Basil Oil is distilled from the botanical Ocimum basilicum L. The plant is typically grown and harvested for its leaves, which are popular around the world in many food dishes.
There are a number of chemotypes available in this family and this variety is high in Methyl Chavicol (also known as Estragole), which can typically be around 85% of the component mixture. Estragole is used in perfumes and as a food additive for flavour.
Estragole is often isolated and converted to anethole using potassium hydroxide.
Traditionally it has been used to treat a variety of ailments such as anxiety, nausea, muscle aches, insect bites and flu symptoms. Powdered basil leaves were also inhaled to combat chest infections. Today it is considered good to as an antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive and expectorant.
Basil has a sweet, spicy and green top note with light woody middle notes.
The ‘Severe Tropical Storm Talas’ hit the cultivating regions in 2017 and brought down output significantly as a large proportion of the crop was destroyed. The harvesting season for the crop usually takes place between September and December. Under normal circumstances and ideal weather conditions Vietnam produces 25-30 MT, but it is feared that figure could be 50% less once the final output is calculated.
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