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Home Page > Essential Oil Profiles > Basil Essential Oil

Basil Essential Oil

Basil Essential Oil is amongst the oils that I immediately think of when I want an oil that can help stimulate my mind and allow me to focus on the task at hand. Basil Oil is an energizing oil and is best used during the morning and daytime hours.

Basil Essential Oil tends to be one of the first oils that I select when I have a cold. It is considered anti-bacterial/anti-viral, it acts as an expectorant and it also helps keep me alert. Basil Oil is also said to help with headaches, though it's not one I commonly use for that purpose.

The chemical composition of Basil Essential Oil can vary greatly between varities, batches and suppliers. Ideally, look for Basil Essential Oil that has a a significant percentage of Linalool and that is weak in Methyl Chavicol (Estragole), a suspected carcinogen. Basil Oils that are higher in Linalool tend to have a more appealing aroma. Additionally, Linalool is said to act as an insect repellent.

Though I love Basil, I rarely use it alone. Instead I typically enjoy the most benefit from it as a part of a synergistic blend. But beware... Basil can easily dominate a blend. Go easy on the ratio of Basil Oil that you add to blends until you are more familiar with working with it, and be sure to heed all safety precautions.

Basil Oil
Basil Oil
    

Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum

Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled

Part Typically Used: Leaves and Flowers/Buds

Color: Clear

Consistency: Thin

Perfumery Note: Top

Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium

Aromatic Description: Sweet, herbaceous, licorice-like, slightly campherous.

Basil
Basil

Basil Oil Uses: Bronchitis, colds, coughs, exhaustion, flatulence, flu, gout, insect bites, insect repellent, muscle aches, rheumatism, sinusitis. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 58-67.]

Constituents: Linalool, Fenchol, Eugenol, Methyl chavicol, Beta-caryophyllene [Shirley Price, The Aromatherapy Workbook (Hammersmith, London: Thorsons, 1993), 54-5.]

Safety Information: Use Basil Oil sparingly and with caution. High doses may be carcinogenic especially for those basils that contain a significant amount of methyl chavicol. Avoid in cases of liver problems. [Robert Tisserand, Essential Oil Safety (United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone, 1995), 120.]

Avoid Basil Oil during pregnancy. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 186.]

Important Note: The essential oil information provided within the Essential Oil Properties & Profiles area is intended for educational purposes only. This data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate.

General Safety Information: Do not take any essential oils internally without consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use essential oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and give children only the gentlest oils at extremely low doses. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using essential oils with children. A skin patch test should be conducted prior to using an essential oil that you've never used before. Instructions on conducting a skin patch test and more safety information can be found by visiting the Essential Oil Safety Information page. For very in-depth information on essential oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

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Own Profiles for 400 Essential Oils and 206 Constituents:
Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young

The second edition of Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young is a 784-page powerhouse of information that is invaluable to the serious aromatherapy student, aromatherapy practitioner, health care professional, and everyone seriously interested in understanding individual essential oils, their constituents, usage guidelines, safety precautions and contraindications. Read a review of this book.

Also consider...
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless
It contains 160 detailed essential oil profiles complete with beautiful color photos.  Read a review of this book.

 

 

 


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