Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Other names: Basil,  common basil, garden basil, Saint Joseph’s Wort, brenhinllys (Welsh)

The following information may not be re-posted, copied or published without my permission and appropriate credit given. Please contact me via email (listed on the About page) if you wish to re-publish any of the information on my blog.

Family: Lamiaceae

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user:JeannieNadja

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user:JeannieNadja


Appetite stimulant, antimicrobial, spermicide, insecticide, aromatic, carminitive, diuretic, digestive, circulatory stimulant, antitussive, galactagogue, antipruritic, antispasmodic, vermifuge, decongestant.


Harvest just when the plant starts to bud for best results. Harvest multiple times throughout the warm months to encourage more growth.

Part used: Aerial parts

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user:H. Zell

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user:H. Zell


Linalol, methylchavikol, methylcinnamat, estragole, linolen, rosmarinic acid, citral, geraniol, pinene, terpineol, ocimene, eugenol, and others.


Used to treat depression, exhaustion, poor appetite, bacterial and viral infections, indigestion, headaches, hangovers, fluid retention, internal parasites, spasms in the digestive tract, coughs, congestion, insect bites and stings, gas and bloating, poor circulation and other conditions.

Medicinal preparations:


Sweet basil can be used in teas, tinctures, capsules or other internal applications, including culinary.


Can be used topically as a salve, wash, cream, poultice or other preparation. Do not use in essential oil form.


In therapeutic doses, sweet basil should only be used for short-term treatment. May lower blood sugar levels. Do not use in therapeutic doses if pregnant, nursing, undergoing cancer treatments or attempting to become pregnant. Consult with a doctor before using if you are taking any medications or have a history of liver or kidney problems, blood sugar imbalance or cancer.  Do not use essential oil of basil, as it has a very high estragole content and this can prove harmful. Do not administer to children in therapeutic doses.

I suggest consulting a pharmacist or physician before starting any herbal supplement if you are taking a prescription medication or have serious underlying health concerns.

Energetic/traditional use:

Basil has been used traditionally to draw venom from bites and stings, and in ayurvedic medicine it is thought to promote longevity. Energetically it is a potent protector and energy booster. It’s all about boosting internal strength and confidence, improving one’s chances of protecting themselves by building them up from the inside out. Basil also lifts the spirits, relieving depression and bringing back a happy disposition. It also had darker associations in some ancient cultures, being associated with everything from Satan to the spontaneous breeding of scorpions.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended as general education on herbs and is not intended to take the place of medical care. Please consult a health care professional before embarking on any health regime.

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