Holy basil essential oil is derived from Ocimum tenuiflorum, a species of basil native to the Indian subcontinent. Also known as Ocimum sanctum L. and tulsi, this plant has long been popular in Indian medicine for treating many health problems.

Like the herb, its essential oil also possesses numerous beneficial properties. Holy basil essential oil is pale yellow with a thin consistency. It comes with a fresh, earthy, and minty aroma.

The unique composition of holy basil oil makes it beneficial for both health and beauty. The rich blend of eugenol, nerol, camphor, flavonoids, and various terpenes delivers a number of health benefits.

You can use this essential oil to treat asthma, acne, and respiratory problems, and reduce the chance of heart disease.

This article looks into the benefits, uses, and some potential side effects of holy basil essential oil.

Benefits and Uses of Holy Basil Essential Oil

Here are some of the potential health benefits of holy basil oil

1. Holy Basil Essential Oil is Good for the Heart.

Hypertension and high blood cholesterol can cause cardiovascular diseases. Holy basil oil may prevent heart attack and coronary heart disease.

The research was published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. It shows that holy basil can prevent several cardiac disorders. Its essential oil may also be good for cardiovascular health.

The eugenol in holy basil oil helps manage the cholesterol level in the body.

Related: 6 Essential Oils for Heart Health and Heart Disease

2. It Helps Relieve Stress.Stress

Holy basil oil is calming in nature. This essential oil may reduce discomforts from nervous tension, depression, stress, and anxiety.

A similar study that showed basil’s efficacy in preventing heart disease proved its ability to reduce stress as well.

Holy basil essential oil has a refreshing effect on the human mind. It may help people achieve strong mental clarity and strength.

Related: 12 Essential Oils for Stress Reduction & How to Use Them

3. Holy Basil Essential Oil May Prevent Cancer.Essential Oils for Cancer

Holy basil essential oil contains eugenol and other phytochemicals that have the potential to fight various kinds of cancers.

A study conducted by the Research and Development department of Father Muller Medical College revealed the efficacy of the phytochemicals found in holy basil to prevent cancer.

Another study published in 2013 showed that holy basil extract could retard breast cancer cells.

But, further studies are required to prove the efficacy of its essential oil in preventing cancer.

Related: 12 Essential Oils for Cancer That You Should Know (Backed by Evidence)

4. It May Cure Fever and Respiratory Disorders.Disorders

The phytochemicals found in holy basil are responsible for the healing properties of this essential oil. The antibiotic, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties help this oil protect you from all sorts of fevers.

A study conducted by Steven Maimes, principal of SALAM Research in Rochester, New Hampshire confirmed its efficacy in treating fever.

Due to its numerous medicinal properties, this essential oil can also help relieve any respiratory disorders.

5. Holy Basil Essential Oil May Protect the Liver.

Regular use of holy basil essential oil may protect you from potential liver damage.

In a study published in 2011, researchers fed some albino rats with liver damage with holy basil extracts. Results showed a positive effect on the liver of the rats.

This essential oil also improves the activity of liver detoxification enzymes, helping it to deactivate toxic chemicals in your body.

6. It is Good for Skin.

Holy basil essential oil is rich in vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties. It can treat various skin diseases while improving complexion.

Research published in The Scientific World Journal confirmed the anti-inflammatory effects of holy basil oil.

Due to its medicinal properties, holy basil oil can treat wound, burn, and some skin diseases. It can also reduce inflammation and itching.

Related: 19 Ways to Use Grapeseed Oil for Skin Care

8. Holy Basil Essential Oil Can Promote Healthy Hair.Hair-Growth

Holy basil essential oil is a popular ingredient in hair care regimes. The medicinal properties of this oil can reduce scalp problems and promote healthy hair.

A study published in 2016 showed revealed the effectiveness of some natural ingredients in the treatment of Alopecia, a disease that causes hair loss. Holy basil oil was one of them.

Regular use of this oil may also help you get lustrous and darker hair.

8. It Can Repel Insects.

If you have mosquitoes and other insects at your home, you can use holy basil essential oil as an alternative to toxic pest controls.

In a  study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease, holy basil oil showed powerful insect-repellent activities.

How to Use Holy Basil Essential Oil

Following are the correct ways to use holy basil essential oil:


  • Add a few drops of holy basil essential oil into a diffuser or vaporizer and inhale the aroma.
  • You can also inhale this oil directly from the bottle.

Topical Application:

  • Dilute holy basil oil with an equal part of coconut oil.
  • Apply the diluted oil directly to your skin and massage gently.


  • Holy basil oil can be consumed directly or mixed with other drinks under proper guidance.
  • Make sure you’re taking 100% tested and therapeutic-grade essential oil for internal ingestion.

Side Effects of Holy Basil Essential Oil

Holy basil oil is non-toxic and generally safe to use if diluted properly. But, this essential oil also comes with some side effects. So, you must use this oil with proper precautions.

Possible side effects of holy basil essential oil:

Eugenol Overdose — Excessive intake of this essential oil may cause overdose problems. It may lead to bleeding while coughing, rapid breathing, as well as poisoning.

Hypoglycemia — Holy basil essential oil may abnormally lower your blood sugar level. So, if you’re under medication due to diabetes, consult your doctor before using this essential oil.

Blood Thinning Effect — Avoid taking this essential oil if you’re taking anti-clotting or blood-thinning medications. Holy basil oil has properties that can intensify the blood-thinning effects of these medications.

Infertility in Men — A study published in the International Journal of Ayurveda Research showed that holy basil oil reduced the sperm count in male rabbits.

Risk for Pregnant Women — excessive consumption of holy basil oil may cause uterine contraction in pregnant women. It may also cause bleeding and complications in childbirth.


The numerous health benefits of holy basil essential oil make it one of the most beneficial essential oils in the world. Due to its medicinal properties, you can make this oil a regular part of your beauty and health care.

But, This essential oil also possesses some side effects. So, you must limit yourself to moderate consumption of this essential oil.

It is highly recommended that you buy this essential oil from a reputed supplier. Use it under the proper guidance of an aromatherapist or doctor.

The moderate use of this essential oil may help you avoid its adverse effects while enjoying its numerous benefits.

Read More: 9 Coconut Oil Remedies for Vaginal, Skin, and Oral Yeast Infections