Basil Benefits

Latin Name

Ocimum basilicum

Also Known As

Sweet basil


Native to the Middle East, Iran and Southern India

Parts Used

Flowering herb

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Sweet basil is known to calm anxiety and induce mental clarity. It is uplifting and refreshing and can treat mental confusion, melancholy, depression, insomnia, exhaustion and nervous headaches. It really is a tonic for body, mind and soul.

Sweet Basil has a very uplifting aroma and action so it can be used during meditation or spiritual practice to clear the mind and spirit.

It is also useful for weak digestion, stomach upset and flatulence., and it can gently stimulate a sluggish liver.

Sweet Basil is also good for promoting the flow of breast milk, and for promoting the flow of blood during menstruation. It also has the capacity to cease the flow of menstrual blood when it is in excess. Sweet Basil is good at promoting flow and movement in the body's systems as it can also treat cystitis.

It is also known for its use in treating insect bites.

Sweet basil essential oil can be used in the bath for relieving exhaustion, depression and insomnia. Sweet Basil can be vapourised in an oil burner to promote mental clarity and ease anxiety. It can be added to a massage oil to settle the digestion when applied to the abdomen, or release mental tension and perk up the mind when applied to head, neck and shoulders. A vaginal douche with Sweet Basil can treat cystitis. See How to use Essential Oils

Top note

To ease mental overload: Sweet Basil, Lavender, Sandalwood & Lemon.
For insect bites: Sweet Basil, Tea tree & Eucalyptus.
Goes well with: Rosemary, Clary sage, Fennel, Black pepper, Frankinsence.

Fresh, green, herbaceous, rich, warm and spicy.

Typical Use

Basil essential oil can be used in the bath, or vapourised in an oil burner. It can be added to a massage oil or cream. Use 6-8 drops per bath and 10 -18 drops per 30ml of carrier oil. See Essential Oil Dosage Chart

Folklore and History

Basil has a long history of traditional use. The Greek physician, pharmacologist and botanist, Dioscorides discusses its use as a laxative, a digestive, a galactagogue (promoting the flow of breast milk) for eye problems and for melancholy. Discorides is the author of a 5-volume encyclopedia about herbal medicine and related medicinal substances that was widely read for well more than a thousand years.

Culpepper the English botanist, herbalist, physician, and astrologer recommends it for bites and drawing out poison. Dr Jean Valnet, the pioneer of Aromatherapy recommends Basil for epilepsy and paralysis. In India sweet Basil is a sacred botanical, considered to have purifying and protecting qualities.


Alcohols as Linalool, citronellol, geraniol,terpinen, a-terpineol, phenols ethers as methyl chavicol, eugenol, methyl eugenol, monoterpenes as limonene, camphene, a-pinene, b-pinene, y-terpinene, p-cymene, cis-ocimene, oxides as cineol, esters as linalyl acetate, fenchyl acetate, methyl cinnamate, sesquiterpenes as b-caryophellene.


Avoid in pregnancy.