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Basil Essential Oil

WHAT'S THE Fancy Latin Name?

Ocimum basilicum

Where Does Basil Come From?

Basil is a short, compact herb grown in a number of countries including Egypt, Greece, Italy, Iran, India, Thailand, and Mexico. The essential oil is most commonly steam-distilled from its leaves and flowers and has a thin, pale yellow appearance. Basil comes in different “chemotypes” (ct.), which determine its aroma and usage. The essential oil Osmia uses from Egypt is a soft, woody linalool chemotype that smells exactly like a freshly crushed basil leaf.

The methyl chavicol chemotype has an anise-like, spicy scent. Generally, the linalool chemotype tends to have a more appealing scent profile for perfumery and skincare, more like the smell a basil leaf, than the methyl chavicol chemotype, as not everyone likes the smell of licorice!

Does Basil Have Any Aromatherapy Uses?

Basil essential oil is effective for stimulating the brain and helps to soothe mental fatigue, stress, and depression. Start your work day by inhaling a few drops of this energizing oil to put a spring in your step. A little bit goes a long way since basil is a high-intensity essential oil; its strong aroma loves to take center stage in an essential oil blend if given the opportunity. The simplest way to use basil oil is to add a few drops to a tissue and inhale ten times or add a few drops to the corner of your shower away from the running water for some instant aromatherapy. Basil is also excellent in the early stages of a headache, and can prevent progression if you get to it in time.

Does Basil Have Any Skincare or Cosmetic Uses?

Basil is antimicrobial and shares many skincare uses with rosemary essential oil. When added to a balm or oil rub in the proper dilution, basil can help to alleviate sore muscles as well as other aches and pains. Some people like using it in hair care to help stimulate hair growth, though there is no scientific data to support this. You can try adding 2-3 drops to your hair conditioner, or making a hair oil with four ounces of jojoba, 5 drops of basil, 5 drops of lavender, and 5 drops of rosemary essential oils for a once-a-week pre-shampoo treatment. 


Does Basil Have Any Other Uses?

Feeling the sniffles creeping up on you? Basil, especially the methyl chavicol chemotype, is a great essential oil for colds. You can add a few drops to boiling water or the floor of your shower for steam inhalation or one drop to a cup of tea and let its antibacterial/antiviral qualities work their magic. Basil can also help calm nausea and promote digestive health if taken internally. This essential oil is not recommended for people who are pregnant or have seizure disorders.

Fun Facts about Basil 

  • Basilicum is a Greek word meaning royal, kingly, or a type of serpent with a spot resembling a crown on its head. That last bit makes more sense when you consider that the basilisk, a mythological snake/chicken hybrid, also draws its name from this origin. Luckily, unlike some reptilian chickens I know, basil won’t petrify you with its royal aroma.

  • One of my personal favorite bits about basil is its symbolism in Victorian floriography; if you got a bouquet with basil back then, you had to watch your back!

  • Try adding one drop of basil ct. linalool essential oil to your salad dressing or pasta sauce—you won’t believe how it brightens and heightens the flavor.


With love and bundles of fresh basil from us to you,



The information contained in this post is for educational interest only and is not intended to represent claims for actions of basil. This information is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any physical or mental illness or disease.