Basil Essential Oil: Uses, Benefits, and Precautions
Not all basil essential oils are created equally, but a high quality brand with an emphasis on purity has some incredibly potent properties and a multitude of uses. Yes, basil (ocimum basilicum) oil smells like Italian food and if you use it topically, so will you. (So eat first.)
It is mostly used for respiratory, muscular, and joint support, but what makes the oil so much more powerful than the leaves is simply the potency. The compounds found in the oil of the steam distilled leaves, stems, and flowers are much greater than what we find in dried or even fresh leaves.
- Soothes sore muscles and joints
- Assists with clear breathing
- Acts as a cooling agent for the skin
- Promotes mental alertness and lessens anxious feelings
Emotionally and spiritually, basil essential oils are helpful in dealing with feelings of anxiousness, fear, or nervousness, and has been said to be the oil of "renewal". It is strengthening and calming to the heart and mind, making it perfect for overwhelm, stress, fatigue, and may even assist a person in their efforts to overcome addiction. We've used them for everything from the First-Day-of-High-School jitters (my son) to Learning-to-Drive-a-Stick stress (me, thankyouverymuch).
Basil blends well with Bergamot, Cypress, White Fir, Geranium, Helichrysum, Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint, and Wintergreen essential oils. Depending on your uses for this oil, substitutes may include: Cilantro, Spearmint, Thyme, Rosemary, and Wild Orange.
How to Use Basil Essential Oils
Traditionally, basil essential oils use these application guidelines. Click the banner to understand what each symbol means and to learn how each is used safely and effectively:
Precautions of Basil Essential Oil
Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.
Popular Uses of Basil Essential Oil
- Diffuse to sharpen focus while studying or reading.
- Apply to minor skin irritations. For sensitive skin, dilute with fractionated coconut oil.
- Apply to fatigued or sore muscles and joints.
- Diffuse or apply topically to promote clear breathing (yes, it will make you hungry for caprese).
- Use basil essential oils topically on the feet or by diffusing them aromatically to fight fatigue.
- Use 1-3 drops in a recipe in place of fresh or dried basil for flavor.
- Use aromatically or massage over solar plexus and heart as needed for fear.
Inspiration for Using Basil Essential Oil
- Add 2 drops each Basil and Peppermint into 2 quarts of Iced tea for a refreshing drink.
- For a Household Cleaning Spray, combine in a glass spray bottle:
- 2 cups of filtered water
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 20+ drops of lemon essential oil
- 15+ drops of basil essential oil
- For a focus and study aid try diffusing drops Lemon, 3 drops Basil and 2 drops Rosemary essential oil.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON QUALITY
Not all oils are created equal. Because of a lack of industry standards and a lack of regulation on terms such as "natural" or "pure", much of what you find at the drug store is NOT a therapeutic grade of essential oil and may lack real quality or even contain contaminants or adulterants (way more common than you'd think).
A LOT goes into creating a high quality essential oil. A good brand should follow these guidelines:
- Proper plant varieties
- Each plant grown indigenously for the healthiest plant
- Grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, etc
- Harvested with precise timing to ensure peak properties
- Extracted with proper temp and pressure to preserve oil molecules
- Third-party testing of every batch
- Stand behind the internal use of their oils