Basil (Ocimum basilicum) originated in India and now is cultivated in most of the Mediterranean areas. It is a dark green herb and gets small white flowers. When the leaves are crushed, a rich aromatic scent is released. The essential oil is obtained via steam distillation of the leaves and flowers. The essential oil is yellowish and its active principles include: methylchavicol with linalol, cineol, eugenol, pinene and camphor.
Basil can be used for migraines, headaches and head colds by inhaling the essential oil. It is an excellent cephalic and is second only to Rosemary for having a clarifying effect on the brain. This makes it an excellent oil for mental fatigue.
It is also antispasmodic and mixed with a carrier oil, it can be massaged over the abdomen to bring about relief from some digestive difficulties.
Basil is very helpful in alleviating the symptoms of adrenal exhaustion: feeling overwhelmed, fatigue, low energy and feeling unable to cope with life’s stressors. Inhaling basil (in the bath, in a burner) brings rejuvenation of vital forces after long periods of burnout and exhaustion. It may strengthen the adrenals and restore the body to its natural rhythms of sleep, activity and rest.
Basil is generally a tonic and stimulating oil, but if used in excess can overstimulate and therefore put added strain on the adrenals.
Ways to use this oil:
- Place one drop on your face cloth. Hold it over your head in the shower and let the warm water release the fragrance over your body. This is very stimulating and refreshing.
- In the bath. just one drop as it can irritate sensitive skin.
- In the burner or electric infuser at the end of a long day.
- In a massage oil, especially blended with an oil such as lavender: it can be good for tired, tight and overworked muscles.