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Sweet Basil essential oil and the usage for headaches treatment

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Sweet basil, or ocimum basilicum, is a part of the mint family. This herb is commonly used in cooking to flavor Mediterranean and other dishes. However, the basil plant and its essential oil are also used extensively in natural healing. Similar to mint, basil is a natural remedy that might alleviate pain from headaches. However, be sure to check with your doctor and a certified aromatherapist before using essential oils to treat your headaches.


Properties
Sweet basil essential oil contains numerous health-promoting properties that can relieve headaches and migraines. According to Dr. Jae B. Park's research for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, sweet basil is anti-inflammatory to bring down swelling, antiemetic to ease nausea that might accompany your headaches, antispasmodic to help spasms causing a headache and analgesic to relieve your pain.

Research
Recent studies back up the pain-relieving effects of basil essential oil. More specifically, the Eugenol Synthase enzyme in basil suppresses pain, according to a 2007 study by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Also, a December 2010 study in "Planta Medica" concluded that the antinociceptive effects of basil alleviated pain. This property helps your body feel less pain in reaction to certain causes of pain.


Application
To use basil essential oil when you have a headache, simply smell the oil from the bottle or put it in a diffuser. While you might not think the smell of basil will have any effect, the scent of essential oils travels to the limbic area of your brain and your brain releases chemicals in response. In the case of basil, your brain will release chemicals to stimulate and relieve pain. If you prefer, add one drop basil oil to 1 tbsp. carrier oil, such as grape seed oil, and massage the blend into your temples. Dilute basil in a carrier oil or water before applying it to your skin.

Warning
Although they are natural, essential oils can have side effects and can cause allergic reactions. Specifically, basil is known to aggravate sensitive skin. If you use basil topically, test a small amount of diluted essential oil on your skin for a reaction before applying it to a large area. Basil can also overexcite you or, conversely, cause you to feel tired and cloudy if you use too much. You should stay away from basil if you are pregnant. Consult a certified aromatherapist for more information on basil and its proper uses.

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