Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Location: Basil is found in tropical Africa and India. It is cultivated in the Comoro Islands, Egypt, France and Madagascar.
Extraction: Steam distilled from the leaves of the plant.
Colour and Odour: The essential oil is colourless, having a very pleasant, rich, refreshing, sweet, spicy green and piercing odour.
Description: A delicate plant growing up to 90cm in height with light green oval leaves and white flowers.
Background: The name is derived from the Greek "basilicon" meaning royal. Basil has a long history of use in India, where it is known as "tulsi" and is held to be sacred to the Hindu gods Krishna and Vishnu.
Properties: Stimulating, uplifting, clarifying, strengthening, antiseptic, expectorant and antispasmodic.
Precaution: This oil is best used in lower concentrations as it may cause irritation in sensitive people.
Digestive System-Eases vomiting, abdominal cramps and swelling caused by indigestion.
Respiratory System-Useful for sinus congestion, asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. Basil is also recommended for chronic colds and flu, as well as hiccups.
Nervous System-An excellent nerve tonic, it can be useful for a number of nervous disorders especially those associated with weakness, indecision and hysteria.
Emotion-Basil clears the head, strengthens the memory, aids concentration and can help relieve mental fatigue.