6 Reasons to Love Basil Natural Soap
Posted on November 06 2015
Learn the Facts about Basil Natural Soap
One of the world’s most popular culinary herbs, basil adds flavor and fragrance to food – especially in Italian cooking, with which the herb is synonymous. However, basil has many more preparations, especially in alternative healthcare when used in teas, bath and body products and natural soaps.
There are more than a dozen varieties of basil, all closely related to the mint family of plants. Ocimum basilicum is the official name for the herb, but it has cultivars that include Persian, dark opal, anise and globe basil. Some types are sweet, others citrusy, adding a rustic, earthy scent and flavor in culinary and other applications.
Basil has a number of benefits alongside its obvious food seasoning qualities; eaten, taken in tea form or used in cosmetics and natural soaps, the herb has been a popular natural remedy for centuries in the management of all kinds of ailments.
6 Health Benefits of Basil:
Banish that blemish
Basil contains oils that can help keep your skin blemish-free by repelling the bacteria responsible for breakouts. Thai and holy basil species are reported to generate the best results for banishing blemishes, reducing sebum that contributes to blocked pores and pimples. Holy basil in particular is used in acne preparations – the seed oil contains linolenic acid, which reduces inflammation and has been shown to reduce spot size by a quarter over the period of a month.
The phytochemicals present in basil may be useful in managing anxiety; studies have shown that these compounds may be helpful in lowering levels of cortisol – the hormone secreted by the body during times of stress. In particular, the species holy basil is credited with anxiety management and has been used in Indian natural medicine for thousands of years. Working as an adaptogen, holy basil is thought to help improve the body’s resistance to both mental and physiological stress.
The perfect pick-me-up
If you’re feeling tired and run-down, basil is a useful pick-me-up; a tablespoon of dried basil or just over two cups of chopped fresh basil contains 10 per cent of your daily requirement of iron, which is essential for keeping tiredness at bay. Basil is often used in alternative medicine as a treatment for adrenal fatigue, or chronic tiredness; because of its adaptogen properties, the herb increases immune resistance to help ward off stress-related sleepiness.
Improve your vision
Basil is rich in Vitamin A, which is vital for good eyesight. The vitamin helps protect the surface of the eye (the cornea) and is a helpful application for night blindness and sore or dry eyes. Just 100 grams of fresh basil leaves provides the recommended daily amount of Vitamin A. The antioxidant properties of Vitamin A also mean that basil is effective in repelling the free radicals responsible for skin damage.
Retain a youthful glow
The active vitamers in Vitamin A are called retinoids, and basil has a high concentration of these famously anti-aging compounds. Retinoids include retinol and tretinoin – names you may be familiar with as additives in many modern antiaging cosmetics. Research has shown that retinoids achieve positive results in the reversal of photoaging, or aging caused by exposure to the sun. The compounds are also used to treat some forms of acne.
Detox your system
Basil helps the body remove toxins and is added to many digestive aids to help control conditions like flatulence and constipation, while its healing properties are reportedly effective in relieving the symptoms of stomach ulcers and reversing the damage. Additionally, basil is thought to be beneficial for liver function; the herb reputedly improves the workings of this vital organ and also protects it from the onset of various diseases.
Mountain Herbal Cold Process Soap Recipe - via Vibrant Soap
Basil offers so many health benefits, it makes sense to introduce the herb into your daily diet and beauty regimen. For a simple way to use basil on your skin every day, try our recipe for Spearmint Basil Spice natural soap.
Spearmint Basil Spice Natural Soap Recipe:
- 20 oz olive oil
- 7.5 oz oz water
- 2.5 oz lye
- 10 drops basil essential oil
- 10 drops spearmint essential oil
- 1.5 tbs dried crushed basil
- 1.5 tbs dried crushed mint
- Equipment Safety goggles
- Rubber gloves
- Wooden or plastic soap mold
- Large stainless steel or enamel pot
- Weighing scales
- Hand stick blender
- Two 3 qt size plastic pitchers
- Several dishes Two thermometers
- Two wooden spoons
- Rubber spatula
- Measuring cup, 2 or 3-cup size
- Freezer paper
- An old blanket or large rag
- Piece of cardboard cut to fit the mold as a lid
1. Put on your goggles and gloves and gather up your equipment. Weigh out the water into one of your pitchers and the lye into the second.
2. Carefully pour the water into the lye and stir continuously. Set to one side to heat up.
3. In the meantime, measure out the olive oil, basil essential oil, spearmint essential oil and dried basil and mint. Line your soap mold with freezer paper.
4. Pour the olive oil into a pan and heat on the stove. When the oil and the lye are approximately the same temperature, and the lye mixture to the oils and mix. You may want to switch to a stick blender to speed up the process.
5. When the mixture starts leaving tracks, trace has been achieved. Now, add the dried basil and mint and stir for several seconds longer.
6. Pour the soap batter into the mold and cover with the cardboard lid and blanket. Leave the soap to stand for at least 18 hours before removing the blanket and lid and let the soap loaves cure for several hours longer.
7. When the soap is set, remove from the mold, cut into bars and leave to cure on an open drying rack for up to six weeks.
If you tried out our recipe for Basil Spearmint Spice natural soap we’d love to know how it turned out. Leave us a comment below to let us know how the batch turned out! Don’t forget to visit the Soap.Club blog regularly for other great cold process soap recipes and The Scent Store for a fabulous selection of handmade artisan soap.
Please Note: Every week, Soap.Club receives incredible recipes from our members and guest soapers. Due to volume and time restraints, Soap.Club is not able to test each recipe. All recipes are to be used strictly as a guideline. Since the recipe requires lye, it is very important to make sure you check you lye measurements. Soap.Club cannot guarantee the results and we strongly recommend that you stick to small batches at first. Please give us your feedback. We would love to hear for you.