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More than an Italian Spice – the Many Benefits of Basil Essential Oil

Posted by Mary Olinger on

You’ve probably used the herb basil fresh or added a few dried flakes to homemade spaghetti, pizza sauce or other Italian style dishes. Perhaps you didn’t even realize the many health benefits you and your family might experience due to its consumption. In fact, you may be pretty amazed to find out how versatile and beneficial basil essential oil can be. The EO has natural anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral properties, it’s been used in Asian Indian medicine for many years. As early as the 16th century, the deep green leaves of the basil plant were used to treat chest infections and migraines.

Benefits of Basil EO

Basil EO has many health benefits when applied topically or diffused. Some of the most notable benefits of its use include:

Cosmetic Uses

Basil EO can be used massaged into the skin to enhance skin that has become dull looking. It can also be useful to help restore the luster of hair. It’s often used in skin care products that are said to improve the skin tone. It’s also used frequently for treating symptoms of acne or other skin infections.

Stress Relief

This oil has a calming effect and is often used in aromatherapy. It has a refreshing effect and can help calm nervous tension, improve mental fatigue, and fight depression. Using basil EO on a regular basis is said to help provide mental strength and clarity.

Pain Relief

The analgesic properties can help provide some relief from pain. Basil is often seen in the ingredient list of creams and gels. It can be useful for treating arthritis, sprains, headaches, burns, scars, sports injuries, bruises, and wounds.

Helps Soothe Cuts, Scrapes and Skin Irritations

This EO is often used to relieve itching caused by different insects or bee stings. It can also be beneficial for soothing other skin irritations and inflammation.

 

Recipes & Uses of Basil Oil

Basil EO can be diffused or applied topically if combined with a carrier oil. It can also be used in homemade cleaners. Here are a few useful recipes and ways to use this beneficial oil around the house to reap its many benefits.

Treating Colds and Flu

Put a few drops in the diffuser, add a couple of drops to a hot steamy bath or make your own homemade vapor rub by combining basil and eucalyptus oils with a carrier. Massage the combined oils into the chest to help open nasal passages.

Use as an Air Freshener

Basil can be effective for eliminating odors because it combats bacteria and mold. Add a few drops to your dishwasher or dishwashing water to kill bacteria. A few drops added to baking soda can help remove both stains and bacteria from pans. Combine it with water and vinegar to use as a spray cleaner for toilets, showers and trash cans.

Muscle Relaxer

If you overdid it and need some relief from tired, sore muscles, add a few drops of basil essential oil to a carrier oil and apply it directly to the swollen or painful joints and muscles. For more immediate relief, add a few drops of basil and lavender oils to a warm Epsom salt bath.

Mood Enhancer or Energizer

To improve sluggishness, poor moods, or fatigue, add a few drops to a diffuser, or just inhale the oil directly from the bottle. Dab a drop or two on your wrists, back or chest for quick results.

Repel Insects

Citronella and thyme oils are well known as insect repellents, but basil may also be effective to use to prevent bug bites. Make your own bug repellent lotion by diluting a few drops of basil EO with a carrier oil and massage it onto the skin.

Relieve Acne

Many skin breakouts are due to bacteria build-up, excess oil or small infections. Basil can be used as a home remedy for acne in many cases. Mix one or two drops with a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil and apply to the affected skin using a clean cotton ball. Apply it one or two times every day.

Household Cleaner

To make your own chemical-free household cleaner combine these ingredients in a spray bottle.

  • 2 cups filtered or distilled water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 20-ish drops of lemon EO
  • 15-ish drops of basil EO

Improve Mental Alertness

Is someone in your house trying to study or focus on a project? Your diffuser and a combination of oils may help. To your diffuser, add 3 drops of lemon and basil essential oils and 2 drops of rosemary EO.

 Control Mold

To control or prevent mold, make your own environmentally responsible spray. The solution can be used to clean shower tile, bathtubs, shower curtain liners and any other areas where mold tends to grow. Spray the solution on the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes. Then use a soft cloth to wipe it away. In a 16-ounce spray bottle, combine 60 drops each of lemon EO, basil EO, and tea tree EO. Then add one cup of white vinegar. Add water until the liquid reaches the fill line. The spray can also be sprayed in the shower or bath after each use to help prevent mold growth.

 

 

Take these Precautions with Basil Essential Oil

Basil EO needs to be stored away from access to children. Oils should not be ingested. Take extra precautions if you are under the care of a physician, are pregnant, or nursing and discuss its use with a medical professional before coming into contact with it. Avoid contact with inner ears, eyes and other sensitive areas.


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