Natural Basil Ocimum Basilium Essential Oil
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Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum
Country of origin: North India
Basil, or Sweet Basil is a common name for the culinary herb Ocimum basilicum (pronounced /ˈbæzɪl/ or, in the US, /ˈbeːzɪl/), of the family Lamiaceae (mints), sometimes known as Saint Joseph's Wort in some English-speaking countries.
The various basils have such different scents because the herb has a number of different essential oils that come together in different proportions for various breeds. The strong clove scent of sweet basil is derived from eugenol, the same chemical as actual cloves. The citrus scent of lemon basil and lime basil reflects their higher portion of citral, which causes this effect in several plants including lemon mint, and of limonene, which gives actual lemon peel its scent. African blue basil has a strong camphor smell because it contains camphor and camphene in higher proportions. Licorice basil contains anethole, the same chemical that makes anise smell like licorice, and in fact is sometimes called "anise basil."
Other chemicals that help to produce the distinctive scents of many basils, depending on their proportion in each specific breed, include:
citronellol (scented geraniums, roses, and citronella)
linalool (a flowery scent also in coriander)
myrcene (bay leaf, myrcia)
pinene (which is, as the name implies, the chemical that gives pine oil its scent)
Based on chemical content, basils can be divided into four groups: 1) French; 2) exotic; 3) methyl cinnamate; and 4) eugenol basil. These groupings are not used by gardeners. 1) French basil; Ocimum basilicum, contains lower amounts of phenols 2) contains methyl chavicol (40-80%) 3) contains methyl cinnamate - ether 90% 4) contains eugenol
Basil and oregano contain large amounts of (E)-beta-caryophyllene (BCP), which might have a use in treating inflammatory bowel diseases and arthritis. BCP is the only product identified in nature that activates CB2 selectively; it interacts with one of two cannabinoid receptors (CB2), blocking chemical signals that lead to inflammation, without triggering cannabis's mood-altering effects.
Recently, there has been much research into the health benefits conferred by the essential oils found in basil. Scientific studies in vitro have established that compounds in basil oil have potent antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties, and potential for use in treating cancer. In addition, basil has been shown to decrease the occurrence of platelet aggregation and experimental thrombus in mice. It is traditionally used for supplementary treatment of stress, asthma and diabetes in India. In Siddha medicine, it is used for treating pimples on the face, but noted that intake of the seeds in large quantities is harmful for the brain.
Basil, like other aromatic plants such as fennel and tarragon, contains estragole, a known carcinogen and teratogen in rats and mice. While human effects are currently unstudied, extrapolation using body weight from the rodent experiments indicates that 100–1000 times the normal anticipated exposure still probably produces a minimal cancer risk.
Cautions: Avoid in Pregnancy , Used after consulting with Aromatherapist.