Thursday, 8 March 2012

Basil - Ocimum basilicum - Lamiaceae

MSDS  |  Wikipedia  |  Pubmed
Basil is easily cultivated growing from seed in about 2 weeks in springtime and preferring a sandy soil and full sun.  The palatable leaves are used in salads to improve digestion. The oil is steam distilled from the leaves and flowering tops.  Linalool is an important component of the oil.  Cautions: sensitive skin, pregnacy.  A Basil essential oil consisting of mainly methyl chavicol (estragole) is available and should be used with great caution.  The Basil ct Linalool oil makes an excellent nerve tonic so Basil is one of the most useful essential oils to clear the head and restore strength and clarity to the mind. Its relative toxicity compared to other oils [LD50 g/kg of 1.4 (oral) 0.5 (dermal)] means its use in massage and compresses should be restricted to trained aromatherapists to ensure there is no possibility of overdose.  If we have a massage oil of 30ml then at 1% essential oil even if only Basil essential oil were used thats roughly 0.3g for a 60-80kg adult so within a hundredfold margin of safety.  So therapists should not hesitate to make use of Basil.  There are no such restrictions on the inhalation of Basil at all and all can enjoy its benefits.   Essentia

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