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Exotic basil (Ocimum basilicum var. basilicum)

Exotic basil

Ocimum basilicum var. basilicum

Exotic basil (Ocimum basilicum var. basilicum) is an annual plant of the Lamiacea family native to Asia.


There are more than a hundred varieties of basil, including "camphor basil" and "holy basil". All species are highly fragrant. Thirty to fifty centimetres high, exotic basil has branching and hairy square stem that often becomes woody. The dark green leaves are small, oval and lanceolate. The white or pinkish flower spikes are grouped along the stems and appear in summer. The seeds are black, fine and oblong. The name basil is derived from the Greek basileus (king) and indicates its royal plant quality.

  • Bath Bath
  • Skin application Skin application
  • Oral route Oral route


Please respect the doses because in excess essential oil of basil can induce stupor. It must always be used diluted on the skin. For cooking, one or two drops of essential oil are enough to perfume a dish for five to six persons.

Do not use in: pregnant or breast-feeding women, children under the age of twelve years, persons whose professional activity requires vigilance, persons allergic to one of the components (linalool, geranial or neral), persons with asthma without the advice of an allergologist before the first use.


1 drop of essential oil of basil, 1 drop of essential oil of peppermint. Pour the 2 drops of each of the essential oils mixed with vegetable oil on vegetables during the meal.

1 drop of essential oil of exotic basil,1 drop of essential oil of lemon, 1 drop of essential oil of peppermint. Mix the essential oils in a teaspoon of honey, added to a herbal tea.

Fatigue and stress
1 drop of essential oil of basil, 1 drop of essential oil of rosewood, 1 drop of essential oil of black spruce, 1 drop of essential oil of Scots pine, 1 drop of essential oil of thyme linalool, 5 drops of arnica plant oil. Apply this mixture along the spinal column three times daily for ten days.

Take 2 drops of essential oil of basil on a neutral tablet, two to three times daily over the problem periods.


Exotic basil is cultivated in Madagascar; in its different species, it thrives all throughout the Mediterranean basin where it is included in many recipes. In France, it becomes "sauce basil" and in the South "pistou" from the Niçois verb meaning "pound", because it is pounded in a mortar to turn it into a paste used in cooking. In Sub Saharan Africa it is given to children as a vermifuge or used against migraines.


Exotic basil has a herbaceous and fresh odour with an anise note not found in "common basil" used traditionally for cooking.


Essential oil of Ocimum basilicum is obtained by steam distillation of the leaves and flowers. The yield of the order of 0.1%, is of one hundred grams of essential oil per one hundred kilograms of plant.


Essential oil of basil contains monoterpenes, monoterpenols, sesquiterpenes, oxides and ketones, among others, however its essential component is a phenol-methylether, methyl-chavicol or estragol (approximately 80% to 90%).


Essential oil of basil is a powerful antispasmodic: it is very effective against menstrual pain. It is also a nervous system regulator. It treats all depression and fatigue conditions as well as spasmophilia. On a digestive level, it soothes spasms (hiccough) and gastric or enteric pains.


Camphor basil (Ocimum canum camphoriferum), Eugenol-containing holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum eugenoliferum), lettuce leaf basil, Genovese basil, small-leaf basil.

It suffered from homonymy in Antiquity. Pliny who recommended it against epilepsy, confused it with the fabulous serpent, basilisk, and stated that if one placed pieces of the plant under a stone exposed to the sun this formidable reptile will eventually come out. He assigned to basil numerous properties and aphrodisiac qualities: "it is for this reason that it is introduced in the vulva of jennies at mating time". Basil is always presented as an ornamental and medicinal plant in the West. The Italian Mattioli, physician and botanist, observed in the 16th century: "There are few gardens or windows which are not covered with basil in wooden crates or terracotta pots. "In India, where mysticism goes hand in hand with gastronomy, the plant is dedicated to the wife of Vishnu and has a religious status.


Extracts from the book 'Aromatherapia - All about essential oils', by Isabelle Pacchioni, watercolors by Patrick MORIN, Aroma Thera Editions . Extracts from the book '41 essential oils essential for treating yourself differently' and '48 essential oils which every home needs to be healthy' by Isabelle Delaleu and Isabelle Pacchioni, Publications of the Mandadori France group. Botanical illustrations by Agathe Haevermans.

The properties, benefits and method of use are given for information; they cannot in any case constitute or replace medical information that only health professionals can provide. For any use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes, please consult your GP or pharmacist.
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