The health benefits of basil essential oil may include its ability to alleviate nausea, inflammation, motion sickness, indigestion, constipation, respiratory problems, and fight bacterial infections. It is derived from the Ocimum basilicum plant is also known as sweet basil oil in some places.
The leaves and seeds of the basil plant are the important medicinal parts of this herb, which is regularly used in cuisines and recipes all over the world. Basil essential oil is popular in Europe, Central Asia, India, and Southeast Asia. The oil is extensively used for culinary purposes in the Mediterranean region and still forms the active ingredient in many Italian recipes such as pesto. It is also used when making pasta and salads.
Basil was widely used in ancient times in places like India for various medicinal purposes (Ayurvedic medicine). The herb was used to treat diarrhea, cough, mucous discharges, constipation, indigestion, and certain skin diseases.
Health Benefits of Basil Essential Oil
The health benefits of basil essential oil include the following:
May Have Cosmetic Applications
Basil essential oil is used topically and massaged into the skin. It may enhance the luster of dull-looking skin and hair. As a result, it is extensively used in many skin care supplements that claim to improve the tone of your skin. It is also commonly used to treat the symptoms of acne and other skin infections.
May Improve Digestion
Basil essential oil is also used as a digestive tonic. Since basil oil has carminative properties, it is used for relief from indigestion, constipation, stomach cramps, and flatulence. It may provide immediate relief from the gas in your stomach and intestines. It may also have colic qualities and is therefore used to alleviate bowel pain.
May Relieve Cold
Basil essential oil is effective in providing relief from colds, influenza, and associated fevers. Due to its potentially antispasmodic nature, it is frequently used to reduce the symptoms of whooping cough.
May Alleviate Asthma Symptoms
Along with its function in relieving coughs, it can also be used to alleviate the symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, and sinus infections.
May Have Antibacterial potential
Research led by Sienkiewicz M, et al. suggests that basil oil has the potential to inhibit the growth of E. Coli bacteria.
Possibly Antifungal & Insect Repellent
According to a study by S. Dube, et al. basil essential oil inhibited the growth of 22 species of fungi and is also effective against insect Allacophora foveicolli. This oil is also less toxic as compared to commercially available fungicides.
May Relieve Stress
Due to the calming nature of basil essential oil, it is widely used in aromatherapy. This essential oil has a refreshing effect when smelled or consumed, so it is used for providing relief from nervous tension, mental fatigue, melancholy, migraines, and depression. Regularly using this essential oil may provide mental strength and clarity.
May Improve Blood Circulation
Basil essential oil may improve blood circulation and helps increase and optimize various metabolic functions of the body.
May Alleviate Pain
Basil essential oil is possibly an analgesic and provides relief from pain. That is why this essential oil is often used in cases of arthritis, wounds, injuries, burns, bruises, scars, sports injuries, surgical recovery, sprains, and headaches.
May Aid in Eye Care
Basil essential oil is possibly ophthalmic and can quickly relieve bloodshot eyes.
May Prevent Vomiting
Basil essential oil can be used to prevent vomiting, particularly when the source of the nausea is motion sickness, but also from many other causes.
May Heal Itching
Basil essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help in reducing itching from bites and stings from honey bees, insects, and even snakes.
Word of Caution: Basil essential oil and basil in any other form should be avoided by pregnant, breastfeeding, or nursing women. On the other hand, some people suggest that it increases milk flow, but more research needs to be done.