Discover the many health benefits of basil essential oil! You can improve and protect your health naturally and safely with this powerful essential oil. Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It is a great addition to your home medicine chest.
Traditionally, sweet basil (not its cousin, Holy Basil or tulsi) is used as a spice or herb to flavor Italian dishes. It is often added to tomato sauce, pasta recipes and fresh green salads. There are also some great basil salad dressing recipes available. We want to, however, focus our discussion on the therapeutic benefits of basil oil not on its culinary use.
Here is a list of some of the ways you can use this essential oil to improve your family’s health:
- Helps stop ear ache pain – Apply a drop or two of basil oil to your finger. Apply the oil either behind the ear on the mastoid bone or in the outer ear. Do not put the oil in the ear canal! You can also add three or four drops of basil on a cotton ball and place it in the outer ear. Repeated use of basil oil will help stop reoccurring ear infections in children.
- Basil is an excellent expectorant and can be used to help clear congestion in the lungs and sinuses. Add two or three drops of the oil to your hand and rub together. Cup your hands and place them over your nose and mouth. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly! You can feel the lungs begin to clear almost immediately. Singers use basil and lemon oil to help soothe sore throats.
- Basil oil can be used in combination with lemon oil to help soothe sore throats. Especially, if the pain and soreness has gone into the ears. Simply apply a few drops of basil to your finger tips and rub into the affected area. Follow the same steps with the lemon oil. If you have sensitive skin you can add these two oils to a carrier oil like olive oil, coconut oil or even canola oil.
- Basil essential oil can also be used as an insect repellent and to treat insect bites. Add five to six drops of basil oil to four ounces of either distilled or spring water in a glass spray bottle (I use cobalt blue colored bottles). Shake the mixture before spraying this natural insect repellent around the room. Flies especially don’t like the smell of basil. If you or your children are troubled with insect bites use basil oil directly on the skin or apply with a carrier oil (My favorite is coconut oil). This will help relieve the swelling and pain of the bites. They will also heal faster.
- Helps relieve gastric distress including cramps, constipation and intestinal gas.
- Use basil in combination with orange oil to improve your mood. Add these two oils to a four ounce spray bottle and shake well. Spray this mixture on your face as needed to elevate your mood. This mixture also helps with situational and nervous depression.
- Helps improve skin tone and the quality and luster of hair.
- Is good for relieving muscle aches and pains. Helps relieve muscle tightness.
We will add more health benefits of basil oil in the near future!
Recent scientific studies have been done on the health benefits of basil. Here is a summary of some of the latest research:
- A Polish medical study strengthened the claim that basil and rosemary essential oils were effective in combating certain strains of bacteria. The study concluded:
“The results showed that both tested essential oils (basil & rosemary) are active against all of the clinical strains from Escherichia coli including extended-spectrum β-lactamase positive bacteria, but basil oil possesses a higher ability to inhibit growth.”
- Researchers at the University of Cartagena in Colombia studied the potential benefit of orange essential oil and basil essential oil on acne along with acetic acid. This was their conclusion:
“The results were ranked good to excellent, particularly for the acetic acid mixture, which achieved improvements of 75%. This appeared to be a result of their joint antiseptic and keratolytic activity. Side effects (burning and redness) disappeared within a few minutes of completing the application, therefore, did not interfere with adherence to treatment.”
- A study concluded in 2013 measured the effect that essential oils (peppermint, basil, and helichrysum) had on mental exhaustion and moderate burnout. The results of this research showed,
“The results suggest that inhaling essential oils may reduce the perceived level of mental fatigue/burnout. Further research is warranted.”
- Researchers in Iran at the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences studied sweet basil’s ability to protect the heart. This was their conclusion:
The results of the study demonstrate that Ocimum basilicum (sweet basil) strongly protected the myocardium against isoproterenol-induced infarction and suggest that the cardioprotective effects could be related to antioxidative activities.”
Although none of the above studies were conclusive there is an increasing body of scientific evidence supporting the health benefits of basil essential oil
Are All Basil Essential Oils the Same?
There is a big difference in the quality of different essential oils! In order to receive the most health benefits of basil essential oil you must select an oil that is pure and natural and can be taken internally. One of the keys to finding the best essential oil companies is finding out the amount of third party testing done on their oils.
Another indicator that I use in selecting essential oils is whether or not the company does a good job of educating potential customers on the origin, distillation method, and primary uses of their oils.