Ocimum basilicum

OCIMUM micranthum
Ocimum gratissimum

The common basil, native to Asia, is widespread in all warm regions and in regions with Mediterranean climate;
he can not stand frost.

It is a perennial, woody and bushy, aromatic, dense foliage and very green, white flowers are in terminal panicles.

Basil is grown around the world
and it is escape from cultivation in many tropical countries;
is a plant that grows in an apartment.

The small Framboisine (O. micranthum) is unique in the Caribbean but the great Framboisine (O. gratissimum) is widespread in the tropics.

It is a very invasive perennial, shrub up to 2-3 meters and resistant to drought and is not consumed by animals.

The plant exudes a strong smell especially in the heat, the flowers are small, white, grouped in terminal panicles, the foliage is green to greenish-gray very aromatic.


The dried leaves of basil contain a minimum of 0.25% essential oil (see glossary);
under the conditions of culture content varies and can reach 2% of dry weight.

The composition of the oil changes with the coming of the plant basil in the Indian Ocean contains mostly estragole with other terpenes (see glossary) in small quantity (cineole, fenchol, linalool and methyl-eugenol);
in Europe the plant contains more than linalool or methyl eugenol.

The Framboisine contains comparatively more essential oil, up to 5% of dry weight, whose composition varies according to geographical origin or cultivar.
In Africa it is an essence to thymol, the Pacific and Indian Ocean dominates eugenol.
The properties of essential oils (ET), are related to their chemical composition and therefore variable.
The eugenol and methyl eugenol are anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet (see glossary), local anesthetics and antibiotics, but the association with other terpenes is considered the basil leaf primarily as a regulator of gastrointestinal functions: eupeptic, carminative (see glossary), anti-gastralgic and antispasmodic.

In aromatherapy it describes the EO of basil as a sympathomimetic (see glossary) by stimulating the adrenal glands.
Some components of ET are not without hazards, and estragole proved hépatocancérigène mice and certain derivatives estragole are even more toxic. As always we should not consider the essential oils as harmless drug.


Basil common is first a spice soup with pesto, bouillabaisse;
Ocimum the reviewers are used in perfumery (especially flowers), example: "Monoi" miri in Polynesia.

The basil tea (decoction (see glossary) of leaves) is:

* Digestive: soothes stomach pain, headaches digestive dyspepsia in general
* Is an adrenal tonic stimulation, slightly diuretic and useful in cases of viral fever (disease "influenza, fevers commonplace) and" fatigue "post-infectious.

The infusion of Framboisine (infusion of fresh leaves and flowers) is also diuretic and antidyspeptique (see glossary) but the presence of eugenol in quantity can also use the ET in oral hygiene and dentistry:

* Processing of waiting by applying directly on the tooth decayed or painful, of EO on a cotton swab,
* Mouthwash and gargle in cases of gingivitis or angina, a few drops of EO in a glass of warm water.

More anecdotally, some therapists recommend:

* The concentrated decoction of basil pursuant to fight against hair loss and soothe insect bites,
* The powder of dried basil leaves if chronic rhinitis, 1 pinch morning and evening
* The juice obtained by expression of 2 to 3 leaf fresh crushed and used as eye drops, it is applied directly on the eye irritation (South America and Caribbean)
* Often in cases of fever, Amazonian Indians use bathing in an infusion of plants; Framboisine basil is one of the plants they see as a febrifuge (see glossary) by "washing" external, especially in children.

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