Basil - Kuura Essentials Herbs

THE PLANT

Family name: Lamiaceae/Labiatae - Lipflower Family
Botanical name:  Ocimum basilicum L.
Other names: Tropical basil, Exotic basil, Comoran basil, Thai basil, Basilic exotique (Fr), Basilikum (Ge), Basilico (It), Albahaca (Sp), Basilikon (Gr)
Parts used: The leaves, flowering tops
Extraction: Steam distillation of the fresh herb in flower, usually January to June
Yield of essential oil: 600 - 1000 kg of the fresh herb (a very poor yield)
Chance of adulteration in essential oils: Moderate, often with synthetic highlights (e.g. synthetic linalool)
INCI-name on cosmetic product: Ocimum basilicum


GENERAL DESCRIPTION

Basil is a tender annual herb, with very dark green, ovate leaves, greyish-green beneath, an erect square stem up to 60 cm high, bearing whorls of two-lipped greenish or pinky-white flowers.  The whole plant has a powerful aromatic scent.

DISTRIBUTION

Native to tropical Asia and Africa, it is now widely cultivated throughout Europe, the Mediterranean region, the Pacific Islands, North and South America. The European, French or "true" sweet basil oil is produced in France, Italy, Egypt, Bulgaria, Hungary and the USA.

HERBAL & FOLK TRADITION

Basil is widely used in Far Eastern medicine, especially in the Ayurvedic tradition, where it is called Tulsi. It is used for  respiratory problems such as bronchitis, coughs, colds, asthma, flu and emphysema, but it is also used as an antidote to poisonous insect or snake bites. 

Basil has also been used against epidemics and fever, such as malaria. It improves blood circulation and the digestive system and in China it is used for stomach and kidney ailments.

In the West it is considered a “cooling” herb and is used for rheumatic pain and irritable skin conditions. Basil is a popular culinary herb, especially in Italy and France.

Basil has also been considered the King of Plants. Hindus placed twigs of basil on the chests of deceased loved ones to protect them from evil and to provide a safe passage into the next life. As an aphrodisiac, Italian women displayed basil to attract possible suitors and the men would present the women with basil twigs.

SENSORY

Appearance: A mobile pale viridian liquid
Taste: Pungent
Aroma: Warm, sweet, herbaceous odour with a somewhat fresh-camphoraceous, anisic top note
Perfumery status: A heart note of high intensity and poor persistence
FruFloRa Principle: Flo-note (Heart note)

 

AROMATHERAPY/HOME USE

Skin care: Insect bites (mosquito, wasp), insect repellent, eczema.

Circulation muscles and joints: Gout, muscular aches and pains, joint pain, rheumatism.

Respiratory system: Bronchitis, coughs, earache, sinusitis.

Digestive system: Dyspepsia, flatulence, nausea.

Genito-urinary system: Cramps, scanty periods.

Immune system: Colds, fever, flu, infectious disease.

Nervous system: Anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, migraine, nervous tension.

Oil of Basil is an excellent, indeed perhaps the best aromatic nerve tonic. It clears the head, relieves intellectual fatigue, and gives the mind strength and clarity.

BLENDS WELL WITH

Bergamot, Clary Sage, Lime, Oakmoss, Citronella, Geranium, Hyssop and other “green” notes.

OTHER INTERESTING INFORMATION

Chakra: Third eye chakra
Astrological sign: Taurus
Planet: Venus
Element: Air
Quality: Yang
Dosha effect: VK-, P+ in excess

 

Chinese medicine functions and indications

Aroma energy: Sweet, green, pungent
Movement: Circulating
Warmth: Neutral
Meridian tropism: Liver, Heart, Spleen, Stomach, Lung
Five-element affinity: Wood, Earth, Metal
Essential function: To activate the Qi and Blood, calm the Liver and calm the Shen


SAFETY DATA

Safety summary: Relatively non-toxic, non-irritant, skin sensitization (low risk) in hypersensitive individuals.
Contraindications: None known
Maximal dermal use level: 3.3 %

Note! - Avoid during pregnancy!

ALLERGENS

Citronellol, Eugenol, Eugenol (isoeugenol), Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool


USED IN PRODUCTS

Itchy & Scratchy - Cosmetic skin care oil
Rise & Shine - Therapeutic morning scent


RESOURCES

Aromatica vol 1. - Peter Holmes LAc, Mh
Essential Oil Safety - Tisserand and Young
The Energetics of Western Herbs - Peter Holmes
The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils - Julia Lawless
Ayurveda & Aromatherapy - Dr. Light Miller, ND and Dr. Bryan Miller, DC
Aromainfo Database - www.aromadatabase.com
Tisserand Institute - Essential Oil Education