Basil essential oil’s health benefits include its potentials in treating nausea, indigestion, constipation, inflammation, motion sickness, respiratory problems, diabetes, and bacterial infections. Basil essential oil is a derivative of the Ocimum basilicum plant and is also referred to as sweet basil oil.
The seeds and leaves of the herbal basil plant are significantly used for medicinal purposes and in recipes and cuisines all over the world. The herbal basil essential oil is extensively used in Southeast Asia, India, Europe, and Central Asia.
The basil oil is primarily used for culinary applications throughout the Mediterranean region and is still regarded as an active and essential ingredient in several Italian recipes, including pesto. The herb is also used for treating diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, cough, mucous discharges, and numerous skin diseases.
The worldwide basil oil market research report for the period 2019-2023 has also analyzed several important trends along with market driving forces that will lead to an impactful growth from 2019 to 2023. For 2018, the cosmetics and pharmaceuticals segment accounted for the largest basil oil market share.
Application of Basil Essential Oil
From cosmetic to pharmaceutical applications, basil essential oil serves a wide range of purposes, such as:
- External application to relieve joint pains, sore muscles, and fatigue.
- Used with a diffuser in aromatherapy to sharpen focus.
- Applied on skin irritations.
- Used in combination with coconut oil for soothing sensitive skin.
- Topically used on the feet to fight fatigue and stress.
- Applied externally or used with a diffuser to promote clear breathing.
- Used aromatically or massaged over the heart and solar plexus to combat for fear.
- Used as an alternative to dried or fresh basil in recipes.
[Read: Benefits of Thyme Essential Oil]
Benefits of Basil Essential Oil
While basil essential oil provides a wide range of benefits when used in cooking or applied externally, the following are its most substantial and effective benefits:
1. Used in Cosmetics
Typically, basil essential oil(1) is massaged onto the skin or applied externally to enhance the luster of your hair and skin. Consequently, it is used extensively in a wide range of skin care products that are aimed to enhance the tone, luster, and texture of your skin. Also, it treats the symptoms of various skin infections and disorders such as acne.
2. Supports Digestive System
Basil essential oil serves as a potent digestive tonic. Due to its excellent carminative properties, basil essential oil is used to treat various digestive disorders such as indigestion, flatulence, constipation, and stomach cramps. Also, it exhibits excellent colic qualities and is thus, used to improve the symptoms associated with bowel pain.
[Read: Essential Oil for Stomach Upset]
3. Treats Cold
This oil is extremely effective in improving the symptoms of influenza, cold, and associated fevers. Thanks to its potent antispasmodic properties, basil essential oil is often used for treating the symptoms associated with whooping cough.
4. Treats Asthma
Along with treating coughs, common cold, and associated symptoms, basil essential oil is also helpful in treating bronchitis, asthma, and sinus infections.
5. Provides Antibacterial Action
As per a study carried out by Sienkiewicz M, basil essential oil is potent in inhibiting the growth of E. Coli bacteria.
6. Acts as an Insect Repellent & Antifungal
As per a study led by S. Dube, basil essential oil has strong potential to inhibit the growth and progression of around 22 species of fungi. Also, it is extremely effective in fighting the Aplacophoran foveicolli insect. Also, this oil is comparatively less toxic than the majority of commercially-available fungicides(2).
7. Reduces Stress
Basil essential oil exhibits an excellent calming effect and is thus, one of the most preferred oils for aromatherapy. Also, basil essential oil has a strong refreshing effect when consumed or inhaled, so it’s widely used to treat nervous tension, migraines, depression, mental fatigue, and melancholy. Regular use of basil essential oil provides mental clarity and strength.
[Read: Essential Oils for Stress Relief]
8. Enhances Blood Circulation
In general, basil essential oil helps in improving blood circulation along with increasing and optimizing a wide range of metabolic functions in the body.
9. Relieves Pain
This oil flaunts an excellent analgesic action that helps provide quick relief from pain. Due to its strong painkilling properties, basil essential oil is frequently used to treat arthritis, bruises, scars, wounds, injuries, burns, surgical recovery, sports injuries, headaches, and sprains.
10. Avoids Vomiting
In general, basil essential oil is widely used to prevent vomiting, mainly when the root cause behind nausea is motion sickness.
Uses of Basil Essential Oil
The advantages of basil essential oil go way beyond its medicinal benefits. With proper preparation and application, basil essential oil can be used to clean surfaces, add luster to your hair, freshen your breath, and even used to repel flies and insects. The basil essential oil uses include
1. Surface Cleaner
Due to its strong antibacterial and antiviral properties, basil essential oil helps prevent infections, kill bacteria, and clean surfaces. Add a small quantity of oil mixed with water can be used to clean a spray gun. The solution can help in cleaning bathroom and kitchen surfaces, killing bacteria, or molds.
2. Air Freshener
Use basil essential oil in a diffuser to eliminate foul odors in your home. Disperse the basil scent throughout your room to spread a mesmerizing and soothing aroma.
3. Hygiene Routine
Add a few drops of basil essential oil to your toothpaste to fight mouth odor and freshen your breath. It also helps protect your gums along with preventing toothaches and cold sores. When used in combination with shampoo, basil oil helps remove unwanted oil from your hair. As an alternative, you can use a mixture of basil oil, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar to clean your hair naturally.
Antimicrobial Properties of Basil Essential Oil
Basil essential oil and its major constituents exhibit an excellent antimicrobial activity that help fight a variety of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, mold, and yeast.
Basil essential oil has a unique chemical composition that exhibits a substantial impact on microorganisms and has a strong potential for use as a food preservative.
Side Effects of Basil Essential Oil
While basil essential oil has many benefits is entirely safe for use by people of all ages, it can lead to a few side effects in some. Therefore, certain precautions must be undertaken while using basil essential oil.
Pregnant women must avoid basil oil as it may harm their hormonal levels, muscles, as well as the nervous system. Moreover, it isn’t completely safe for people suffering from epilepsy.
As with most essential oils, particularly those that you haven’t used before, always do a patch test to check for any specific skin sensitivity ahead of using basil essential oil.
Therefore, do a patch test on the feet or the forearm to ensure you do not experience any irritation such as redness, allergic, burning, or hives reactions. Also, avoid contact of oil with nose, ears, and eyes.
Similar to dried basil and fresh basil, basil essential oil has an extensive range of potential medicinal uses and is used as a muscle relaxant, ear infection remedy, digestive aid, flu relief, and cold. With its strong antibacterial and antifungal properties, basil essential oil is an excellent natural ingredient for preparing homemade mouthwashes and toothpaste as well as a wide range of home cleaning and improvement products.
Moreover, a few drops of basil essential oil makes for healthy smoothies, dressings, juices, soups, and sauces.
Also, basil oil helps boost your hair and skin health. However, moderation is the key! Avoid overusing basil essential oil as it can lead to some adverse effects – all you need to know is “a little goes a long way.”