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Beyond the kitchen -- unleashing the hidden benefits of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum)





I love the smell and taste of fresh basil whether paired with tomatoes, made into a pesto, or added to a sauce. But basil isn't only delicious it offers a variety of benefits. Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is wonderful for the digestive and nervous systems and contains aromatic oils, caffeic acid, monoterpenes, tannins, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. And it is safe and gentle. (1)

The essential oil also offers similar benefits. Sweet basil like lavender typically offers a good dose of linalool, a soothing aromatic monoterpenol. Sweet basil also offers 1,8 cineole, geraniol, eugenol, and terpinen-4-ol, although the chemistry can vary significantly between different chemotypes. (2, 3)

Together these give sweet basil its properties -- it's great at soothing muscles, easing cramps, reducing aches and inflammation, easing head ache, and gently fighting germs. Basil also calms and soothes. It can help soothe the nerves and calm the mind after a stressful day.

Energetically basil is said to clear, protect, and strengthen as well as boost confidence and motivation. It is also uplifting and can promote mental clarity.


Basil can be used in diffuser blends, aroma inhalers, baths, massage oils, creams, or roll ons. But be warned, sweet basil's aroma can quickly overtake a blend. It smells herbaceous and a bit like black licorice. Its sweet aroma pairs nicely with lime, lemon, orange, spearmint, eucalyptus, lavender, and spicy oils like clove, black pepper, and ginger.

Here are a few ways to relax with sweet basil essential oil:

Massage blend or roll on to ease muscle aches, soothe a head ache, unwind, or support quiet focus:


Try blending a few drops of basil along with lavender, frankinscene, and perhaps a bit of peppermint to create a roll on or massage oil. Below is a suggested recipe.

three 10 ml roll on bottles or 1 oz glass or PET bottle

Combine essential oils and carrier and mix gently to combine. Add to roll on or bottle and use for massage, head ache, de-stress, or focus boost.


Moment of Clarity Inhaler


  1. Place the wick inside the plastic tube or stainless steel tube.

  2. Carefully add the essential oils to the wick. Avoid getting oils in the tube or on your hands. Alternatively add the essential oils to a ceramic dish and use tweezers to mop up the oils with the wick. Place wick in plastic tube.

  3. Seal the tube using the plastic plug. Uncap and inhale as needed.

  4. If you get essential oils on your skin wipe the area with a bit of carrier oil to dilute the essential oils and/or wash hands thoroughly.

  5. To use: uncap and inhale essential oils for a few minutes. Avoid inserting the tube into the nostril

Please note that sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is DIFFERENT from Tulsi or holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) which is quite high in eugenol and needs to be used in lower dilutions to avoid skin irritation so be sure to check the scientific name to determine which oil you are working with.

If you have questions about essential oils or aromatherapy comment below or schedule a consult.

In the meantime, may you enjoy the delightfulness of basil as an herb and essential oil.

aromatic blessings,

Tricia



  1. Gladstar, R. (2012) Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide, Storey Publishing North Adams, MA pp. 53-54

  2. Aromatics International Website, Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) GCMS data, accessed July 2, 2024 from: https://www.aromatics.com/pages/gcms?oil=basil-sweet-essential-oil&batch=


  • Please note clicking on a link will take you to Aromatics International website. I highly recommend their oils and receive a small commission from purchase directed from my website.

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