especially during cold and flu season.
5. Focuses The Mind
-Difficulty focusing while at work, reading or studying? Try basil essential oil to promote a sense of mental alertness and clarity of thought. It is also incredibly uplifting and helps one maintain an open mind.
-Diffuse Mental Fatigue Blend: Place 3 drops rosemary, 2 drops peppermint, and 1 drop basil to your diffuser with recommended water and turn on. It will stimulate your mind while allowing you to focus on the task at hand. Click here to learn more about diffusing oils.
General Essential Oil Precautions
Never use essential oils undiluted, in eyes or mucous membranes. Do not take internally unless working with a qualified practitioner. Keep out of reach from children.
Use essential oils with extreme caution on children, be sure you have researched the oil and that it is safe for use on kids. Plant Therapy clearly labels their oils "KidSafe" on the bottle if the oil can be used for children ages 2–10).
If applying an essential oil topically (on your skin), it is best practice to always perform a small patch test to an insensitive part of the body, use 1-2 drops in a teaspoon of carrier oil like jojoba oil.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, epileptic, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. For more information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
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