Basil Essential Oil: Uses & Benefits

  • Do you have trouble concentrating or focusing for big meetings or an important exam?
  • Do you suffer from monthly cramps, bloating, or other painful symptoms of menstruation?
  • Do you want to support your body with healthy blood flow, increased gastrointestinal health, and have a healthy, responsive immune system?

Basil is thought to have originated in India, where it’s been used in cooking for over 5,000 years. Since then the popularity of this leafy herb has spread around the world.

The dozens of varieties of basil extant are used outside of the kitchen, too!  This oil has become very popular on the world market due to its high linalool content (1), which is thought to soothe and relax the mind and the body (2).

Its rich and soothing aroma makes it great for relieving stress (3, 4, 5), cooling the skin, and relaxing the body.

What is Basil Essential Oil?

Quick Facts

  • Scientific Name: Ocimum basilicum
  • Application: Aromatic Diffusion, Ingestion, Topical Use. Dilution not required.
  • Plant Part: Leaf
  • Extraction Method: Steam distillation
  • Aromatic Description: Spicy, Herbal, Flavorful, Rich & Warm
  • Main Chemical Components: Eucalyptol, Linalool, Methylchavicol, Methylcinnamate, Citral

Principal Benefits

  • Improves concentration and focus
  • Reduces feelings of anxiety and soothes the mind
  • Delightful taste and healthful effects when used in cooking

How To Use Basil Essential Oil

Basil oil can be used to increase focus and relaxation, aiding users who seek to improve their concentration.

It can also be used to induce a state of calm during times of meditation or to relieve feelings of stress (3, 4, 5).

Directions for Use:

  • Internal: Take 1-2 drops in a veggie capsule or diluted in a glass of water or tea.
  • Aromatic: Add 3-4 drops to a diffuser, or dilute one drop with carrier oil and place directly beneath the nose.
  • Topical: Dilute with a carrier oil and massage into the skin.

Basil Essential Oil Uses

  • Diffuse while studying or reading to improve focus and boost concentration.
  • Diffuse during meditation or yoga to feel an increased sense of peace and calm.
  • Add a few drops while cooking to add a fresh, rich, herbal flavor to any dish.
  • Dilute 1-2 drops in an after-dinner drink to reduce the likelihood of gas and bloating.
  • Drink 1-2 drops in a glass of water or tea to ease menstrual discomfort and to boost the immune system.
  • Massage directly into the skin to produce a deep, soothing effect on the skin and on the mind.

Basil Essential Oil Health Benefits

  • Basil oil promotes mental alertness and lessens feelings of stress and anxiety. The soothing compounds contained in the oil help to promote a healthful mental state, and minimize negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions, making it a popular addition to meditation routines.
  • Consumption may ease physical discomfort during menstrual cycles, including symptoms such as bloating and cramps, and may also support emotional wellness through its uplifting properties.
  • Supports overall digestive function and the health of the intestines by helping to reduce uncomfortable gas issues such as excessive gas or bloating (6).
  • Consumption has been known to help support overall healthy immune response and functionality. This oil has been seen to have an immune boosting effect and helps to support the body’s natural immune response and functionality when fighting off infectious bacteria and viruses (7, 8, 9, 10).
  • Incorporating a few drops into a facial cleanser can reduce the severity or appearance of skin blemishes, soothe the skin, and help to unclog pores.
  • Massaging into the skin may help to soothe aching muscles.
  • This essential oil supports the function and health of the gastrointestinal tract when used internally by helping to soothe the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, promoting a healthy and efficient digestive system, and minimizing discomfort from cramps, gas, and constipation (6).
  • This oil has the ability to soothe the skin due to its high concentrations of eucalyptol, and promotes a sense of calm with the cooling effects this compound has on the skin.
Basil – Ocimum basilicum

Basil Essential Oil Research

Medicinal studies of basil essential oils are ongoing, and some have produced very promising results. The antibacterial effects of this medicinal herb (7, 8, 9, 10) could become very important in a world increasingly full of bacteria resistant to pharmaceutical drugs. However, users should note that the FDA does not support or endorse any claims of this oil’s medicinal benefits.

Basil Essential Oil Nutrition

Basil essential oil is highly nutritious, and long-term internal use and consumption has been shown to support many good health outcomes.

This herb is dense in nutrients just like other herbs such as rosemary and oregano, and can be used to add both a shock of flavor to any recipe as well as to boost the immune system and overall health baseline (11).

Consumption can support healthy blood flow, which in turn also stimulates enzymes that can decrease muscle tension and soreness.

It also supports gastrointestinal functions, and is chock full of nutrients that can increase mental alertness and decrease anxiety.

Perhaps one of this herb’s greatest assets is that it contains an abundance of disease-fighting antioxidants, which can contribute to a strong immune system baseline to fight infections and viruses as well as harmful toxins and bacteria (7, 8, 9, 10).

Basil Essential Oil Safety

Basil essential oil is quite safe – it can even be used undiluted if desired, though it is quite strong and dilution is recommended. For most applications, dilution in a carrier oil or water-based solution is preferable.

While this oil is much less reactive than some other essential oils, it can cause skin irritation on those who have adverse reactions to concentrated substances.

It’s recommended that before extensive topical use, you ensure that your body doesn’t have a negative reaction by testing a very small amount of oil in an inconspicuous area.

Basil Essential Oil Substitutes

Basil essential oil can be used used in small concentrations or diluted on the chest as a natural supplement to chemical cold aids like Vick’s Vapo-rub.

This promotes a soothing, cooling feeling, and the strong aroma helps clear nostrils during coldS (12).

This oil is also a good supplement for Midol and other menstrual cramp and period relief pharmaceuticals; simply mix a couple drops of oil in a glass of water or into your food, and consume to ease cramping, bloating, and gas.

It is also used by some in first aid kits to as an antibiotic cream or ointments to be applied topically to small scrapes and burns to use its immune-boosting and antibiotic effects (10).

Basil Essential Oil Blends Well With

This essential oil blends well with many other compounds for internal, aromatic, and topical use.

When using internally, it can be combined with other herbal essential oils to create a highly concentrated “Italian Seasoning” flavor that is delicious and also supports healthy immune systems and gastrointestinal health.

Oregano, thyme, and cilantro would all be good selection.  In aromatic applications the deep, the herbal scent of basil oil pairs beautifully with citrus-based aromas, such as lime, lemon, and orange, which add a bright, fresh note.

These blends help promote concentration and relaxation.  Simply blend several drops of with a citrus oil of your choice in a diffuser.

For topical applications, this oil blends can be paired with other oils that benefits the complexion and skin tone.  Combine it with tea tree oil, for example, in a facial cleanser to create a fantastic skin product that can help soothe and cleanse skin, and reduce the redness and swelling of blemishes.

Basil certainly isn’t just for cooking, even though this essential oil is delicious, nutritious, and incredibly aromatic  When used internally it is known for lending awesome flavor to dishes, supporting a healthy immune system, and promoting the health of the gastrointestinal tract.

It can also be used in both aromatic and topical applications to soothe skin, increase mental well-being, and minimize stress (3, 4, 5).

These benefits make it a great oil to have in your natural supplement arsenal, perfect for whenever you need a “jack of all trades” product that is safe, inexpensive, and useful for just about everything.


Will basil oil really keep you from getting sick?  While its immune boosting and antibacterial, antiviral treatment properties have been studied by the scientific community, its use as such has not been evaluated, approved, or endorsed by the FDA for any kind of medicinal use.  

While many users of essential oils rave about its medicinal qualities, and the initial results of scientific study are promising, it should never be used as a substitute for a prescribed pharmaceutical product or course of medical treatment, nor should it ever be used against the advice of a medical professional.