The ABCs of Essential Oils: Basil


Basil, Ocimum Basilicum, is one of the most universally applicable oils. With the Greek word meaning “king”, ancient Greeks believed placing a sprig in the hands of the dead would open the gates of heaven. Today, Basil is known as The Oil of Renewal, it’s spicy, yet herbaceous aroma provides great benefits to both the mind and body due to its high linalool content. Thus, making topical application ideal for reducing feelings of tension by bringing strength to the heart and relaxation to the mind. When diffused, Basil helps promote focus and reduces feelings of anxiousness. Traditionally, Basil was used to assist with mental fatigue, provide respiratory support, and a healthy digestive system. Although the majority of those traditional uses are still in effect, the vast amount of research completed over the years has amplified the amount of health benefits that basil provides. So what makes this oil different from the herb you may commonly put in pastas, meats, and other entrée dishes? Because of the steam distillation of the leaves, stems, and flowers; the potency and purity of the oil is much greater than what we could find in the dried or fresh leaves of the plant. Emotionally speaking, this oil gives hope and optimism to the tired soul. It increases one’s natural energy and is great for those who are fatigued in mind and body and for those in need of strength and renewal.


BOTANICAL FAMILY: Lamiaceae or Labiatae (mint)

AROMATIC DESCRIPTION: Warm, Herbal, Spicy

APPLICATION METHODS: Aromatic, Topical, Internal

EXTRACTION METHOD: Steam distillation of leaves, stems, and flowers

COMPLIMENTARY OILS:

  • Blends With: Bergamot, Cypress, White Fir, Geranium, Helichrysum, Lavender, Lime, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Peppermint, and Wintergreen

  • Substitutions: Cilantro, Rosemary, Spearmint, Thyme, and Wild Orange (varies on use)

PRIMARY BENEFITS:

  • Acts as a cooling agent against fevers.

  • Assists with ear discomfort.

  • Promotes mental alertness and focus.

  • Soothes headaches and dizziness.

  • Assists the body with nausea and cramping.

  • Stimulates menstrual flow and eases cramping associated with PMS.

  • Soothes muscle spasms and other joint and muscle discomfort.

  • Naturally repels insects and soothes bites.

  • Assists with clear breathing.

  • Increases lactation for nursing mothers.

PRIMARY USES:

  • Diffuse to promote a sense of focus while studying or reading.

  • Massage with Wintergreen and carrier oil on back of neck for a stress-relieving experience.

  • Add to your favorite Italian dishes for a refreshing taste.

  • Diffuse for feelings of relief at the end of your work day.

  • Diffuse or apply topically for clear breathing.

  • Apply topically to feet or diffuse to fight feelings of fatigue.

  • Apply topically around ears to maintain proper ear health.

  • Mix with water in a spray bottle to freshen the air in the bathroom or kitchen.

  • Mix with lemon essential oil in a glass of cold water for a refreshing summer beverage.

EMOTIONS ADDRESSED:

  • Negative: Anxious, weary, overwhelmed, tired, drained, exhausted, addicted

  • Positive: Energized, renewed, rejuvenated, rested, strengthened

CAUTIONS: Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.