Sweet basil essential oil is one of our aromatherapy tutors favourite so we needed to write a blog all about it’s wonderful benefits.
Basil essential oil (Ocimum basilicum ct linalool) is a sweet smelling herb that has been used for centuries as a tonic to the whole body. Many of us have and use basil in the kitchen as it makes a wonderful addition to many dishes. It is also known as joy of the mountain in many cultures. Basil is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for bronchitis, coughs, colds, asthma flu and emphysema as it is so good for balancing the respiratory system.
The essential oil is a top note and has an uplifting effect which may be down to the fact that not the whole plant is distilled but just the flowering tops giving it the sweeter and more delicate smell. This can be why so many do not recognise the oil in comparison to the leaves they may be familiar with already.
Sweet basil is a general tonic to the whole body. In particular it is used because it is antispasmodic, antimicrobial, antiviral, carminative, a nervous system regulator, central nervous system stimulant and a decongestant. It is a great all-rounder to use if people are not so keen on Lavender essential oil and it blends beautifully with many other essential oils
Physically it is useful against muscle spasm, gastro-enteritis, sluggish digestion, hypotension, anxiety and stress, as well as dry eczema. Basil essential oil is said to warm yang energies and lifts the spirits and cheer and strengthen the mind and we are yet to pass it round in class and no body like it.
Chemically sweet basil is mainly Alcohols (linalool) which are pain relieving and emotionally alcohols can help a person feel protected and give them the courage they need to express themselves or to move on from a situation. Alcohols can be stimulating to the mind so make good memory aids and help clear mental chatter.
There are different strains of the basil species and in aromatherapy we only want to use sweet basil as the bitter can be toxic so please make sure you are purchasing the latin named oils specified.
Why not check out our Aromatherapy diploma page?
Louise Mac – Anatomy & Physiology, Aromatherapy and CPD Tutor
Photo by monicore