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.
The new season couldn’t come soon enough as market prices had risen dramatically early in 2017 due to a lack of supply as a result of a poor 2016 crop.
The harvest started early August and finished in October but prices remain high as farmers demand unrealistic prices for their oil. It has been a strange situation where the market needs oil but they are reluctant to buy at such prices.
Expect the farmers resistance to end early in 2018 and material start to flow again with more realistic prices.
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