Herbs eugenol oil

Herbs eugenol oil is something you may have a passing interest in, as I have. However there is no earthly-point getting neurotic about whether you've had enough of this wonderful anti-inflammatory phenolic compound this week.

What is basil?

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 31st January, 2021.

It is the eugenol oil that gives cloves and sweet basil their divine scent. Unless you are a biochemist, you probably would not be interested in its structure.

Let us just recognise that it is one of those many substances, loosely called phytochemical foods, that research is increasingly showing have a vital and oft mysterious role in sparklingly good well-being.

For example, scientists have published in the journal Connective Tissue Research that eugenol oil inhibits two pathways that induce osteoclast formation[1].

Osteoclasts are the cells that lead to bone destruction and porosity, hence the interest of a DC in herbs and eugenol oil.

Thus even small amounts of sweet basil and cloves, ingested regularly, will contribute to stronger bones; a wonderful flavour in any case.

I always add a clove to butternut soup, for example; we made it last night. And right through the summer there are half a dozen fresh sweet basil leaves in every salad.

Eugenol structure

Herbs eugenol oil

Herbs eugenol oil is found in sweet basil giving pesto its unique aroma.

Whenever making a spicy dish, simply add a few cloves for its eugenol oil.

And when making salads be sure to include periodically one of the most delicious and simple to make dressings called pesto. The principal ingredient is sweet basil; think stronger bones, and less painful teeth.

Eugenol oil has long been used by dentists, combined with zinc oxide, in applications such as sealing root canals. It acts as an anti inflammatory and helps prevent bacterial build up under a crown.

I'm sure you recognise the distinctive smell of herbs eugenol oil when you've had dental work. Ask your dentist about it about its analgesic properties.

It's also used in many perfumes because of its wonderful fragrance.

Don't go out and buy it. Simply plant some sweet basil in your garden next spring. It's a simply divine smelling herb that will contribute to discussion around the dining room table! 'Darling, what a divine salad. What on earth have you put in it?'

You can't see them in this picture, but the bees from my hives go crazy over the tiny white flowers. I'd just love to try the honey from three acres of sweet basil!

It's quite sensitive to very hot weather, so water frequently, and alas gets a nasty blight in misty, damp conditions. It's extremely frost sensitive, so harvest the leaves and freeze them as soon as they are ready. You can also hang them in bunches to dry. Throw handfuls into your stews.

Sweet basil

Sweet basil is simply my favourite herb; just squeeze a handful of leaves up in your hand and take in a deep whiff. I could get high on the volatile essential oil; it contains the herbs eugenol oil.

What is basil you may be wondering.

Sweet basil flowers are also a source of eugenol oil.

Drying sweet basil

Sweet basil can easily be dried and preserved for the rest of the year in a simple dryer. The leaves are thin so it does not take long.


Pesto is a wonderful condiment made primarily of sweet basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese; the sweet basil is the source of the herbs eugenol oil.

Pesto lunch is rich in eugenol

Pluck the leaves from your sweet basil and crush them in your fingers; the fragrance is divine. Then make into a pesto.

Can you see the pesto in this wonderful salad and in that bottle near the butter? Yes, butter is back; research conclusively shows there's no advantage in margarine and it tastes awful. Margarine is made with hydrogenated oils which have been proved very toxic for the body.


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There is lots of interest in the photograph above, just a typical lunch not unlike that we enjoy every day. Enjoying nine coloured foods per day, research shows decreases all cause of death by 35 percent. That's massive.

In particular, notice the sourdough bread that I make several times a week. What is really interesting about it is the bacterium lactobacillus in the sourdough breaks down the short chains with the amino acid proline that is so stubborn to complete digestion; that's what gives so many folk trouble with gluten.

Sourdough bread is so much more digestible, and even folk with Celiac disease are finding they can eat it if it's left for a long 24 hour ferment.

The sweet basil in herb and spice butters is particularly lovely on bread.


Cloves are richly endowed with herbs eugenol oil too which is why, for centuries the treatment of toothache was a clove squished into the offending cavity. Add them regularly to your cooking. The wife just yesterday added a couple cloves to her pickled beets recipes.

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Bernard Preston

Bernard Preston is busy with his seventh book, provisionally called Priests Denied. It won't be available until 2017 at the earliest.

His other six books are to be found in the navigation bar; they are inexpensive as ebooks at Amazon.

Nutritious choice slow foods, made fast is his passion. Dropping a few sweet basil leaves with their herbs eugenol oil into a salad turns a dull green salad into a gem; add homemade hummus or pesto and you have a divine lunch.

As a highly qualified scientist and doctor, he is well-qualified to write about such subjects as herbs eugenol oil and it's role in wellness.

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