Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum
Family Name: Lamiaceae
Common Name: Basil or Sweet Basil
Part Used: Leaves
Specific Gravity: 0.905 - 0.955 at 20°C
Optical Rotation: +1° to -18°
Refractive Index: 1.487 - 1.515 at 20°C
Blends Well With: Black pepper, Ginger, Fennel
Uses: Ayurvedic doctors treated patients with basil oil to treat emphysema and cough. This oil reduces muscular aches, spasms and sports injuries.
Countries where it's found
Basil is an annual herb native to Asia and Africa. The plant is cultivated throughout the Mediterranean, Pacific islands, Europe, North and South America.
The best time harvest the plant is when the plant has lots of leaves and few flowers. Harvest is best done before winter season.
History of the Plant
The word basil is derived from a Greek term basilokos meaning king. Today, the United States, Brazil, Italy, Indonesia, Bulgaria, France, South Africa and Morocco all produce basil oil.
The oil is extracted through steam distillation of the flowering herb. The extracted oil is either pale yellow or pale green or colorless with a light smell with camphor like undertone.
Commonly known Benefits
The essential oil of basil is used in the treatment of various respiratory ailments. The oil calms down the discomforts associated with asthma, bronchitis, and whooping cough. In addition, the oil restores a lost sense of smell, averts asthma attacks, and relieves sinus. It also wards off flu and colds
Basil oil responds to digestive disorders quickly. It stimulates the appetite, supports in easy digestion, prevents constipation, removes gas, soothes stomach cramps, and relieves nausea and vomiting.
The cooling properties of basil oil aids in relieving pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, muscular aches, muscle spasms, and sports injuries.
The oil clears the head and migraines. It also eases earaches, soothes mouth ulcer, and prevents gum infections. In addition, the oil also acts as an insect repellent soothing mosquito bite.
Basil essential oil treats mental fatigue, depression, and nervous tension and provides a refreshing effect.
The essential oil of basil stimulates circulation and refreshes a dull looking skin. Further, it improves the skin color, complexion, and tone. It controls acne and blemishes and used treating skin infections. The oil reduces cellulite and adds luster and glow to dry hair.
As a result, the oil is extensively used in various skin care supplements.
Basil oil is famous for its stimulating and sedating qualities. Its sedative quality wards off insomnia, nervous tension, and anxiety attacks. The oil improves the concentration, clarifies thoughts, and sharpens the senses.
European physicists use basil oil to treat depression and melancholy. The oil is believed to minimize fear, indecision, and sadness. Further, the oil strengthens the entire nervous system.
The essential oil of basil reduces stress and balances emotion.
Ancient Chinese doctors used basil oil to treat epilepsy and as an antidote against snake poison. The oil soothed irritated skin, relieved pain caused by rheumatism, and nervous disorders.
Basil oil blends well with clove, lime, geranium, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, bergamot, juniper and clary sage providing various other health benefits.