THE SECRETS OF BASIL: CHEMICAL FOCUS

0 Posted by - November 10, 2016 - Oil Science

Thanks to its fresh, yet spicy scent, basil essential oil is a versatile oil that provides a number of beauty and health benefits, both mental and physical. Derived from the basil plant, which is considered sacred in the Hindu religion, basil oil contains an array of active ingredients. Two of its most prominent ingredients, linalool and methyl eugenol, are discussed below. You may also see basil essential oil referred to as sweet basil oil.

LINALOOL

Studies have proven that the linalool in basil oil provides antimicrobial properties that can stand up to both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, molds, viruses, and yeasts [1]. This is due to its ability to inhibit the growth of various bacterial strains, including salmonella and E. coli.

Linalool also has a long history of effectively reducing levels of inflammation, which is common with a number of diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, inflammatory bowel conditions, lung diseases attributed to smoking, and arthritis, in the body. Linalool fights to suppress the activity of enzymes that cause inflammation, while also decreasing the formation of inflammatory mediators [2]. As inflammation decreases in the body, so does the pain it often causes, which is why basil essential oil works well for anyone trying to relieve pain, whether chronic or acute.

METHYL EUGENOL

The methyl eugenol, along with the other constituents, contained in basil essential oil has been shown to be particularly beneficial for anyone struggling with depression and anxiety [3]. It does this by acting as an adaptogen, a natural substance that helps the body adapt to stress. This, in turn, can help reduce the chances of developing stress related conditions, such as hypertension or difficulty breathing.


[1] http://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/antimicrobial-and-free-radical-scavenging-activities-of-basil-ocimum-basilicum-essential-oil-isolated-from-five-plant-varieties-growing-in-greece-2155-9600-1000367.php?aid=52301

[2] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711304701804

[3] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115001033

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