Basil Oil Linalool (or Sweet Basil) 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.
Seeds are planted late March and early April with cutting starting as early as June. Distillation occurs later in summer with oil readily available around September / October.
There are a number of chemotypes available in this family but Sweet Basil has the higher percentage of linalool and is considered the safest to be used in aromatherapy where it has many traditional and therapeutic benefits. The linalool can be extracted for use as a natural isolate in perfumery.
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.
Sweet Basil has a sweet, spicy and green top note with light woody middle notes and is commonly cultivated in Egypt, India and Nepal.
2016 witnessed short supplies throughout the year. This created active demand in early 2017 and pushed up prices of the oil. The basil oil linalool harvest started in early August and finished in October. Due to farmers’ unrealistic price expectations, the oil prices hiked. While prices are higher with no relief, demand continues to remain active and the market is expected to be stable with good availability of stock.
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