Did you know that basil has been used for years in traditional Asian and Indian medicine practices as a natural anti-inflammatory, antiviral antibiotic and diuretic? Who knew this herb could treat so many health issues! That’s just the beginning. In the 16th century, basil leaves were used to remedy migraines and chest infections. Centuries ago, Italian women wore basil to attract possible suitors.
This recipe is a wonderful way to enjoy a refreshing, light scrub without harsh chemicals and overwhelming scents. It will exfoliate dull skin cells while hydrating your skin, leaving it soft to touch. I don’t know about you but I could use an exfoliant every now and then. It’s the perfect way to wake up in the morning. Here are four reasons why basil can help you start your day off right.
1. It reduces anxiety
Research tells us that roughly 18 percent of Americans struggle regularly with stress-induced anxiety. As someone who struggles with anxiety, what better way to start the day than with a scrub that can lower your stress level? While you take your morning shower and exfoliate, you’ll reap the benefits of aromatherapy and lower your stress at the same time.
2. It’s antibacterial and antifungal
Researchers have evaluated the effects of basil oil against six forms of bacteria and three strains of fungi — and it works! Use basil essential oil in your home to remove bacteria from kitchens and bathrooms, prevent contamination and purify the air. While you rinse off and use this amazing scrub, you’re also disinfecting your shower. How cool is that? You can also try diffusing or vaporizing basil oil. Or, combine it with water in a spray bottle to rub down surfaces in your home.
3. It works as an insect repellant
This is another great benefit for those who use the scrub first thing in the morning, especially during summer months when there are more insects than we know what to do with. The volatile oils found in basil can repel mosquitoes and prevent bug bites, acting as a natural insect repellant. You can also make a homemade bug spray or lotion by diluting several drops of basil essential oil with a carrier oil and massaging it into your skin. If you already have a bug bite, try rubbing on some basil essential oil to soothe the swelling.
4. It’s an energizer and mood enhancer
Inhaling basil essential oil helps restore your mental alertness and fight fatigue since it’s a natural stimulant that works on the nervous system and adrenal cortex. It can also reduce symptoms like sluggishness, brain fog, sore muscles and poor moods that come along with adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome. Spray it around your home, sniff it straight from the bottle or dab several drops on your wrists, chest and back for an instant pick-me-up.
You might also want to double this recipe so you can use it often and give some away. It’s so easy to make, I always have some in my refrigerator so it’s handy to grab first thing in the morning. Please be careful not to slip in the shower since the oil and water make a slippery surface. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do!
— Leilani Hampton