Herbs — Basil

Family name: Labiatae, Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
Botanical name:  Ocymum Basilicum L.
Parts used: The leaves, flowering tops
Extraction: Steam distillation of the leaves and flowering tops
Taste: Pungent
Aroma: Light, fresh, sweet & spicy
Perfumery status: A head note of medium intensity and poor persistence


General Description
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.


Herbal & Folk tradition
Widely used in Far Eastern medicine, especially in the Ayurvedic tradition, where it is called Tulsi. It has been a used as a powerful antidote to poisonous insect or snake bites. It 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. It 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.


Characteristics
Colorless or pale-yellow liquid. Blends well with bergamot, clary sage, lime, oakmoss, citronella, geranium, hyssop and other “green” notes.


Properties
Antidepressant, antiseptic, digestion, colds, cough, sinus congestion, headaches, arthritis, rheumatism, fevers (generally), abdominal conditions, asthma, restorative, stimulant of adrenal cortex, aromatic nerve tonic, clears the head, relieves intellectual fatigue, gives the mind strength and clarity. Insect/snake/spider bites.


Safety data
Non-toxic, non-irritant, skin sensitization (low risk) in hypersensitive individuals.
Avoid during pregnancy!
Maximal dermal use 15%.


USED IN PRODUCTS:
Itchy & Scratchy
Rise & Shine