Sweet Basil (Lamiaceae)
There are many different types of Basil, over 150 in fact but Sweet Basil probably originated in India. The other forms of Basil are similar, but not as potent. It grows to about 20″, has shiny oval leaves and small white flowers.
Sweet Basil contains volatile oil with these properties:
Linalool, methyl chavicol, methyl cinnamate, cineole
In the 1st century, the Greek physician Dioscorides believed that the oil from sweet basil would help relieve the “bite” from the sting of a scorpion. Ancient Romans used it to relieve gas and for poisoning. They also used it to help promote breast milk production.
Modern uses for Sweet Basil essential oil include aiding the digestive tract, aiding the nervous system, easing flatulence, stomach cramps and colic. It has shown to be great for removing intestinal parasites, nervous irritability, fatigue, depression, anxiety and insomnia.
The juice from the leaves has proven an effective treatment for insect bites, and if used topically is also a great insect repellent.
Sweet basil essential oil should not be take internally