With its high notes, Basil is a marvellous oil for the respiratory tract, opening the throat and easing congestion. It is also excellent for easing asthma, bronchitis & sinus infections. It can also be used for stress related nervous disorders, headaches & migraines & has uplifting qualities making it the perfect ‘pick me up’ tonic.
Basil oils history.
Basil is known by many names including the Queen of Herbs or l'herbe royale, meaning “royal herb" in French, and is also referred to as Saint Joseph’s Wort, French, European, Great, Common or Sweet Basil.
Basil is traditionally believed to have a fortifying effect on a person’s emotions & mind and has been used for various applications, hence its multiple forms such as dried powders, teas & oils.
Various religions and spiritual beliefs practice rituals that have emphasis on the use of Basil. In Judaism it is believed the use of Basil increases strength during fasting and other Orthodox churches use Basil to either sprinkle or prepare holy water. Pots of Basil herbs are often placed underneath church altars to pay homage to the belief that Basil was found growing besides the grave of Christ. In other belief systems, such as those of India, Europe, Greece and the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Basil was buried with the dead and thought to have protective qualities that could help their journey and ensure their safe arrival to the afterlife. Basil has come to represent good fortune in other parts of the world and in Mexico, bunches of Basil can be found hung in shop doorways, because the growth of Basil is believed to protect the success of the business.
Through the ages, Basil has been used for a myriad of applications and has been acknowledged as a natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibiotic, antiviral, anti-depressant, and diuretic, thus Basil is a common component in the traditional medicine practices of Asia, such as in India, where it is known as “Tulsi” and is still considered a sacred herb.
Uses of Basil oil.
Basil oil is best known for…
Botanical name: Ocimum Basilicum
Origin: Native to tropical Asia and Africa. The European, French or ‘true’ sweet Basil oil is produced in
France, Italy, Egypt, Bulgaria, Hungary and the USA.
Aroma characteristics: Light, sweet, warm & slightly spicy crisp herbaceous aroma.
• Adrenal cortex stimulant • analgesic • antidepressant • antiseptic • antispasmodic • carminative
• calmative • digestive • expectorant • nervine • restorative • tonic.
All the essential oils highlighted in this column are available at The Emporium of the Enchanted Forest (inside the VaVa Yoga Studio), and you can explore our Apothecary and discuss any questions you may have with me, Ashlí.
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