Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Synonyms: Sweet basil, true basil
Aroma: Sweet, herbaceous, refreshing
Colour: Colourless to pale yellow
Plant: An annual herb with dark green leaves and white flowers that grows to 60cm.
Main Growing Areas: France, Italy Egypt, USA, Bulgaria
Major Constituents: Linalool, 1.8 cineole, limonene, a-terpineol, methyl chavicol (estragole)
Interesting snippets: Basil is considered one of the sacred herbs of India where it is dedicated to Krishna and Vishnu.
In Ayurvedic medicine basil is combined with black pepper for malarial fever.
In Italy, basil was associated with love but in Greece it was associated with hate and misfortune and is a symbol for mourning.
Part of Plant used / Extraction: Flowering tops by steam distillation which lasts around 1½ hours and yields an average of 1% oil.
Therapeutic actions: respiratory congestion, bronchitis, flu, muscular cramps, nausea and vomiting menstrual cramps food poisoning
Emotional and Spiritual: mental fatigue, stress, gives the mind strength and clarity, fear, sadness and depression.
Gabriel Mojay writes that basil is indicated for those in whom despondency and dejection are coupled with a heightened need for emotional support and reassurance.
Basil can be helpful when you are at a crossroads in life or going through a spiritual death. She supports you in overcoming doubt, worry and anxiety allowing you to trust in spirit and renew your zest and enthusiasm for life.
Aromatherapy Insight Card:
SELF – EXPRESSION
Basil increases self-expression by opening the heart and mind. The herb of love is for those in life who are able to utilize their intuition and express themselves in a straightforward manner, allowing them to move from a place of fear and live a life of positivity and clarity. Speak with enthusiasm and act with integrity from your heart, and then you speak your truth. Stop worrying just for the sake of it and get on with life.
Fragrant Change Healing Card: I speak my truth with love and integrity.
Contemplations for the Soul:
Are you belittling and putting yourself down or are you speaking positively to and about yourself? Have you been wounded deeply by the words or actions of others?
It’s time to speak your truth with love and integrity.
You may have been hiding the truth from yourself and others because of feelings of low self-worth, low self-esteem or from fear of what others will think of you.
It’s now time to reveal your true thoughts and not say what you think they wish to hear.
This does not mean using your words to wound but simply expressing your point of view in a calm manner.
Take note also of the way you speak to and about yourself. Remember your words have power, use them wisely.
Safety: Avoid using on individuals with hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin. There is a low risk of skin sensitization. Some sources also recommend not using basil during pregnancy or on children under 2 years of age.
Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Eidson D, Vibrational Aromatherapy. Revealing the essence of nature through aromatherapy’s use of essential oils. Frog Ltd, Berkley, California (2000)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Jefferies J, Osborn K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Kerr J, Basil Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.12 (1999)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Tisserand R and Young R, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014