steam distilled from flowering tops
Basil Essential Oil has been referred to as 'the royal oil to strengthen the mind and heart and to reinforce resistance against infectious diseases.' The Basilicum variety is also known as 'common', 'true', and 'French' Basil (though the plant is native to tropical Asia and Africa). The essential oil is steam distilled from the whole flowering herb and has a fresh, sweet and slightly spicy aroma, with a light balsamic undertone. This is a wonderfully sweet, complex basil that blends nicely with many other oils.
Basil oil's capability to improve memory and sharpen the mind has been praised in India since times of old. Basil's possible neuro-regulating properties make it an excellent choice for support of mild nervous disorders, stress and anxieties. It is noted as a natural nerve tonic, with the ability to be stimulant and/or restorative depending on the body's needs.
This basil's sweet and herbaceous uplifting aroma that can both lift one from melancholic depression and bring clarity to a confused mental state. In 'Aromatherapy - Scent and Psyche', Peter Damian states: "the nervine properties effectually stimulate the sympathetic nerves and strengthen the adrenal cortex. Basil has cerebrospinal effects as well. It is therefore frequently recommended for numerous nervous afflictions, including epilepsy and paralysis...Its versatility as a psychotherapeutic agent having homeostatic effects makes basil particularly valuable as a remedy for assorted psychological or psychosomatic complaints."
Basil is also noted as an emmenagogue (induces menstruation) and antispasmodic; this combination of actions may make it useful in a compress or bath for reducing menstrual pain. Its anti-spasmodic and stimulating properties make it an excellent addition to massage blends for relieving fatigue, particularly in combination with black pepper essential oil. Sweet Basil essential oil has also recently been the subject of a university study for treatment of acne, and was shown to be effective in eradicating bacteria associated with acne outbreaks.
This oil can be a muscle relaxant, provides relief from insect bites, and is stimulating to the olfactory system. We've used the oil in culinary applications with great success, adding a pronounced, rich basil flavor. As with all essential oils, it is quite potent - the difference between 2 and 4 drops in a dish can mean the difference between appreciating its sublime flavor and tasting, well, only Sweet Basil!
Overuse or improper use of Basil should be avoided (this is even more important with the methyl-chavicol variety) as it may over-stimulate; it is best avoided during pregnancy.