Basil Essential Oil (Ocimum basilicum)


Basil may also be referred to as Common Basil, Sweet Basil, Great Basil, Saint-Joseph's-Wort, Genovese Basil, Basil, Sweet, Ocimum Basilicum Ct Linalool. It is typically processed in India using steam distilled or hydro distillation as a method for extracting oil from the leaves and flowers/buds.


Basil oil comes from the leaves and flowers of Ocimum basilicum plants.

Essential Facts

  • Aroma Description:

    Fresh Herbaceous Spicy Sweet

  • Common Name(s): Common Basil, Sweet Basil, Great Basil, Saint-Joseph's-Wort, Genovese Basil, Basil, Sweet, Ocimum Basilicum Ct Linalool
  • Botanical Family: Lamiaceae
  • Botanical Genus: Ocimum
  • Chemical Family: Monoterpenols
  • Major Compounds: Linalool, Fenchol, Eugenol, Methyl Chavicol, Beta-Caryophyllene
  • Perfumery Note: Top/Middle
  • Consistency: Thin
  • Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium
  • Color: Clear
  • Countries of Production: India
  • Indigenous Country: Nepal
  • Cultivation: Unsprayed or organic
  • Processing Methods: Steam Distilled or Hydro Distillation
  • Part Typically Used: Leaves and Flowers/Buds
  • Shelf Life: 5 years
  • Ethically and sustainably sourced Ethically and sustainably sourced
  • Organic Organic
  • Vegan Vegan

Essential Details

Cautions & Safety

Cautions when using Basil:

It may irritate sensitive skin.

Use Basil Oil sparingly and with caution. High doses may be carcinogenic especially for those basils that contain a significant amount of methyl chavicol (Eugenole). Tisserand and Young suggest a dermal maximum of 15% if the estragole content does not exceed 0.8%. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 208.]

Avoid Basil Oil during pregnancy. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 186.]

Safety Precautions for Basil:

According to Tisserand & Young, there is a low risk of skin sensitization with Basil Essential Oil. A dermal maximum level of 1.5% is recommended based on 33.7% eugenol. Generally regarded as a safe & gentle oil.

Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

Energetic, Spiritual, and Emotional Qualities


Basil Articles or Publications: