Basil moonlights as an essential oil. Did you know?
The oil is steam distilled from the leaves, stems, and flowers of the basil plant. I probably don't have to describe for you what Basil smells like. It's a wonderful spicy, sweet, herbaceous, green, and somewhat camphorous scent. It is pretty easily distinguished from the other herbs.
Among the many benefits of growing this herb, the bees love the flowers. So growing basil in your garden serves so many good purposes for you, the animal kingdom, food supply, and the environment. Superhero status right?
I grew Basil in my garden last summer and I loved grabbing a couple leaves and crushing them in my hand to release the scent. That is the essential oil at its most basic level. The oil is released with the pressure of the hand.
When shopping for Basil essential oil, you may encounter more than one kind. The two most common are Sweet Basil and Tulsi (Holy Basil.) Holy Basil is a chemotype of Basil (Sweet Basil), meaning it is a different version of it. It contains a component called eugenol, which is also found in clove and cinnamon. Because of this eugenol, Tulsi basil has a spicy, sweet aroma.
Tulsi Basil essential oil has many therapeutic benefits. It's great for muscle aches and soreness, and can help support your immune system. Tulsi basil essential oil is an adaptogen. This means that it can "adapt" to give you what wellness support your body needs. For example, it can be either relaxing or stimulating.
Superhero Qualities of Basil
Basil essential oil has many therapeutic properties. It is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and a decongestant.
Just like the herb itself, Basil essential oil can be used in cooking. You only need a drop or two, as it's much more concentrated, and the flavor is intense. Also make sure that the Basil oil you use is certified as food grade and that it's not just a synthetic fragrance.
Basil essential oil can be beneficial for your skin. It can help keep it clear and clean. Add a drop of two to your favorite carrier oil such as olive oil or jojoba, which are both also great for your skin.
Basil essential oil can help with focus. Try diffusing it or using it in an inhaler next time you need to study or concentrate on a task.
Pretty cool little plant, huh?!