11 Reasons to Start Using Basil Essential Oil

When you think of basil, you probably think of Italian cuisine, which is no surprise given how prevalently this delightful-tasting herb figures into pastas, pizzas and other Italian specialties. Ancient Greeks believed that basil opened the gateways to heaven, which I can’t confirm, but one taste of a delicious meal made with plentiful amounts of basil certainly makes my taste buds think they have gone directly to heaven.

While I certainly encourage substantial use of this delicious fresh herb in cooking, there are many ways to benefit from the essential oil derived from this plant as well. Here are some of my favorite health benefits and reasons to start using basil essential oil on a regular basis:

Fibromyalgia Pain Alleviator

According to research in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, basil essential oil can help reduce pain levels.

Inflammation Reducer

Research in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found that basil essential oil is effective for reducing inflammation.

Oral Health

In research published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, researchers found that basil, in combination with tea tree and clove oil, used as a mouth rinse was effective at reducing plaque and gingivitis.

Prevents DNA Damage

Research in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found that basil essential oil, and its naturally-occurring compound known as linalool, possessed potent antioxidant properties and actually demonstrated the ability to protect the genetic material from free radical damage.

Seizure Reducer

According to research in the journal Epilepsy Research and Treatment, basil essential oil has demonstrated an ability to reduce tics and seizures, including those linked with epilepsy. While this preliminary research shows the potential of basil essential oil, some experts suggest that it is best avoided with epilepsy.

Antiparasitic

According to a study published in the medical journal Parasitology Research, basil essential oil demonstrates effectiveness against harmful parasites like giardia. Giardia is a condition that usually involves consuming food or water that has been contaminated with the feces of infected humans.

Antimicrobial

Research in the journal Molecules found that several essential oils, including basil, exhibited potent antimicrobial activity against a wide range of microbes, including: E. coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus.

Pain Reliever

Eugenol, one of the beneficial compounds in basil, has been studied extensively for its ability to fight pain by suppressing the body’s production of the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX)—a mechanism similar to the one used by aspirin and ibuprofen; however, the drugs merely prevent binding to this enzyme to alleviate pain.

Blood Pressure Balancer

According to the research of the renowned botanist and author of The Green Pharmacy, James Duke, basil contains six natural compounds that reduce high blood pressure, making it a great regular dietary addition for anyone suffering from the condition.

Cancer Remedy

Exciting new research published in the journal Molecular Medicine Reports found that basil halted ovarian cancer cell growth. Eating basil on a regular basis may help stave off cancer.

Acne Alleviator

In a study published in the journal Biomedica, researchers found that a combination of orange and basil essential oil in a gel formulation cleared between 43 and 75 percent of acne blemishes.

Using Essential Oils

There are many ways to use essential oils, including diffusing them or mixing them with water and spraying into the air for the purpose of inhalation, applying topically, or ingesting. However, not all oils are suitable for ingestion so please use only those indicated above for oral use. Additionally, use only oils that clearly indicate their suitability for internal use.

Regardless which method you choose, make sure you select high quality, pure, undiluted essential oils. While you may end up diluting the oils yourself, most of the oils on the market are diluted in less-than-desirable oils. High quality oils cost more than the cheap varieties on the market but are worth the increased price. Many cheap varieties can also contain synthetic versions of the oils, which offer no therapeutic value and may actually be harmful. But, worse than that, many cheap oils are adulterated with solvents used during the extraction process or toxic pesticides used in the growing process of the herbs from which the oils are extracted.

It is best to dilute basil essential oil to prevent skin reactions; however, after diluting the oil in carrier oil, always conduct a 48-hour patch test on a small inconspicuous part of your skin to determine whether you have any sensitivity to the essential oils. Do not discontinue any prescribed medications without the guidance of your physician. Avoid using basil essential oil with pregnancy. Use essential oils with caution and the advice of a qualified natural health practitioner if you are suffering from any health condition.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM shares her food growing, cooking, preserving, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at FoodHouseProject.com. She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, & Cooking. Follow her work.

43 comments

Martha P
Martha P23 days ago

Thank you for sharing

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara26 days ago

ok

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara26 days ago

we lile pesto

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara26 days ago

th

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Benjamin F
Benjamin Fisher26 days ago

Fascinating!!

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Angela K
Angela K26 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Vincent T
William T27 days ago

tyfs

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson27 days ago

ty

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Janis K
Janis K27 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Ben O
Ben O27 days ago

Thanks for the info!

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