Basil oil is an essential oil extracted from Ocimum basilicum. The essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of flowering tops and leaves. The oil obtained will have a pale greenish yellow color and have the viscosity of water. It has a light peppery aroma.
Because of its calming and refreshing effect it is widely used in aromatherapy. Moreover massaging the body with basil oil helps to relax the muscles which are strained because of strenuous exercise or work. The chemical constituents of basil oil include eugenol, camphene, geraniol, myrcene, cis-ocimene, citronellol, methyl cinnamate etc.
These chemicals provide many properties to basil oil which are beneficial to the health of the user. It also contains vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin B9, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron etc.
Health Benefits of Basil Oil
Basil oil helps to clear the mind and impart mental strength. The refreshing nature of basil oil is used for treating mental fatigue, nervous tension and intellectual fatigue. It is also beneficial for migraine, melancholy, depression etc.
Relieving Digestion Problems
Basil oil is found to have good carminative properties and hence it can be used as a remedy for constipation, indigestion, flatulence and stomach cramps. Basil oil provides relief from gas and also from pain in bowel. It also aid in preventing vomiting in motion sickness and other digestive problems. Basil oil is also found to increase the blood circulation which in turn increases the metabolic rate. Basil oil can also be included in weight loss recipes.
Comfort Arthritis Inflammation
The anti inflammatory property of basil can be used for treating the inflammation especially due to arthritis. The chemical called eugenol present in basil oil blocks the enzymatic activity of cyclooxygenase which cause swelling in the body.
Anti Carcinogenic Activity
The beta carotene present in basil oil protects the epithelial tissues from the damage caused by free radicals which are responsible for cancer. Hence basil oil is good for the prevention of cancer
Treating Respiratory Tract Diseases
Basil oil is widely used for treating respiratory diseases like bronchitis, asthma, sinus infection etc. Because of its antispasmodic nature it is even used for treating whooping cough. It is also useful to ward off the cold and fever.
The analgesic property of this oil helps to get relief from the pain. Hence it is used for sprains, arthritis, headache, bruises, sports injuries etc.
However ensure that the basil oil is properly diluted before using. Basil oil can be used either externally as a topical application or can be consumed internally to improve the overall health