potted basil

Protection Kit for Summer and Beyond, Part 3: Basil

Summer, back-to-school, Fall… Even if these are your favorite times of year, they have their own challenges. Changes in air quality from the shifting weather and seasonal plants can cause stuffiness, tiredness, and that foggy-headed feeling. Bug bites are itchy at best and some types of bugs present threats, too. Sunburns take their toll on your skin and are miserable to endure. A new school year means increased germ exposure.

But this series seeks to arm you with essential oils to protect you and your family. So far we’ve covered Helichrysum and essential blend TerraShield. This entry will tell you all about the benefits of humble Basil. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on how Purify and Lavender can round out your seasonal protection kit.

Basil Brings You Back From The Edges of Stress

One of the biggest benefits Basil can bring to the table is its familiar aroma. Olfactory memory, memory built around scent, can be very powerful.  Basil is such a culturally broad cooking component that many of us, when smelling pure basil, feel transported back to childhood kitchens and warm memories. Using scent to bring your focus to positive memories can be a great way to pull yourself out of a funk!

Even without basil-based memories to call on, you can use the fresh, bright scent basil essential oil to give you a sense of focus and cheerfulness. If you create a routine to recenter and refocus, putting a dab of basil on your pulse points, taking a break, stretching, and clearing your mind, you can create your own olfactory memories! Through your routine, you will come to associate the scent of basil with feeling more relaxed and ready to take the next step, heightening the effects of your routine.

Some people have reported feeling soothed when taking a drop or two of basil essential oil internally during their menstrual cycle. Feeling raw from menstrual stress is tricky enough, but feeling menstrual stress on a hot summer day is super challenge mode! Try two drops in an 8oz glass of water when you’re feeling mega stressed.

Basil Soothes and Cools

Basil’s other soothing quality comes from the cool feeling it imparts on the skin. Try this for sunburn:

Tip: To make a small batch, use a shot glass, which holds 1.5oz.

  • 1oz of fractionated coconut oil
  • 2 drops basil essential oil
  • 2 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 2 drops lavender oil

Mix well by covering and shaking vigorously, or you can stir with a toothpick or similar if you’re mixmastering in a shot glass. Dip your fingers into the mixture and spread on the area that most needs to be soothed and cooled. Store in a sealed container, in a cool spot out of the sun, for no more than 2 months.

You can scale this recipe to make a bigger batch, too! Just multiply by the size of the batch you want to make. Got a small 3 ounce bottle you want to use? Use 3oz coconut oil and 6 drops of each essential oil. As a good safety rule when you’re just starting out, try not to use more than 20 drops of essential oil total in any mix you plan to put on your skin without hands-on guidance from an expert! For example, if you’re making a 4oz batch, you’d end up using 24 total drops of essential oil; try cutting back on your least-favorite one to lower the total drop amount.

To turn this into a cream, mix with shea butter. Since you’re adding another neutral oil, use 3 drops of each oil in every ounce of coconut oil. For every 1oz of coconut and essential oil mixture, use 2-4oz of room temperature shea butter. The more you use, the firmer the end result will be. You can melt the shea butter to make it easier to mix, but it will retain more of it’s great soothing properties if it doesn’t get too hot.

Mash it up with the back of a spoon until it’s soft enough to mix in the coconut oil and essential oil mixture. Mix it until you can no longer see liquid oil separate from the overall mix. For a light and fluffy mix, whip with an electric mixer! Store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

If you want your mixture to have a stronger essential oil bite, you can increase the number of drops used. If your mixture is 4oz or greater, you can increase that essential oil limit to 35 drops. Shea and coconut help distribute the essentials safely and buffer against potential irritation.

OH! And rumor has it, basil also makes a good bug repellent. Something about strong herbal scents just seems to make the bugs flee in terror. And final tip: you can use a drop or two of basil essential oil

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