Basil is a hardy annual native to tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world and has 150 different species with different chemotypes.
- Botanical Family: Lamiaceae
- Part of Plant Used: Leaves, flowers, and buds
- Method of Extraction: Steam distillation
- Variations: Basil can either have a chemotype of ct estragole (methyl chavicol) or ct linalool or ct methyl cinnamate. Chemotypes are variances of the chemical composition of certain essential oils extracted from one botanical species yet they vary in chemical compositions. They are not different species of the oil. Chemotypes occur when a plant produces a particular chemical in a higher than normal amount because of many environmental factors such as light, soil, temperature, moisture, climatic influence, altitude, insect activity, and geographic area. Holy Basil and Lemon Basil are different species of Basil.
- Chemistry: Basil ct estragole (methyl chavicol) is high in the phenylpropanoid (estragole). Basil ct linalool is high in the monoterpene alcohol (linalool) and the phenol (eugenol). Basil ct methyl cinnamate is high in the ester (methyl cinnamate) and monoterpene alcohol (linalool).
- Digestive: Supports the digestive system especially for people with stress-related eating habits. It also helps alleviate nausea and other digestive upsets.
- Reproductive: Supports Ovarian health. Helps to increase progesterone levels as well as testosterone levels.
- Pregnancy: should be avoided during pregnancy, but can be used to increase milk supply for breastfeeding and relieve symptoms of mastitis and clogged milk ducts.
- Musculoskeletal: Pain relief for muscular spasms and cramps.
- Nervous System: Used for stress and stress-related conditions, anxiety, and headaches. It is balancing and helps to mental clarity and focus.
- Spiritual: Supports the Third Eye Chakra focusing on intuition and imagination. Supports the Throat chakra associated with expression and communication.
- Scent Profile: Mid to top note with a rich spicy herbaceous aroma.
- Longevity: The aroma of Basil given that it is a top note it probably lasts up to 4-10 hours.
- Fragrance Classification: Green, Herbaceous
- Blends well with: Cinnamon Bark, Clary Sage, Geranium, Lemon, Marjoram, Neroli, Peppermint, Petitgrain, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Rosemary, Scots Pine, and Tarragon.
- According to Tisserand & Young:
- Basil ct estragole should not be taken in oral doses and it may inhibit blood clotting. Maximum dermal use is 0.1%.
- Basil ct linalool has no known issues.
- Basil ct methyl cinnamate has no known issues.
- With regards to blood clotting, this includes the following indications: anticoagulant drugs, major surgery, childbirth, peptic ulcer, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders.
- Basil ct estragole should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding due to estragole and methyleugenol content as it may inhibit blood clotting.
- Basil is high in phenols and can be toxic to cats. Read more about Essential Oils Toxicity for Cats.
Products Using Basil Essential Oil
- Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. A Pathfinder Book Reprint Edition, 2017.
- Clark, Demetria. Aromatherapy and Herbs for Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding. Book Publishing Company, 2015.
- “Flavor, Fragrance, Food and Cosmetics Ingredients Information.” The Good Scents Company, The Good Scents Company (Tgsc), 2019, www.thegoodscentscompany.com/.
- International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists. “PREGNANCY GUIDELINES Guidelines for Aromatherapists Working with Pregnant Clients.” International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists , IFPA, 2013, www.ifparoma.org.
- National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. “Other Safety Considerations: Pregnancy.” National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/safety#other.
- Shutes, Jade and New York Institute of Aromatic Studies. "Foundations of Aromatherapy" and "Aromatic Scholars" Aromatherapy Certification Programs and Course Materials. 2017-2019.
- Tiran, Denise. Aromatherapy in Midwifery Practice. Singing Dragon an Imprint of Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016.
- Tiran, Denise. “Is It Safe to Use Essential Oils While I'm Pregnant?” BabyCentre UK, BabyCentre Blog, July 2013, www.babycentre.co.uk/x536449/is-it-safe-to-use-essential-oils-while-im-pregnant.
- Tisserand, Robert, et al. Essential Oil Safety: a Guide for Health Care Professionals. 2nd ed., Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier, 2014.