Stop Inflammation, Bacteria, & Mosquitoes with Basil Essential Oil

5 Healing Benefits of Basil Essential Oil

In this article, you will learn about:

  1. Basil as a Culinary Herb & Protective Essential Oil
  2. Top 5 Benefits of Basil Essential Oil
  3. An Estragole Caution
  4. The Best Basil Uses & Blends

The protective effects basil has for tomatoes in the garden are mirrored in the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, even bug-repelling protective benefits of basil essential oil.

Basil as a Culinary Herb & Protective Essential Oil

In a kitchen herb garden, basil is a staple for its delicious leaves both fresh and dried. In your local pizzeria, basil is a must for that distinctive herbed flavor. But what is basil doing when you add it to your favorite recipe?

There could be a lot more going on in your plate than you realized.

Even as a fresh cut or dried and powdered herb, sweet basil is a strong gastroprotective agent. A 1999 study indicated the fixed oil (not essential oil) in basil has the ability to protect the stomach from ulcers and damage caused by anything from a reaction to alcohol or aspirin. (1)

Essential oil content is, of course, part of the whole herb, and it seems that the protective effects that basil exhibits overall are concentrated with the distillation of the essential oil. Note that holy basil is different entirely from culinary sweet basil, which will be the topic of discussion in this article.

Some safety precautions should be noted for internal use of the oil, but safe use should translate to effective use – and basil has plenty of effects to enjoy.

Top 5 Benefits of Basil Essential Oil

Here are the top uses of basil essential oil that demonstrate its protective capacity.

1. Potent Antibacterial

The problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is ever-growing, with the potential to become a major threat to public health. The search for effective solutions has been ongoing for some time now, hoping that we can maintain the ability to combat bacteria before “superbugs” become a pandemic.

While many of us believe that a paradigm shift away from the germ theory needs to take place, there are also natural products that we can use to tackle harmful bacteria without being so harsh as to quickly develop resistance to OTC antibiotics. From the conclusion of a study conducted in 2003:

The chosen bacteria are widespread and pose serious therapeutic difficulties because of their high level of resistance. For this reason, the results obtained were considered encouraging. (2)

Use of antibacterial essential oils like basil can extend from topical healing to preventive cleansers and internal use.

Indications: Healing balms, hand sanitizers, cleaning, diluted and careful ingestion.

2. Synergetic Antifungal

The way that the compounds within a given essential oil combine to make effective structures is neat, but when two essential oils combine to be stronger than before, it is amazing.

The synergy between basil and peppermint was utilized to create an effective antifungal compound where there once were two mediocre compounds. (3) Aromatherapy is often executed with blends of oils, and studies like these remind us why it's important. As you learn about an essential oil like basil, take notes about its properties so that you can quickly reference them and see where combinations could be made.

Note the uses and actions of your favorite scents, as well; you never know when they might combine into something bigger and better!

Indications: Blends for topical healing; combining oils for culinary preparation

3. Oral Health Guardian

As an effective antibacterial oil, basil found its way into a 2014 clinical trial of an essential oil blend for oral health mouthrinses. After three weeks of monitoring around forty participants, the results came with sparkling smiles.

Basil, combined with other oral health strengths in tea tree oil and clove, in a mouth rinse was able to inhibit plaque, gingivitis, and other dangerous microbes in the mouth. (4)

Indications: Blends for regular mouthrinses; inclusion within DIY toothpaste formulas

4.Protective Digestive Support

Just as the fixed oil has gastroprotective effects, the essential oil of basil retains some, as well. In fact, when tested under monitor of physicians and researchers, significant doses were able to protect against colitis and ulcer damage. (5)

While we can't necessarily replicate the study at home, we can use safety precautions to begin including basil essential oil into our recipes and formulations. Essential oils exert great effects in small doses. Including it periodically can introduce the healing and protective abilities without worrying so much about estragole.

Indications: Periodic culinary inclusion; specific formulation by an aromatherapist trained in internal use.

5. A Bug Repellant that Works

Basil essential oil takes protection to the next level by even keeping us safe from mosquitos. A common summertime frustration is the pervasiveness of mosquitos and bug bites; in many parts of the world, these irritating concerns of ours could be life threatening.

Basil essential oil compounds include many phytochemicals known to keep bugs away, and it blends well with other oils to create an effective spray. (6)

Indications: Outdoor diffusion; topical bug spray or cream

Estragole Caution

There have been some documented concerns with toxicity of one of basil's main compounds, methyl-chavicol (otherwise known as estragole). (7) A public statement on the use of herbal medicinal products containing estragole by the European Medicines Agency states that the risks are in vulnerable populations (children, pregnant or nursing women, seizure disorders) and with high volumes of the substance. (8)

It would, therefore, be wise to restrict internal use to a minimum and preferably with oils that have been evaluated and have lower percentages of estragole/methyl chavicol.

Best Basil Uses & Blends

Take advantage of basil's protective abilities by blending it with other antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory oils. As a herbaceous, slightly spicy smelling oil, it blends nicely with light- and fresh-smelling oils.

Basil's flexibility in blending aromas, protective effects in nearly every way, and overall safe and simple application measures make it an underrated essential oil.

Safety & Contraindications

Are you sure you're using essential oils safely and effectively? Are you confused by dilutions and conversions?

 Let me help take out the guesswork and download my FREE roller bottle guide HERE.

Essential Oil Roller Bottle Dilution Guide

When it comes to drug interactions and contraindications, there are literally textbooks devoted to the study of essential oil safety and, as a trained researcher and doctor, I think it’s important to note that there is virtually no research out there discussing how essential oils interact with drugs in human clinical trials. This means that essential oil safety is still a wild frontier in the science community and no one really knows (for certain) how essential oils will interact with drugs or your body.

Nonetheless, properly diluting your essential oils is fundamental to safety and effectiveness because they are highly concentrated plant compounds. To help you along your journey, I have a created an easy-to-use dilution guide that you can download for FREE to make sure that all of your topical applications are safe and effective for the entire family. 

CLICK HERE to download my free EO Roller Bottle Dilution Chart! 

As with as medicine and natural therapies, this is only a guide and be sure to discontinue use if any adverse reactions occur and consult your physician immediately.



This post currently has 14 comments.

  1. Esther
    September 17, 2016

    I read the comment in my email from you how it helps normalize high levels of cortisol. I’m learning how my high cortisol levels are the main problem with my years of insomnia. I have hyperalderosteronism and not just adrenal fatigue. Of all the things I’ve heard on the sleep and supplement summits (etc), they do not addresses my problem. Do you think the topical application of Basil oil will help? What should the dilution be?

    I appreciate all you provide on your website!

    • Dr. Z
      September 19, 2016

      Hi Esther,

      First, check out the article in my EO database about sleep –>

      Second, a 2% dilution would be a good start to apply topically on the bottoms of your feet.

      Using these conversions:

      1% dilution: 6 drops of EO per oz of carrier oil (1% of 600 drops is 6)
      2% dilution: 12 drops of EO per oz of carrier oil (2% of 600 drops is 12)
      3% dilution: 18 drops of EO per oz of carrier oil (3% of 600 drops is 18)

      If working with tablespoons are more comfortable for you, 1 oz. = 2 tablespoons. So, there are 300 drops of EO in a tablespoon.

      1% dilution: 3 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil (1% of 300 drops is 3)
      2% dilution: 6 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil (2% of 300 drops is 6)
      3% dilution: 9 drops of EO per tablespoon of carrier oil (3% of 300 drops is 9)

  2. Larry
    September 14, 2016

    Is there any EO that will get rid of bedbugs?

  3. Kim Schmucker
    April 29, 2016

    Is there a basil oil that is edible?

    • Dr. Z
      April 30, 2016

      Yep! Just make sure it’s a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) therapeutic grade brand. 🙂

  4. Carole
    April 3, 2016

    I have a friend that loves the Basil oil…says it makes her feel great and I can see the difference in her personality! And she takes it daily And she is nursing…
    Would ou recommend she not take while nursing? Or just cut back…..

    • Dr. Z
      April 4, 2016

      Hi Carole, my wife has always used basil to increase her milk supply, so not sure why there would be concern here. 🙂

      • Debbie
        August 27, 2016

        I am not sure I am understanding? Carole’s friend can consume Basil oil while breastfeeding and Melissa should slow her roll on using it topically? Could you perhaps explain? Thank you.

        • Dr. Z
          August 27, 2016

          Hi Debbie,

          I do not understand your question.

          Carole’s friend is nursing and loves basil oil. The concern is whether or not she should limit use because of breastfeeding.

      • Tina
        May 18, 2017

        How do I know how many different oils I can use daily? I love your information but am somewhat {very} confused as to what oils,how much and when to use them.

        • Dr. Z
          May 19, 2017

          Hi Tina,

          It’s definitely a lot of information to learn, which is why I have created a 5-Module beginner course that walks you through everything step-by-step.

          This summer Dr. Z will be launching a 3-part series of courses on using essential oils, and Part 1 is ready! It is 5 modules long and covers all the basics from aromatherapy 101 to applications and best practices. This course is valued at $97, and right now the only way to get it is to purchase the Herbs and Essential Oils Super Bundle, which is only $30 so it’s a super sweet deal.

          You can get it here –>

          I suggest you buy the bundle and watch my course and let’s learn step-by-step together! 🙂

          This special deal ends Monday, May 26 at midnight EST so grab yours before it’s too late!

  5. Melissa
    March 26, 2016

    Does the Estragole caution still apply to regular topical application of basil oil? I use it (doTerra brand) twice daily topically as its had fantastic positive effects on my adrenals and I’ve not heard of this warning till now.

    Hoping I can safely still use it topically daily?

    • Dr. Z
      April 1, 2016

      Hi Melissa,

      We can overdo anything. Even if it’s “good” for us. The caution still stands for topical use because the oils are transdermal and penetrate your skin.

      Always be careful, heavily dilute, listen to your body, and keep your physician informed. 🙂


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