The origin of basil essential oil:

The origin of basil essential oil can be traced back to the aromatic leaves of the basil plant, scientifically known as Ocimum basilicum. 

Bulgarian basil essential oil is widely used in perfumery, cooking, food and pharmaceutical industries.


Short summary description of the oil:

  • Categories/Mainstream: Essential oils
  • Scientific Name: Ocimum basilicum
  • Botanical Source: Ocimum basilicum plant
  • Extraction Method: Steam distillation
  • CAS number: 8015-73-4
  • EC number: 283-900-8
  • Scent: herbaceous, slightly spicy 
  • Country of origin: Bulgaria

The origin of basil essential oil

The origin of basil essential oil can be traced back to the aromatic leaves of the basil plant, scientifically known as Ocimum basilicum. This essential oil is extracted through steam distillation, capturing the fragrant essence of the basil leaves. Basil, a member of the Lamiaceae family, is native to regions in Asia and Africa but has become widely cultivated across the globe for its culinary, medicinal, and aromatic properties. The oil's origin lies in the meticulous extraction process that harnesses the natural compounds present in basil, offering a distinctive and herbaceous scent with potential health and wellness benefits

Extraction method:

The fresh aerial part of the plant is mechanically harvested and transported to the production site. It is placed in a distillation apparatus that operates with steam, allowing the raw material to thoroughly fill the apparatus. A distillation process is then conducted, extracting the substances that constitute the essential oil. The resulting product is purified from any residual water and undergoes a double filtration. The final product is packed in enamel-coated barrels designated as packaging for food purposes.​

Certification and standardisation

  • Produced according to ISO 9001:2015 and GMP of cosmetic regulations.
  • Produced according to FSSC 22000 – food ingredient.
  • Produced according to ICH Q7 – Active pharmaceutical ingredient.


Bulgarian basil essential oil has been widely used in perfumery, cooking, the food industry, and the production of cosmetics and medicines (Duke, 2001). Traditionally, basil is used as a condiment in the food industry. However, several studies have revealed that its action goes beyond the concept of spice due to its pharmacological properties, such as antioxidant, antiviral, antimicrobial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic properties, among others (Bilal et al., 2012; Ch et al., 2015). It has been widely used in traditional medicine to treat anxiety, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and headache (Bora et al., 2011).

Research, Society and Development, v. 10, n. 12, e363101220409, 2021 (CC BY 4.0) | ISSN 2525-3409 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.33448/rsd-v10i12.20409

Food and cosmetic industry

These plants can be used for various purposes. In addition to being used as spices to improve the flavor of foods, they are used both in raw materials and in preparations, due to the antioxidant effects and health benefits already reported in the literature. Due to its antioxidant capacity, several aromatic plants are used in the food industry as food additives (Pawar et al., 2014; Yuan et al., 2016). In addition, basil is a component of several dietary supplements, which are easily accessible as products capable of maintaining and promoting health (Berg et al., 2011; Bower et al., 2016). Thus, the large consumption of basil as a food ingredient makes it a possible candidate for biofortification purposes (Kiferle et al., 2019). Currently, several studies have demonstrated the use of basil essential oil in foods as an antioxidant in meat and dairy products, antibacterial in sausages, antifungal in links, and several other applications (Falowo et al., 2019; Gaio et al., 2015; Kocić-Tanackov et al., 2020; Licon et al., 2020).

Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Activity

Several studies describe the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities present in basil essential oils (Araújo Couto et al., 2019; Pandey et al., 2016). Basil oil has been found to have anti-inflammatory and anti-edematogenic activity in models of inflammation by blocking the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways (S. Singh et al., 1996). Furthermore, another study demonstrated the anti-inflammatory activity of basil essential oil and suggested that this effect could be due to the inhibition of cyclooxygenase 2 caused by its constituents (Złotek et al., 2016). Treatment with basil essential oil in encapsulated form also demonstrated antioxidant activity from the DPPH sequestering activity assay (Sundararajan et al., 2018). Additionally, a basil-based preparation demonstrated an antioxidant, increasing glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase, and decreasing the level of lipid peroxidation in an acute liver injury model (Dwivedi et al., 2015). Furthermore, Stanojevic et al. also described basil essential oil's antimicrobial and antioxidant activity, demonstrating a free radical scavenging activity and suggesting it as a good alternative for application in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries (Stanojevic et al., 2017). Basil essential oil has been shown to have a cardioprotective activity capable of protecting the myocardium against isoproterenol-induced infarction, mainly due to antioxidant activities (Fathiazad et al., 2012). Basil essential oil is capable of protecting against oxidative and inflammatory damage, can have several applications in preventing and treating diseases. 

Antifungal and antimicrobial activities of basil

Fungal infections remain a serious problem around the world that requires effective therapeutic strategies. Basil essential oil has traditionally been used to treat bacterial and fungal infections (Miao et al., 2020). The antimicrobial activities of basil were evaluated against S. aureus, E. coli, B. subtilis, and Pasteurella multocida. Also, against pathogenic fungi such as A. niger, Mucor mucedo, Candida albicans, Alternaria alternata, Alternaria tenuissima, Aspergillus fumigatus, Fusarium solani, Botryodiplodia theobromae, and R. solani, the results obtained showed that basil has antimicrobial activity against all tested microorganisms (Ahmad et al., 2016; Hussain et al., 2008; Marco et al., 2020; Tavallali et al., 2019). However, despite demonstrating a very significant antimicrobial activity, this activity may vary according to the composition of the essential oil and the method used.

Antiviral activity

Basil has also shown vast antiviral activity and can be used to treat a variety of viral diseases, such as eye, respiratory, and liver infections. Due to the lack of effective drugs to treat adenoviral infections, the essential oil, and its isolated constituents can be potential therapeutic agents for treating these diseases (Chiang et al., 2005; Ryu et al., 1992). In addition, recently, a molecular anchoring study showed that apigenin, oleanolic acid, and ursolic acid found in basil are potential inhibitors of chymotrypsin-like protease found in coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV2) and could be investigated for possible treatment of the disease (Matondo et al., 2021).

Main chemical constituents:


the primary component of basil essential oil that is responsible to its potential anti-anxiety and sedative effects.


offers potential health benefits such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is also being researched for its possible roles in stress relief, gastrointestinal health, and even anti-cancer effects, making it of interest in various aspects of wellness.


(1-8 cineol): offers various health benefits. It is known for its respiratory support, anti-inflammatory effects, antimicrobial properties, potential pain relief, and positive impact on cognitive function. Whether inhaled or applied topically, eucalyptol is commonly utilized for its therapeutic qualities.

Main properties and usage

  • Aromatherapy: promotes mental clarity, reduces stress, improves concentration and focus.
  • Wellness: used in different massages to alleviate muscle pain and tension.
  • Respiratory health: may provide relief from respiratory issues like coughs, colds, and congestion.
  • Skin care: it can be added to skincare products due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help with acne-prone skin.
  • Potent antibacterial: impressive antimicrobial activity against a wide range of food-borne bacteria, yeasts, and mold
  • Herbal remedies: thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can be used in herbal remedies and natural treatments.
  • Hair care: it has the potential to improve hair health and shine.
  • Cold and flu treatment: natural anti-viral
  • Muscle relaxant: thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties
  • Ear Infection remedy: can be used with caution for ear infections.
  • Homemade toothpaste and mouthwash: thanks to its natural antioxidant and antibacterial abilities
  • Natural cleaner: thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties
  • Perfume industry: can be used as a component in various perfumes due to its aromatic herbaceous scent. 
  • Cooking: can be used as a flavoring agent in cooking
  • Digestive booster: stimulates digestion.
  • Pest control: contains compounds that can deter insects.
  • Flavoring: can be used for production of candies, gums, and other confectionery items


Physicochemical characteristics

Indicators: Characteristics and norms:
Appearance Easy flowing clear liquid
Colour Light yellow to yellow green
Odour Complex, reminiscent of linalyl acetate.
Fatty oils and resinified Essential oils in essential oils Pass to test
Relative density 0,8700 to 0,9000
Refractive index 1.4650 to 1.4800
Optical rotation − 17.5° to − 8.5°
Acid value Max 4.0
Ester value 4.0 to 15.0
Solubility in ethanol 80% 1:1 V/V
Chromatographic profile  
Linalol 45% to 70%
Limonene and Eucalyptol, total 5% to 10%
Methyl cinnamate Not more than 4%
Methyl chavicol Not more than 4%