The "Royal Herb" or the "Good Herb", sweet basil, ocimum basilicum, is related to mint. Basil essential oil has the same aroma as a combination of cloves and anise and can be quite pungent. The scent of sweet basil essential oil is conducive to meditation, and the plant is often used in magic ceremonies. Basil is much used as a love charm in voo-doo practice. Haitian merchants often sprinkle their stores with a composition made of this fragrant herb soaked in water. According to creed this chases away bad luck and attracts buyers. Basil grows wild all over the world in the summer months, in green houses in winter months. Basil is produced heavily in the Mediterranean and the United States and has found its way into nearly every cuisine in the world. Some other forms of basil are Lemon B', Opal or Purple B', and Cinnamon B". Basil is Also a popular culinary herb. In China this herb is known as "Luole".
Sweet basil essential oil, ocimum basilicum, is obtained by steam distillation from the flowering herb. Basil essential oil has a warm, herbaceous scent. It is said to be useful in stimulating healthy hair growth and may be helpful to relieve fatigue. Used in a massage oil, it has a warming effect. Use basil in recommended doses because it is a very potent oil and large amounts are over stimulating to the nervous system. It may also relieve nausea, but should be avoided if pregnant.
Sweet basil essential oil, ocimum basilicum, blends well with the following essential oils: bergamot, geranium, hyssop, neroli (orange blossom), marjoram, melissa (lemonbalm), lavender.
Basil oil cautions - Methyl chavicol is one of the main constituents and is moderately toxic, and can be irritating to the skin and may also be carcinogenic.
Basil Oil properties - Antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cephalic, digestive.