Basil is a member of the mint family, along with other herbs such as rosemary, sage, and lavender. It has ancient origins – with earliest records traced to some 5,000 years ago – and most likely comes from India. Some, however, have speculated that the herb originated in the Hunan region of China.
Early references to the plant span continents and range from protection against mythological species to practical applications in ancient medicines still practiced today. The Egyptians likely used the herb in the mummification process. In ancient Greece, basil was thought to cure animal bites and stings and was also used for its aromatic properties in perfumes reserved for royalty. Etymologists believe this royal association contributed to the origin of the word basil, as the Greek word basileus means king. Other etymological links are to the mythological basilisk, a dragon-like creature that – according to legend – basil could help protect against. Africans linked basil to protection from the scorpion sting, while more outlandish theories proposed that scorpions grew under pots of basil or upon crushed basil left on brick. Despite its appearance in legends, basil is a respected herb in several ancient holistic medicinal systems. Traditional Chinese medicine uses the herb for soothing properties and healthy blood circulation, among other things, and Indian systems such as Ayurveda purport antiseptic qualities.
Modern medicine has partially tested the use of basil in treatment plans for conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even some cancers. It is known to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties, and can be used as a natural insect repellent. Additionally, this essential oil has been known to enhance the luster of dull-looking skin and hair, provide mental strength and clarity, reduce tension, and calm the spirit.
Organic basil essential oil from Prana Organic Plant Oils is an aromatherapy favorite. You will absolutely love the rich herbal scent of this oil.
- Common Name: Basil
- Botanical Name: Ociumum basilicum
- Country of Origin: India
- Extraction Method: Steam
- Plant Part: Leaves
Do not apply undiluted to the skin. If pregnant, breast feeding or under the care of a physician consult your doctor. For external use only. Keep out of reach of children.
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