I love basil essential oil because it smells just like the herb. But its aroma isn’t the only thing it is good for. Basil essential oil also has excellent health benefits. It is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Properties of Basil Essential Oil
The botanical name for basil is Ocimum basilicum. Be sure to check this name when buying the essential oil. You will also come across sweet basil. But don’t worry, it’s the same thing.
Color & Scent
Basil essential oil has a light green color and a mild peppery smell, like the herb.
What’s in the oil?
The main compound in basil essential oil is methyl chavicol or estragole. It can make up about 30% – 45% of the oil. Other important compounds include linalool, geranial, beta-ocimene, neral, geraniol, nerol, and caryophyllene.
Basil Essential Oil Benefits
Basil essential oil has been found to:
- reduce inflammation
- neutralize free radicals
- kill cancer cells in vitro
- kill microbes
- ease earaches
- repel and kill insects
There are quite a few studies proving these benefits. You can see some of them below.
Basil essential oil is anti-inflammatory
And a 2014 PLoS One article proved the oil was very effective even at very low concentrations. The article showed a 1% blend with basil oil was enough to cause a 98% reduction in inflammation.
Impressive, right? That is why researchers think basil essential oil could be used in anti-inflammatory drugs.
Basil is antioxidant
Free radicals are harmful compounds that can damage the DNA in your cells. Antioxidants are free radical scavengers. They neutralize these radicals and stop them from harming your body.
And basil essential oil has very powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenging effects! That is according to the 2014 study mentioned above.
Basil oil can kill cancer cells
The same 2014 article also looked at basil’s cytotoxic effects on prostate cancer cells. The study revealed basil essential oil has significant anti-proliferative effects. And it recommended the oil for anti-tumor drug designs.
It is antibacterial
There are a lot of studies that prove basil oil kills bacteria. One from 2014 was published in the Food Science and Nutrition Journal.
It showed basil essential oil was very effective against several types of bacteria. These included E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus – the bacteria responsible for skin infections and sinusitis.
Basil oil is antifungal
The study outlined above also found basil oil can kill fungi, even at very low concentrations. The fungi tested here were Aspergillus niger (causes plant mold) and Candida albicans (causes yeast infections).
It fights ear aches
A 2005 animal study published in the Journal of Infectious Disease tested basil oil on ear infections. Two drops of the oil were added to a piece of cotton wool and placed over the ears of infected rats. A few days later, more than 75% of the infected rats were cured.
These effects were due to the antibacterial and antifungal benefits of basil essential oil.
It is an effective insecticide
Another 2014 study, this time in the Parasite Journal, tested the effects of basil oil on mosquito larvae and the protozoa species that causes malaria (Plasmodium falciparum). The results were promising. The study recommended the oil for the development of insecticides and antimalarial products.
There you have seen some of the many basil essential oil benefits.
Basil Essential Oil Uses
Let’s now look at some basil essential oil uses.
Before using basil essential oil on your skin, do a patch test to make sure you are not sensitive or allergic to the oil. Once you don’t see any redness, feel free to add one to two drops of the essential oil to one teaspoon of any carrier oil for a great massage blend.
Be sure to get the all clear from your medical practitioner before using this oil. This is especially important if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to use it on small children.
Where to buy basil essential oil
Or get it from JadeBloom.