The Secret to Holistic Wellness: Basil Essential Oil Benefits, Uses, & More (Updated April 2020)

The flavors and scents of basil are so diverse that you can come across tastes and scents like citrus, licorice, cinnamon, and more. Basil essential oil will retain the aroma of the herb, depending on the type that was used in the process of essential oil extraction.

The medicinal parts of the basil plant are the leaves and the seeds. Basil essential oil is steam distilled from fresh basil leaves, stems, and flowers to form an extract that contains high levels of antioxidants and other beneficial phytochemicals. This makes it much more beneficial than fresh or dried leaves alone.

This essential oil has an aroma that can be calming and refreshing. However, basil has an estimated 50 to 150 number of species all over the world, so how a basil essential oil smells will depend on the species and where it’s grown.

Aroma Foundry's basil essential oil is sourced from Vietnam, where basil is perhaps most integrated into its society and culture. Basil is native to Southeast Asia, which is why we chose the best source of basil essential oil in the area. We believe that the best version of anything is the original, which is why we always go out of our way to look for places or countries that have the best supply of particular essential oils.

We ensure that we will be able to offer you pure essential oils. Having pure and all-natural essential oils means that you will have the maximum benefits that the oil is capable of. That way, we can confidently tell you that our essential oils are the best.

Basil Essential Oil

We did a side-by-side comparison with two of the world's biggest essential oil brands.

Essential oil brands comparison

The History of Basil Essential Oil

In history, basil was used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat cold symptoms, constipation, indigestion, diarrhea, and skin illnesses. In the 16th century, the leaves were used to treat migraines and chest infections due to their natural anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibiotic, and diuretic properties.

Basil is most popular in Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and Europe. It is also considered sacred in India as it’s such an amazing source of antioxidants, antibacterial agents, and anti-inflammatory compounds. The herb is also predominantly used in Mediterranean cuisines, such as in making pesto, pasta, and salads.

Basil is also one of the most commonly used herbs for essential oil extraction. This extraction process amplifies the medicinal properties of the plant, flower, or tree. Every drop of essential oil is so concentrated that one drop can be compared to pounds and pounds of the plant used for extraction.


Uses and Benefits of Basil Essential Oil

Basil essential oil also has proven antioxidant effects that can fight chronic infections and respiratory illnesses like bronchitis. Its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can also benefit heart health and cognitive function. It has also been investigated for its properties in reducing cancer cell formation.

The health benefits of basil essential oil are manifold, including its ability to treat nausea, motion sickness, indigestion, constipation, respiratory problems, and diabetes. Basil oil is also a good source of Vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium.

Here’s a run-down of some of the characteristics, uses, and benefits of basil essential oil.

Uses of Basil Essential OilBasil is one of the most well-known and well-used herbs in the world.


1. Improves Skin and Hair

Basil essential oil is well known for treating symptoms of acne and other skin infections. As skin breakouts are mainly caused by built-up bacteria, excess oil, and small infections, basil oil can help because of its antibacterial properties. It's used in numerous skin care formulas that are made to improve skin tone.

The oil can also be diluted in a carrier oil and massaged onto the skin. It effectively enhances the luster of dull-looking skin and hair.

You can apply diluted basil essential oil with a clean cotton ball. Mix one to two drops of basil oil with coconut or jojoba oil and apply to the affected area once or twice daily.

You can also add a drop or two of basil essential oil to your shampoo to strip away excess grease or buildup and add a lustrous quality to your hair. You can also mix it with baking soda and apple cider vinegar to naturally remove bacteria, grease, and residue from the hair.

2. Excellent Insect Repellent

The volatile oils found in basil can repel mosquitoes and prevent bug bites, just like citronella essential oil and thyme oil.

To make a homemade bug spray or lotion, dilute several drops of basil essential oil with a carrier oil and massage onto your skin, or on swollen bites as needed. Basil is also excellent in treating itchiness from mosquito bites and stings.

As if it's not impressive enough, this essential oil likes to show off even more. It's also known as a treatment for snake bites.


3. Air Freshener

The word basil is derived from a Greek term which means “to smell.” In India and the Mediterranean, basil essential oil has been used for eliminating odors and cleaning kitchen equipment.

Basil can effectively eliminate odor-causing bacteria and mold from your home, car, appliances, and furniture. If you want to do this at home, you can run several drops through your kitchen appliances, or add it to your dishwashing soap. You can also combine it with baking soda to remove stains and bacteria from pots or pans, or spray it inside your toilet, shower and garbage cans.

4. Antibacterial and Antifungal

Basil essential oil has been proven to be extremely effective against microbes, food-borne bacteria, yeasts, and mold. In laboratory research findings, it was found to inhibit the growth of six forms of bacteria and three strains of fungi.

You can use basil essential oil in your home to remove bacteria from kitchens and bathrooms, prevent contamination, and purify the air. You can make a highly effective antibacterial spray by combining basil essential oil with water in a spray bottle. You can then use this to spray and wipe down surfaces in your home.

It can also be used to clean and treat wounds. Basil essential oil can prevent viral infections that enter the body through cuts or wounds. 


5. Cold and Flu Treatment

Basil essential oil can help fight bacteria and viruses in the body while fighting inflammation, pain, and fatigue. It's also regarded as a go-to natural cold and fever remedy.

You can relieve the symptoms of your cold or flu by diffusing basil oil or adding one or two drops to a hot bath. You can also make a very potent homemade vapor rub by mixing it with eucalyptus essential oil (make sure that you dissolve it with a carrier oil) and massaging the mixture onto your chest to open up nasal passages and provide relief.

As it is an antispasmodic, basil essential oil is also frequently used to treat the symptoms of whooping cough, asthma, bronchitis, and sinus infections.


6. Provides Wound Treatment and Prevents Infections

Basil oil helps in treating skin cuts, wounds, and infections as it is a great antibacterial and antiviral agent. It’s a good idea to include a bottle of basil essential oil in your home medical kit.


7. Provides Pain Relief

Basil essential oil is also an analgesic that provides relief from pain. This is why the multi-functional oil is used frequently in the treatment of injuries, burns, bruises and surgical recovery.

8. Muscle Relaxant

You can make a relaxing muscle balm by mixing a few drops of basil essential oil with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and rubbing it into fatigued or aching muscles. Painful or swollen muscles and joints will greatly benefit from this treatment.

You can also take a hot bath with Epsom salts, basil essential oil, and lavender essential oil. Soaking in this bath will provide instant relief, and also help relax tense areas that result from an intense workout.


9. Relieves Anxiety and Provides Emotional Benefits

Basil has a deep, warm, and spicy aroma that has been widely used in aromatherapy for centuries. It is well known to reduce anxiety, fear, nervousness, and tension.

This can also work quickly as a natural headache relief. Massage one or two drops with a carrier oil onto your feet or over your adrenals every night.

This essential oil, when diluted and applied to the temples and back of the neck, can greatly help both mind and body. The oil’s calming qualities make it perfect to reduce overwhelmed emotions, stress, and fatigue. It may even help a person in their efforts to overcome an addiction because regularly using this essential oil provides mental strength and clarity.

Basil essential oil is called the oil that "uplifts and renews.” You can diffuse it in your home to relax and unwind, and to help overcome stressful situations through aromatherapy.


10. For Oral Health

Basil essential oil was part of a clinical trial on oral health mouth rinses last 2014. Basil, together with tea tree essential oil and clove in a mouth rinse, was found to inhibit gingivitis, plaque, and harmful microbes in the mouth.



1. Patch Testing: Make sure you do a patch test on your skin for sensitivity prior to using on more areas of your body or for a long term period. Make sure to do the patch test on your feet or forearm to ensure that you don’t experience irritation like redness, burning, hives, or allergic reactions. Keep the basil oil away from your eyes and the insides of your ears or nose.

2. Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women: Basil essential oil should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women as it can have an impact on hormonal levels, muscle condition, or nerve functioning. 

3. Infants and Children: Keep out of reach from children. Avoid using the essential oil on infants and young children. It’s also not appropriate for anyone with epilepsy.

4. Ingesting Essential Oils: You should not ingest essential oils, as they can have adverse side effects.

Consult a health care practitioner first before using basil essential oil alongside your medication or treatment.

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How To Use Basil Essential Oil

Uses of Basil Essential OilThe aroma of the basil essential oil is dominant in its leaves and flowers

1. Sore Muscles: Mix a few drops of basil essential oil with a carrier oil. Apply to sore or fatigued muscle and joints for relief.

2. Aromatherapy: Diffuse or apply topically to support clear breathing.

3. Insect Repellent: Add a few drops of basil essential oil to your linen spray and spritz over your beddings and curtains at night. This will repel mosquitoes and other pests from your sleeping area.

4. Fatigue: Apply on your feet or to a diffuser to relieve yourself from fatigue. To experience more relief, inhale the essential oil first and then apply to the crown of the head, forehead, chest, and navel.

5. Skin Irritations: Dilute the essential oil with fractionated coconut oil. Apply to the tip of your nose, temples, or any location of bites and stings.

6. Mental Clarity: Diffuse basil essential oil to focus on studying, reading, or working at home.

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7. Menstrual Cramps: Put 1 drop of basil oil in a veggie capsule and take internally to help soothe and relieve cramps during a menstrual cycle. Caution: Do not do this without the guidance of a medical professional.

8. Emotional Wellness: Use aromatically with an oil diffuser or massage over the heart and solar plexus to lessen feelings of fear.

9. Mouth Cleanser and Breath Freshener: There are commercial toothpaste and mouthwash products that contain basil essential oil, but you can also make one for yourself at home. You can mix 1 – 2 drops of essential oil to your toothpaste or mouthwash for optimum oral hygiene and fresh breath.

10. Acne Treatment: Add a drop or two of basil oil to your toner and apply with a cotton swab to problem areas. You can also use coconut oil as a carrier oil for your basil essential oil and apply on your face to help clear bacteria that clog pores.

Note: Basil essential oil should always be mixed with a carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil. If you’re going to apply it topically, dilute first before applying to areas such as the face, neck, etc.


Basil Essential Oil Recipes

Here are some great recipes you can try at home using basil. From aromatherapy blends to pick-me-up solutions, you can incorporate basil essential oil to your daily living.

Lemon Basil Natural Cleaning Spray Recipe


  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • 1 cup of organic distilled white vinegar
  • 20+ drops of lemon essential oil
  • 15+ drops of basil essential oil


Combine all ingredients in a glass spray bottle and use as needed for household cleaning. Works well on windows and stainless steel, as well as flat surfaces like tile and counters.


Customize essential oils to your preference by adding more, less, or even omitting completely. The vinegar smell will disappear once the spray dries and only a faint scent of lemon and basil will remain.

Aromatic Brain Booster

Add these essential oils to a diffuser whenever you need a boost:

Aromatherapy Study Aid

Add the following essential oils to help you focus on your study time:

  • 3 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 3 drops of basil essential oil
  • 2 drops or rosemary essential oil

Mood Booster and Refresher

For an invigorating aroma that will improve, stimulate, and refresh your mood, add the following essential oils to a diffuser.

Energy Booster Blend

Whenever you feel tired or lethargic, add the following essential oils to a diffuser to increase your energy levels:


Basil Nourishing Body Oil


  • 3 teaspoons of carrier oil (jojoba or coconut)
  • 7 - 8 drops of basil essential oil

Instructions: In a bottle or dish, add the basil essential oil first, and then pour in the required amount of carrier oil. Mix well before use.

Pick-Me-Up Basil Blend


  • 2 drops of basil essential oil
  • 5 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
  • 5 drops of bergamot essential oil
  • 25 ml sweet almond oil

Instructions: Pour 25 ml of sweet almond oil in a glass bottle. Add the above essential oils to the almond oil. Apply to your torso and extremities after an intense workout, or whenever you need an energy boost.


Check out a variety of essential oils you can use in these recipes.


Using basil essential oil as a natural antibacterial agent helps us combat harmful bacteria without having to experience the side effects of over-the-counter synthetic drugs. It is also advisable that we use natural products such as basil because relying too much on antibiotics could lead to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Going for natural remedies can promote overall health and holistic well-being in the long run.

To cap it all off, basil, just like other powerful essential oils, has a wide variety of uses and benefits that you can take advantage of. Nature has indeed given us great blessings to help renew and enlighten ourselves. Keep a bottle of basil essential oil at home to take full advantage of its benefits.


    1. 10 Basil Essential Oil Uses and Benefits | Essential Oil Sanctuary -
    2. 10 Recipes with Basil Essential Oil – Ocimum basilicum. Suzanne R. Banks -
    3. 11 Amazing Benefits Of Basil Essential Oil | Organic Facts -
    4. Herbs and Spices in Cancer Prevention and Treatment. Christine Kaefer -
    5. Lemon Basil Natural Cleaning Spray | Wellness Mama. Katie -
    6. Mucoid Pseudomonas and the Cystic Fibrosis Lung. N Russell -
    7. Urinary Tract Infection Remedies & Causes | The Green Healer -
    8. Uses for Basil Essential Oil: Stop Inflammation, Bacteria, & Mosquitoes | Dr. Ericz -
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  1. Background
  2. The History of Basil Essential Oil
  3. Uses and Benefits of Basil Essential Oil
    1. Improves Skin and Hair
    2. Excellent Insect Repellent
    3. Air Freshener
    4. Antibacterial and Antifungal
    5. Cold and Flu Treatment
    6. Provides Wound Treatment and Prevents Infections
    7. Provides Pain Relief
    8. Muscle Relaxant
    9. Relieves Anxiety and Provides Emotional Benefits
    10. For Oral Health
  4. Precautions
  5. How to Use Basil Essential Oil
  6. Recipes
  7. Summary
  8. References