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basil essential oil

  • Common name:
    Sweet BASIL, French Basil, Tulsi (Ayurvedic)
  • Botanical (and family):
    Ocimum Basilicum. Family Labiatae
  • Distribution:
    Originates from Asia and the Pacific Islands, but widely cultivated in North Africa, France, Cypress, Seychelles, Comores, Egypt, Bulgaria, U.S.A. and Hungary.
  • Description of plant:
    A tender annual with dark green ovate leaves, bearing whorls of pinky-white flowers on an erect 60cm stem.
  • Extraction:
    Steam distillation of the flowering tops.
  • Charactersitics:
    Pale yellow to colourless, with a clear, spicy sweet aroma
  • Odour effects:
    Stimulating - Excess causes a stupefying effect.
  • Cautions:
    Often contains a high percentage of Methyl Chavicol, which imparts 'anisic' notes. Avoid in pregnancy - Emmenagogue.
  • Main chemical constituents:
    Linalyl acetate - 3%
    1,8 Cineole - 4%
    Pinenes, cis-ocymene 15%
    A-terpineol, linalool - 50%
    Methyl Chavicol - 25%
  • Properties and indications:
    Nerve tonic. Sharpens senses. Encourages concentration. Calms hysteria and has an uplifting effect on depression.
    Superb with headaches especially migraine. Claimed to get rid of nasal polyps and earache. Could reduce allergies due to its effect on the adrenal cortex. Often used for sinus congestion, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, flu and whooping cough. Imitates the oestrogen hormone so is useful with menstrual problems, and gives rapid expulsion of the afterbirth. Useful for wasp and insect bites. May help to minimise uric acid levels and so relieve gout.
    Refreshing tonic action. May help to control acne.
  • Other uses:
    Fine perfumery, soaps, dental products and savoury foods.
  • Blends well with:
    Bergamot, Black Pepper, Clary Sage, Geranium, Lavender, Marjoram, Melissa, Neroli, Sandalwood.