Essential oil of the month - Basil

Essential oil of the month - BasilBasil essential Oil (Ocimum basilicum), otherwise known as “Sweet Basil”, has a sweet, fresh, herbaceous aroma with rich, warm anisic undertones. It is distilled from the fresh leaves of the herb grown principally in France, Egypt, Madagascar and the Comoro Islands – with its constituent elements varying greatly depending on its origin.

The name “Basil” is derived from the Greek word “royal”, indicating that it may have been used in medicines for royalty in the past. In the 17th Century the famous herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, recommended Basil for insect and snake bites!

Note: Basil can be a mild irritant – so should not be used in baths or massage for sensitive skin. It is not recommended for use during pregnancy.

Basil has 3 main therapeutic actions:

  • Musculoskeletal: For muscular tension, pain and physical (and emotional) stress. Blends well with Lavender, Rosemary, Geranium, Marjoram, Clary Sage and Black Pepper.

  • Nervous System: As a mild brain stimulant it is good for stress, stress-related headaches, difficulty in concentrating and post viral and general fatigue. Also helpful for emotional fragility: lack of courage, clarity and strength. Blends well with Lavender, Rosemary, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Neroli.

  • Digestive system: For IBS/anxiety related indigestion/stomach upsets. Blends well with Peppermint, Spearmint, Lavender, Citrus oils, Fennel, Black Pepper and Juniper.

Aromatherapy recipes using Basil essential oil:

Massage oil for muscular pain (back and neck):
30ml Sweet Almond Oil, 6 drops Lavender essential oil, 3 drops Marjoram, 3 Rosemary, 2 Basil and 2 Clary Sage.

Massage oil for high stress and PMT:
30ml Sweet Almond Oil, 5 drops Lavender, 4 Geranium, 3 Rosemary, 2 Basil and 2 Clary Sage.

Bath blend for high stress (not for sensitive skin):
15ml Bath & Shower Gel, 6 drops Lavender essential oil, 2 Neroli, 2 Basil and 1 Eucalyptus.

Stress headache balm:
20ml Aloe Vera & Rose Gel, 5 drops Lavender, 3 Neroli, 2 Basil and 1 Peppermint.

Massage oil for pre-exam stress and confidence booster:
30ml Grapeseed Oil, 6 drops Lavender essential oil, 3 Rosemary, 2 Lemon, 2 Basil and 2 Neroli.

Massage oil for IBS tendencies:
Regular massage with 30ml Sweet Almond Oil, 4 drops Sweet Orange, 4 Lavender, 2 Spearmint, 2 Neroli and 2 Basil.

Joannah Metcalfe
Consultant Aromatherapist

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