Today we meet a very particular essential oil, that of Basil (Ocimum basilicum). The Ayurvedic tradition mainly rewards the sacred Basil (Ocimum sanctum); I want to talk about the “common” basil also because it is a plant that we can have on our tables often and therefore we “absorb” its precious perfume, unaware of its subtle beauty.
Who would expect that a plant whose leaves we eat in sauce or pesto has antiviral, analgesic, and antispasmodic characteristics?
The essential oil is slightly dermoaggressive, but diluted it can be used both when there are stomach pains (spasms) and in case of muscle cramps (even a drop in a teaspoon of almond oil or cream could be enough).
It is also effective in case of nausea and dysmenorrhea, you can smell a drop on a tissue.
I feel in the basil a fine, herbaceous, linear note, “which pulls straight” and at the same time does not invade, but clearly delineates the road and boundaries. This is why I consider it a fine perfume for clarity and mental freshness, for the linearity of thought – very useful when instead we are all emotion and inside there is a rough sea beyond what we can bear.
In Ayurveda in particular, Tulsi or sacred basil is considered an excellent remedy because it develops sattvic qualities (we could translate with subtle, elevated) helping in the clarity and strengthening of the immune system. These qualities, although certainly with different nuances, can also be found in our basil, which both in leaves and in essential oil can enter our homes and be a friend and ally for purifying environments (also in physical terms) and from a subtle point of view (iy dissolves the “heaviness” and brings subtle energies helping in concentration).
It can also be useful for those who struggle to fall asleep, or for those who feel a little anxiety. In this case, a few smells may be enough, or you could prepare a roll-on with almond oil and a few drops of essence, and use it as a perfume at bedtime. Start with small dosages.
A blend for summer clarity (when it’s so hot and we can’t think properly!) could be this:
in 95 degree food alcohol, or vodka, or sweet almond oil 30 ml:
ocimum basilicum o.e. 5 gc
peppermint o.e. 10 gc
vetiver o.e. 3 drops
obtaining a perfume to take with you when you need to recover (ideal in spray format!) (the dosages are specially low, if you want something more intense you can increase the number of drops).
Please note: there are at least two basil essences on the market, one with linalool and one with estragole. I like them both and we could say that the linalool one is olfactory closer to the basil we know. The estragon one is very interesting; it has an olfactory profile more similar to tarragon because it contains estragole – precisely for this component it is good not to overdo it in use.