Basil Health Benefits

Basil Health Benefits

What is Basil?


Basil is a culinary herb that is widely used in various cuisines around the world. The herb is known for its distinct aroma and flavor, often described as sweet, peppery, and slightly minty. Listed below are seven basil health benefits.


Basil is believed to have originated in India. It has a long history of cultivation and use in traditional Indian cuisine and Ayurvedic medicine. From there, it spread to other parts of the world through trade and exploration. Today, basil is cultivated in many countries, including Italy, Thailand, Egypt, and the United States.

Popular Herb in Cuisines

It is a popular herb in Mediterranean and Southeast Asian cuisines, where it is used in a variety of dishes, such as pesto, pasta sauces, curries, soups, and salads. There are several varieties of basil, including sweet basil, Thai basil, lemon basil, and holy basil, each with its unique flavor profile.

7 Health Benefits of Basil

Basil, Ocimum basilicum, is an herb commonly used in cooking and traditional medicine. It offers several potential health benefits due to its rich nutritional profile and the presence of various biologically active compounds. Some of the potential basil health benefits include:

  • Basil Health Benefits #1 – Antioxidant properties: One of the top health benefits of basil is its powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are compounds that help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can harm your cells and contribute to chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Basil contains various antioxidants, including flavonoids and phenolic acids, which help neutralize free radicals and protect your cells from damage. Incorporating basil into your diet is an easy way to boost your antioxidant intake and support your overall health.
  • Basil Health Benefits #2 – Anti-inflammatory effects: Another health benefit of basil is its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a natural response by your body to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can contribute to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Basil contains compounds like eugenol, rosmarinic acid, and citronellol, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Therefore, adding basil to your meals or drinking basil tea can help reduce inflammation and support your overall health.
  • Basil Health Benefits #3 – Antimicrobial activity: Basil has been found to exhibit antimicrobial properties against certain strains of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This property makes it a potential natural remedy for combating microbial infections.
  • Basil Health Benefits #4 – Digestive health: Basil has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for digestive issues. It contains compounds like eugenol and cineole, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can help soothe the digestive system. Basil can also help stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, which can improve the absorption of nutrients and prevent bloating and constipation. Adding fresh basil to your meals or drinking basil tea can help improve your digestion and promote overall gut health.
  • Basil Health Benefits #5 – Cardiovascular benefits: Some studies suggest that basil may positively impact heart health. It may help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and prevent the formation of blood clots.
  • Basil Health Benefits #6 – Stress reduction: Basil is also known for its calming properties and can help reduce stress and anxiety. It contains compounds like linalool and eugenol, which have been shown to have a calming effect on the nervous system. Drinking basil tea or using basil essential oil in aromatherapy can help promote relaxation and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Additionally, the scent of basil has been shown to improve mood and increase feelings of happiness and well-being.
  • Basil Health Benefits #7 – Respiratory health: Basil has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and coughs. This is because basil contains compounds like eucalyptol, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties that can help relax the muscles in the respiratory tract and improve breathing. Drinking basil tea or using basil essential oil in a diffuser can help alleviate respiratory symptoms and promote better respiratory health.

Basil is also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin C and minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium. It also contains dietary fiber and beneficial phytochemicals. However, it's important to note that while basil may offer potential health benefits, it is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If you have specific health concerns, it's always best to consult a healthcare professional.

Basil Phytochemicals

Basil is a popular herb used in culinary dishes worldwide. Apart from its delightful aroma and flavor, it contains several beneficial phytochemicals contributing to the potential basil health benefits. Here are some of the key phytochemicals found in the herb:

  • Phenolic compounds: Basil is rich in phenolic compounds such as rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, and chicoric acid. These compounds possess antioxidant properties, which help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress.
  • Essential oils: Basil contains essential oils like eugenol, linalool, and estragole, which contribute to its characteristic aroma. These oils possess anti-bacterial and antifungal properties, making basil a potential natural antimicrobial agent.
  • Flavonoids: Basil contains flavonoids like orientin, vicenin, and apigenin. Flavonoids have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. They also have potential cardiovascular benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and improving blood vessel function.
  • Terpenes: Basil contains various terpenes, including beta-caryophyllene, linalool, and limonene. Terpenes have been studied for their potential anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anticancer properties. They may also contribute to the herb's aromatic and flavor profiles.
  • Vitamin K: Basil is a good source of vitamin K, particularly vitamin K1 (phylloquinone). Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and bone health.

These phytochemicals have been associated with potential basil health benefits, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, antimicrobial activity, cardiovascular support, and more. However, it's important to note that the concentrations of these compounds may vary depending on factors such as the variety of basil, growing conditions, and preparation methods.

What Are The Culinary Uses Of The Basil Herb?

Basil is a versatile herb that is widely used in various cuisines around the world. Here are eight common culinary uses of basil:

  • Pesto sauce: Basil is the key ingredient in the classic Italian sauce known as pesto. It is blended with garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil to create a vibrant and flavorful sauce often served with pasta.
  • Salads: Basil leaves can be torn or sliced and added to salads for a fresh and aromatic twist. It pairs well with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and balsamic vinegar.
  • Soups and stews: Basil leaves can be added to soups, stews, and broths to infuse them with a fragrant flavor. It is commonly used in tomato-based soups like tomato basil soup.
  • Sauces and dressings: Basil can be used to enhance the flavor of various sauces and dressings. It adds a bright and herbal note to tomato sauces, vinaigrettes, and marinades.
  • Pizza and pasta: Basil is a classic topping for pizzas, especially Margherita pizza, where it is combined with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. It is also commonly used as a garnish for pasta dishes.
  • Thai cuisine: Basil is a staple herb in Thai cooking. It is used in dishes like Thai basil chicken (Pad Krapow Gai) and green curry (Kaeng Khiao Wan). Thai basil has a slightly different flavor profile than sweet basil and imparts a unique taste to these dishes.
  • Infused oils and vinegar: Basil leaves can be infused with oils and vinegar to create flavored versions. Basil-infused olive oil can be drizzled over salads, vegetables or used as a dipping sauce.
  • Desserts and beverages: Basil can be used in sweet dishes and beverages. It adds a refreshing twist to fruit salads, sorbets, and ice creams. Basil leaves can also be muddled and used in cocktails, lemonades, and herbal teas.

These are just a few examples of the culinary uses of basil. Its aromatic and slightly peppery flavor makes it a popular herb in many dishes, adding a unique touch to various cuisines.

Vitamins and Minerals in Basil

The basil herb is a rich source of various vitamins and minerals. Here are the key minerals found in basil:

  • Vitamin K: Basil contains a significant amount of vitamin K, which plays a crucial role in blood clotting and bone health.
  • Vitamin A: Basil is a good source of provitamin A carotenoids, including beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision, immune function, and cell growth.
  • Vitamin C: Basil contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps boost the immune system, aids collagen production, and protects cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Iron: Basil contains iron, a mineral necessary for forming red blood cells and oxygen transportation in the body.
  • Calcium: Basil contains calcium, which is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth and supporting proper muscle and nerve function.
  • Magnesium: Basil is a source of magnesium, a mineral involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, including energy production, protein synthesis, and muscle function.
  • Potassium: Basil contains potassium, an electrolyte that helps regulate fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contractions.
  • Manganese: Basil provides manganese, a mineral involved in several metabolic processes, including bone formation, collagen production, and antioxidant defense.

These are just a few of the many nutrients found in basil. Incorporating the fresh herb into your diet can provide you with various basil health benefits. Basil contains several vitamins. Here is a comprehensive list of the vitamins found in basil:

List all the Vitamins in Basil

  • Vitamin A (retinol and beta-carotene) 264 mcg
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 18 mg
  • Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 415 mcg
  • Vitamin E (tocopherol) 0.8 mg
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.155 mg
  • Folate (vitamin B9) 68 mcg
  • Niacin (vitamin B3) 0.9 mg
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) 0.21 mg
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 0.076 mg
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1) 0.034 mg
  • Vitamin D (although in small amounts, and it varies depending on the exposure to sunlight during growth)

Values are per 100 g of basil. These vitamins play various roles in the body, supporting functions such as vision, immune system health, energy production, collagen synthesis, blood clotting, and antioxidant protection, among others.

Herbs, Spices, and Minerals

Powdered Minerals

As with everything we eat, herbs and spices work optimally in the presence of the full complement of 75+ pure hydrophilic plant-derived minerals. See this page for a complete rundown of why we need ALL the minerals mother nature ought to give us with our foods. Unfortunately, if the herbs and spices are grown on mineral-deficient soils (most commercial farm soils are), they will also lack vital minerals.

Volcanic And Glacial Soils

Those fortunate to have fresh glacial or volcanic soils added to the soil in which their herbs grow can be certain that their herbs will contain many minerals now missing in most soils around the world.

Can We Add Minerals To Grow Bags?

Yes. Our Powdered Minerals contain 75+ minerals from 70-million-year-old Senonian compost extracted from the TRC mines in Utah. Simply add a spoonful of the powder to a watering can before watering the Grow Bag. You only need to do this once because plants take the minerals in trace amounts to be incorporated into their tissues. Think about tomato plants in greenhouses: mineral-rich, juicy tomatoes every time! But growing your own herbs is just as good.


It’ll be worthwhile experimenting: compare the growth and yields of herbs grown in soils with added powdered minerals with those in grow bags with ordinary compost. First, of course, you must adopt the scientific approach and use controls with various mineral dosages. Then repeat the experiment with other herbs. But one thing is for sure: eating mineral-rich herbs will mean you also get to benefit from the minerals.

Synonymous terms: health benefits of basil leaf

Sizzling Minerals – Pure hydrophilic plant-derived Senonian minerals

Learn more about Sizzling Minerals