The use of essential oils for medicinal and therapeutic purposes has been a practice in many civilizations across the world for thousands of years. Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants. These oils contain the primary scent and flavor of the plant; that is its “essence.” Essential oils are used in aromatherapy, applied topically, and also used to keep pests away. There is a large variety of essential oils available. One of these is basil essential oil.

Basil essential oil is widely used because it has numerous healing and calming properties that work wonders for our body. It is extracted from the leaves of the basil plant through the process of steam distillation and has multiple health benefits.

Comparison Table

Benefit

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Define

Medical Uses

Medical Uses

Applying basil essential oil on cuts and bruises can help soothe the pain and irritation.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine.

Pest Repellent and Cleaner

Pet Repellent And Cleaner

Basil essential oil can keep pests and bacteria at bay. 

In Food and Drinks

Chicken And Potato

Basil essential oil can keep pests and bacteria at bay. 

What Are Essential Oils?

An essential oil is a concentrated liquid that contains the aromatic extracts or compounds of plants. The extracted aromatic chemicals in the plant are combined with a suitable carrier oil (a base oil such as vegetable oil) to create an essential oil safe for use. Essential oils are an important ingredient in soaps, perfumes, cosmetics, lotions, incense, cleaning products, and certain medicines and ointments.

Meaning

Meaning

The term “essential” does not refer to something that is “indispensable.” These are known as “essential” oils because they contain the “essence” of the plant’s flavor and fragrance.

Manufacturing of Basil Essential Oil

Manufacturing

There are multiple methods to extract and produce essential oils such as steam distillation, solvent extraction, resin tapping, wax embedding, and cold pressing. The method of extraction of essential oils is very important because it decides the extent of the purity of the oil. Oils extracted through chemical processes are not considered pure essential oils.

What Does Basil And Basil Essential Oil Contain?

Basil, or Ocimum Basilicum, is a culinary herb of the Lamiaceae family which has over a hundred species of basil. The word basil has Greek origins and means “royal or kingly plant.” Basil is native to regions from Central Africa to East Asia. It is an important ingredient used in various cuisines, in Ayurvedic treatments, in traditional Chinese medicine, and for religious purposes in many countries.

Basil is a rich source of vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. It also contains calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, antioxidants and has antibacterial properties. The common compounds found in basil essential oil are camphene, myrcene, limonene, camphor, linalool, methyl chavicol, citronellol, geraniol, methyl cinnamate, and eugenol.

What Are The Main Uses Of Basil Essential Oil?

Essential oils can be inhaled or applied to the skin. They have medicinal effects when absorbed in the skin and awaken your senses when inhaled. Essential oils are generally not meant to be ingested, but certain consumption methods are noted.

 


Medical Uses

Applying basil essential oil on cuts and bruises can help soothe the pain and irritation. This works on burns or insect stings. This oil is great for sore muscles and can be massaged onto the limbs after a workout session. A few drops of basil essential oil added to hair oil can strengthen hair and promote growth. You can also apply a few drops of the oil, mixed with other essential and carrier oils, to the abdominal area to get rid of gas, cramps, and digestive discomfort.

Medical  Uses

Applying basil essential oil, along with a carrier oil, to finger and toenails can prevent fungal infections. The same can be massaged on to your temples and the back of the neck in case of a headache or muscle tension. Applying it to the chest can open a blocked nose and soothe coughing. You can also massage the oil into the area in and around your ears to ease the pain associated with earaches. A few drops of the oil can be added to your bath water to cleanse the skin and prevent any bacterial infections.

 


Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine. A very large population takes aromatherapy along with general medicine to alleviate pains, aches, stress, anxiety and sore limbs. Inhaling the aromas from essential oils stimulates parts of your limbic system. The limbic system is the area of your brain responsible for emotions and behavior. Hence, it is believed the compounds present in essential oils induce relaxation.

Oil with Flower Scent

The limbic system also regulates certain physiological functions such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. So, these oils are often used topically in massages and inhaled using diffusers.

Basil essential oil helps awaken your senses, so even inhaling a little straight from the bottle will sharpen your focus. You can also diffuse it in the room while sleeping or studying to calm your mind. Inhaling the oil helps reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone), so it can be used to decrease fear and nervousness, too. Inhaling basil essential oil can clear a blocked respiratory system if you are suffering from a cold or congestion in the lungs.



Pest Repellent And Cleaner

Basil essential oil can keep pests and bacteria at bay. You can add a few drops of it to water and white vinegar to create a spray solution that can be used on walls and other surfaces where the probability of mold growth is high. It can also prevent mold formation. Such a solution can be used as a household cleaning spray. The antibacterial properties of basil will keep all surfaces clean and also give a fresh fragrance to the surrounding areas. The oil can also be used in the kitchen and storage areas to remove bacteria.

Repellent Cleaner


 

In Food And Drinks

Chicken with Potato

Basil essential oil can keep pests and bacteria at bay. You can add a few drops of it to water and white vinegar to create a spray solution that can be used on walls and other surfaces where the probability of mold growth is high. It can also prevent mold formation. Such a solution can be used as a household cleaning spray. The antibacterial properties of basil will keep all surfaces clean and also give a fresh fragrance to the surrounding areas. The oil can also be used in the kitchen and storage areas to remove bacteria.

Although it is best not to consume essential oils, instances where they have been added to food or drinks like iced teas or smoothies to detoxify the body are known. However, a few people also consume essential oils with water or honey for healthy skin.

Things To Keep In Mind While Using Basil Essential Oil

It is important to remember that essential oils are potent as they contain a concentrated dose of the plant extract. Thus, they have to be used in small quantities (preferably diluted), and internal consumption must be only on the advice of a trained physician.

While using the oil topically, do not let it enter your nose, ears, eyes or mouth. Rashes are potential side-effects of essential oil use. Always conduct a patch test before applying to avoid any allergic reactions.

Pregnant women and also children should stay away from basil oil. As it affects the nervous system, patients suffering from epilepsy must avoid using it, too. Basil oil slows down the clotting of blood, thus making it unsafe for use before or after surgery as it can lead to more bleeding.

Although their flash points are different, all essential oils are flammable and must be handled carefully. Certain essential oils are produced exclusively for aromatherapy, and these must not be applied topically.

What Are The Main Benefits Of Basil Essential Oil?

For The Body 

The compounds in basil oil hinder enzymes and reduce inflammation. This makes the oil helpful in soothing irritated and itchy skin. Basil is also a natural analgesic, so applying it helps relax sore muscles and reduce joint pain.  


For The Mind 

Basil essential oil is an herbal energetic and a natural stimulant. Inhaling it targets the nervous system and adrenal cortex. So it makes you alert, energetic and uplifts your mood.


For Your Surroundings 

The antibacterial properties of basil essential oil make it a great addition to cleaning products. Using it in the house, whether for cleaning or diffusing purposes, gives your home a great fragrance and purifies the air, providing you clean air to breathe.

How To Buy Essential Oils

Not every bottle of essential oil you see in the market is pure or safe to use. Choosing a clinically tested, certified pure, and safe for use essential oil is crucial. The problem lies in essential oil manufacturing being an unregulated industry. This means the composition and quality of oils varies.

You must check the extraction process of the essential oil for purity and whether the plant has been grown without the use of chemicals and pesticides. Also, check that the oil does not have any synthetic additives. Pure oils will cite the plant’s botanical name. Try to find organically produced essential oils. The organically produced varieties rarely have any pesticide residue.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), basil essential oil is safe for ingestion, but only when it is of a therapeutic grade and approved. Only buy your essential oils from a trusted and reputed seller and check the ingredients and manufacturing dates carefully before purchase.

Conclusion

Essential oils are potent so they must be used along with another base oil to get the maximum benefits and avoid any adverse effects. Keep in mind, that only using basil essential oil cannot rid you of your health problems. Essential oil use works as a complementary therapy to regular medication and treatment if you are suffering from a serious problem.  

Basil essential oil has numerous benefits for the body and mind. Regular use of this oil around the house and in your daily healthcare regime can help you be energetic and focused and prevent common ailments like aches, pains, stress, skin infections, migraines or a blocked respiratory system.

 

 

 

 

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