Friends have been sharing the fruits from their gardens. Plums, nectarines, peppers, and tomatoes. Home grown food is the best and the sun ripened tomatoes have been divine and tomatoes get me thinking of basil.
I love the smell and taste of fresh basil whether paired with tomatoes, made into a pesto, or added to a sauce. But basil isn't only delicious it offers a variety of benefits. Sweet basil is wonderful for the digestive and nervous systems and contains aromatic oils, caffeic acid, monoterpenes, tannins, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. And it is safe and gentle. (1)
The essential oil also offers similar benefits. Sweet basil like lavender typcially offers a good dose of linalool, a soothing aromatic monoterpenol. Basil also offers smaller amounts 1,8 cineole, eugenol, geraniol, and terpinen-4-ol. (2)
Together these give sweet basil its properties -- it's great at soothing muscles, easing spasms, reducing aches and inflammation, easing head ache, and gently fighting germs.
Energetically basil is said to clear, protect, and strengthen as well as boost confidence and motivation. It is also uplifting and can promote mental clarity.
A great way to use this oil is in a roll on or massage oil. Roll on are a fantastic way to ease feelings of stress, soothe a head ache, or promote clarity. Added to a massage oil basil can help relax tight muscles and ease aches.
Try blending a few drops of basil along with lavender, frankinscene, and perhaps a bit of peppermint to create a roll on or massage oil. Below is a suggested recipe.
2 drops Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum)
4 drops lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
2 drops frankinscense (Boswellia carterii)
1 drop peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
1 drop orange (Citrus sinensis)
30 ml (1 oz) jojoba or coconut oil
three 10 ml roll on bottles or 1 oz glass or PET bottle
Combine essential oils and carrier and mix gently to combine. Add to roll on or bottle and use for massage, head ache, de-stress, or focus boost.
Please note that sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is DIFFERENT from Tulsi or holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) which is quite high in eugenol and needs to be used in lower dilutions to avoid skin irritation so be sure to check the scientific name to determine which oil you are working with.
If you have questions about essential oils or aromatherapy comment below or stop by the store in Old Town.
In the meantime, enjoy the sweet bounty of summer.