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Basil – Essential Oil

Basil
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Basil – Essential Oil

Basil (Ocimum basilcum)

Well, if you thought Basil’s wife Sybil in the classic comedy series, “Fawlty Towers”, was irritating, be sure you don’t get too much of this oil on your skin or you’ll know how Mr Fawlty felt.   

The Greek word for king is basileum. Aside from its use in aromatherapy, it is also used in the cosmetic industry and the food industry. 

Other uses include:

Sinuses

Headaches

Fatigue (mental and physical)

Stings and bites

Bleeding gums and mouth ulcers

Caution

Do not use on babies or children under the age of 12 years old. 

Do not use if pregnant.

Do not use on sensitive skin. 

Sinuses

Basil oil clears blocked passages. 

Directions for use

Inhalation: Boil 1 litre of water and pour into a bowl, add up to 10 drops of pure essential oil, place a towel over your head, and allow steam to rise and inhale. Use once a week.  

Handkerchief: Put a couple of drops of pure essential oil onto a tissue or handkerchief and inhale as and when required. 

Headaches

In the sixteenth century, people used to sniff powered basil to ease headaches. 

Directions for use

Inhalation: Boil 1 litre of water and pour into a bowl, add up to 10 drops of pure essential oil, place a towel over your head, and allow steam to rise and inhale. Use once a week.  

Handkerchief: Put a couple of drops of pure essential oil onto a tissue or handkerchief and inhale as and when required. 

Fatigue (mental and physical)

Like rosemary, basil oil is “cephalic” – meaning it has the ability to clear the head. 

Directions for use

To treat tired muscles mix with lavender oil. 

Inhalation: Boil 1 litre of water and pour into a bowl, add up to 10 drops of pure essential oil, place a towel over your head, and allow steam to rise and inhale. Use once a week.  

Handkerchief: Put a couple of drops of pure essential oil onto a tissue or handkerchief and inhale as and when required. 

Oil burners: Sprinkle up to 5 drops of pure essential oil onto water and light burner.   

Footbath: Put 3 drops of oil in bowl of warm / hot water and soak feet for up to 15 minutes. 

Stings and bites

Apply diluted, never use neat on the skin.

Directions for use

Compress: Add 1 to 2 drops of pure essential oil to 1 litre of warm water. Lay sterile material on the surface of the water thus attracting a film of oil onto the cloth. Apply the material onto the affected area and leave for 10 minutes. Repeat daily. 

Massage: Mix 20 ml of carrier oil (sweet almond, grape seed) to 5 drops of pure essential oil.

Bleeding gums and mouth ulcers

Directions for use

Mouthwash: Apply 1 drop to half a litre of water, and swill round mouth to help treat inflamed gums and mouth ulcers. 

Further Information

Where grown: The plants used for oil are mainly grown in Egypt. The plant belongs to the Lamiaceae family and has pale pink flowers.

Parts used and method of extraction: The whole plant is used, and the oil is extracted by steam distillation. 

Colour and smell: The oil is pale yellow or colourless. It smells spicy and herbal, and a little sweet. 

Active Ingredients: Cineol, pinene and camphor, linalool, and 40-50% methylchavicol.  

Properties: Cephalic, antispasmodic, tonic, stimulating. 

Mixes well with: Mixing is recommended as this oil is better used in a blend rather than on its own. Consider mixing it with Geranium, Bergamot, and other citrus oils. 

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