French Basil Oil
Ocimum basilicum in field
Botanical Name:Ocimum basilicum L.
Synonym:Ocimum thyrisflorum L.,
O. caryophyllatum Roxb.
Local Names:RamTulasi, Baabari Phul
English Name:French Basil
French Basil is an erect, pubescent herb reaching up to 1m in height. Leaves are petioled, ovate, acuminate, toothed, gland dotted beneath. Flowers are purplish white and borne in racemes. It mostly propagates by seeds.It is distributed throughout the warmer parts of Asia, Africa and America. It is widely cultivated in eastern and central Nepal within the altitude of 300m to 1500m in open sunny places.
French Basil Oil is extracted by steam distillation of semi-wilted flowering tops.
The oil is widely used as fragrance component in soaps, and in cosmetics and perfumery. It is also used to flavour the food items.
The oil has several therapeutic uses such as analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, expectorant, febrifuge, insecticide, nervine etc. The oil is used in skin care (skin tonic, assists hair growth, adds luster to dull hair), muscular aches and pains, respiratory disorders, scanty menstruation, normalize the menstrual cycle, colds and flu, nausea, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, nervous tension etc.
Colour:Faint Pale Yellow
Aroma:Sweet-spicy, fresh with a faint balsamic woody undertone.
Specific gravity:0.8799 to 0.91 11 at 25° C
Optical rotation:[-] 8.85° to [-] 11.85° at 25° C.
Refractive index:1.470 to 1.4895 at 25° C. Acid number
Acid number:2.5 to 6.5
Ester number:10 to 20
Solubility:Soluble in 1.5 to 3.5 vol. of 70% alcohol.
The major active constituents of French Basil oil are linalol, geraniol, T-cadinol, eugenol and 1, 8-cineol.
Other minor constituents include p-cymenene, bornyl acetate, α-bergamontene, β- elemene, terpinen-4-ol, germacrene D, geranyl acetate, α-amorphene, α-pinene, sabinene, β-pinene, β-myrcene, limonene etc.