Very popular in cooking, basil is not only used to flavor dishes: it also has many health benefits, which can be enjoyed thanks to the essential oil obtained from this aromatic plant. There are more than a hundred varieties of basil, but only some of them have therapeutic properties and are used to make essential oil. There are three types:
- l’exotic or tropical basil essential oil. Of Indian origin, this variety of basil is also cultivated in Madagascar as well as in the Mediterranean basin. Its essential oil is very similar to that of tarragon because of its high concentration of methyl chavicol.
- l’large green basil essential oil. Mainly produced in Egypt, this variety of basil contains other active compounds, in particular a significant amount of linalools.
- l’essential oil of holy basil or Tulsi. Sacred in India, this type of basil is mainly used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is also often cultivated around Hindu temples.
While all of these essential oils all have positive effects on digestive disorders, tropical basil oil is by far the most widely used in Western aromatherapy. Its anise flavor is also sought after in cooking, to flavor a vinaigrette or a gazpacho, while taking advantage of its health benefits.
Tropical basil essential oil: antispasmodic effects
The essential oil of tropical basil is the anti-spasmodic par excellence. It is indeed one of the rare plants, along with tarragon, to have a high concentration of methyl chavicol, an organic compound which gives it this relaxing power.
It therefore helps to fight against stomach aches, bloating and digestive cramps linked to stress. It is therefore the ideal essential oil for people in a hurry, who eat quickly and do not chew. Tropical basil essential oil also helps relieve digestive disorders of psychosomatic origin by regulating both the nervous system and the digestive system.
Large green basil essential oil helps fight fatigue
Thanks to its richness in linalools, large green basil essential oil is a very useful tonic for the body in case of fatigue. It is therefore ideal if you have a small drop in energy!
Sacred basil essential oil: an anti-infectious action
The essential oil of holy basil has an anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory and immuno-stimulating action due to its concentration of phenols. It can therefore be used to relieve minor winter ailments such as respiratory tract infections!
How to use basil essential oil?
The essential oils of exotic basil, large green basil and holy basil are always used for a short time.
It is possible to benefit from their benefits in broadcasting. In this case, they should be diluted with other essential oils. In cutaneous application, it is preferable to dilute them in a vegetable oil, because they are dermocaustic and can be irritating for the skin in the event of pure application. You can thus create a mixture containing 20% essential oil and 80% vegetable oil.
In case of difficult digestion, you can for example dilute 1 drop of essential oil of tropical basil in 4 drops of vegetable oil. Slowly massage your stomach in a clockwise direction with this mixture 3 times a day for two to three days maximum.
Basil essential oil: how to multiply its benefits?
The benefits of basil essential oil can be multiplied when combined with other EOs. But not just any ! In case of bloating, you can for example mix 10 drops of essential oil of tropical basil to calm the spasms, 10 drops of essential oil of bergamot, to soothe the nervous system, 10 drops of essential oil of seeds of coriander, which has tonic properties on the digestive sphere and vegetable oil of hazelnut, renowned for its penetrating effect. Put everything in a roll-on type bottle with a capacity of 10 ml and massage your belly!
In case of nervous fatigue, combine 3 drops of essential oil of large green basil, 10 drops of essential oil of black spruce and 10 drops of essential oil of peppermint. Use this mixture in diffusion to stimulate your body and improve your concentration.
Basil essential oil: are there any contraindications?
The essential oils of exotic basil, large green basil and holy basil cannot be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women and children under 8 years old. They should also be avoided in case of epilepsy, taking anticoagulants or hormone-dependent history.
What are the side effects of basil essential oil?
Large green basil essential oil can be allergenic. Like the essential oils of exotic basil and holy basil, it is advisable to avoid using it for a prolonged period (two to three days maximum) and in high doses, especially by mouth, without the advice of doctor. If in doubt, do not hesitate to seek advice from a specialist.
thanks to Catherine Lavigne, naturopath in Paris.
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