10 Top Benefits, Uses & Side Effects of Basil | Sweet Basil Plant | Ocimum Basilicum For Hair, Skin & Health

Sweet basil also popularly called as Thai sweet basil has wonderful uses and health benefits. Like so many I was confused with the varieties of basil at first. What is generally referred to as basil in English is sweet basil not our Tulsi which is always called as holy basil. I have been wanting to post about sweet basil sooner because after I wrote about sabja seeds many were getting confused that it were the seeds of holy basil.

I have always loved sweet basil for it’s amazing and wonderful fragrance. Even when I was a kid, I used to dry and save sweet basil in between my notebooks. Though we don’t add sweet basil leaves in our cooking, we use it extensively in remedies. Like holy basil, it can be used to treat many skin diseases like acne and can be used as a home remedy for many illnesses.

Basil Botanical Name & Common Names:

Though holy basil and sweet basil belong to the same family, they are different plants and should not be confused with one another. Basil | Sweet basil’s botanical name is Ocimum Basilicum and there are many varieties in ocimum basilicum. The main confusion for me was in the varieties of basil under ocimum basilicum, for example both thai basil and sweet basil’s botanical name is ocimum basilicum but they are 2 different plants!

But usually the varieties under basil is referred with a suffix to Ocimum Basilicum for eg, Thai basil is referred to as Ocimum Basilicum Var Thyrsiflora. So if it is just plain Ocimum Basilicum it is sweet basil or Basil and it is the variety I am referring to in this post. We call sweet basil thiruneetru pachai in Tamil and it is a plant that I truly love.

Basil Seeds (Sabja Seeds)

The seeds of sweet basil are very famous here in India and we call it sabja seeds. We use sabja seeds to make desserts, especially the most delicious, healthy and wonderful Jigirthanda. Sabja seed is a wonderful body coolant that has wonderful health benefits and like the seeds that plant also have amazing benefits. Sweet basil is widely used in cooking all over the world but here in India, we use only the sweet basil seeds in our desserts like mentioned before and rarely use sweet basil leaves in our day to day Indian cooking.

Side Effects Of Basil:

Basil is said to reduce the blood sugar levels so if you are on diabetic medications please monitor the blood sugar levels carefully. Also if you are taking any medications for a long time, it is advisable to check with your doctor if you are planning on taking sweet basil on a regular basis. I would suggest growing this wonderful plant at home because I have never the loved the scent of any other plant like I do sweet basil, the fragrance is so calming and wonderful…

10 Top Medicinal Uses Of Basil:

1. Basil For Acne:

Basil leaves like holy basil leaves can be used for treating acne scars. To treat acne scars, collect fresh basil leaves and crush it together along with very little boiled water to get a thick juice and apply it over the scars. Do it daily to see good results.

2. Basil For Anxiety & Stress:

Like I keep repeating again and again, sweet basil has a wonderful calming scent and you can make the best use of it by drying the sweet basil flowers and leaves and making small scented sachets  of them. The scent will calm anyone…

3. Basil for Ear Infection:

Like garlic oil, basil leaves can be used for ear infection. Get the raw juice as mentioned in step 1 and apply it in the inside of the ear for ear pain or ear itching.

4. Basil For Mouth Ulcers:

Chewing on the fresh basil leaves is a good remedy for mouth ulcers. Whenever you find yourself with mouth ulcers, try to get a handful of fresh basil leaves, chew slowly and swallow the leaves.

5. Basil Leaves For Insect Bites:

For insect bites, basil leaves can be used very effectively. Try to collect fresh leaves, crush between your hands and apply on the bitten area. This is a very simple first aid for insect bites that is very effective.

6. Basil leaves For Skin Infection:

The leaves when applied directly on the skin along with turmeric is very good remedy for minor skin infections. For the remedy take a handful of the fresh leaves and grind it along with a small piece of fresh turmeric and apply on the skin infection.

7. Basil leaves For Headache:

Basil leaves when ground together with few drops of camphor essential oil and a small piece of kasthuri turmeric and applied on the forehead as a poultice is a very good remedy for sinus headaches.

8. Basil Leaves For Hair:

Like other herbs we can make basil oil using fresh basil leaves for hair. Grind the fresh basil leaves and extract the juice. Add equal quantity of unrefined coconut oil and heat till there is no moisture left, strain and you have wonderful basil oil that can be used for all hair preparations.

9. Basil Seeds For Beating The Heat:

I love love basil seeds and consume it very often and we call it sabja seeds in India. I usually soak the seeds in hot water for 5to 10 minutes, drain the water and add the seeds to a cup of whole, grass fed milk from the farm along with homemade rose syrup and rose petals jam. I love to have it cold and this is an effective remedy for stomach burn and it is also a wonderful drink that help us beat the heat.

10. Basil Leaves Steam:

If you are suffering from nose congestion try basil leaf steam. Boil water in a pan and once it comes to a boil add a handful of fresh basil leaves and few drops of pure eucalyptus essential oil to it and use it for steaming.



  1. sangeetha
    August 1, 2015 / 3:40 pm

    I have seen this sweet basil. I always used to wonder how people use basil in their cuisines thinking its our tulsi. Then I came to know that basil is different than our tulsi :P.

    • Anonymous
      September 13, 2016 / 10:10 am

      Hello Sangeetha I am Karthick.I have searched this plant i couldn't found anymore.But im in Chennai only.Will you please tell me where this plant is more and where it is located

    • Herba
      December 28, 2016 / 9:36 am

      Hi karthick, this plant is available in most nurseries. If you live near alwarthirunagar, try Atri nursery…They have wonderful herbs .

  2. senthil kumar
    August 24, 2015 / 4:47 am

    Good information

    • Anonymous
      November 10, 2017 / 3:25 am

      Useful too

  3. Sathish Pandiarajan
    August 26, 2015 / 4:58 pm

    I have a lot of this at my home and wondered what to do with it except using it on some clear soups. But now I the use. Thanks Very much for this post.

  4. Unknown
    October 27, 2015 / 5:43 pm

    Hi,Can this be used for hair growth.?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      October 31, 2015 / 4:58 pm

      Basil oil can be used for hair growth…

    • satish badmi
      November 16, 2015 / 4:33 pm

      Hi mam, I am experincing lot of dandruff and hair loss. I tried homeopathy but it didn't work. I want to get rid of dandruff and I want my hair back.Please suggest me any home made preparation.

  5. satish badmi
    November 23, 2015 / 6:08 pm

    Hello mam,Thanks for your reply. I will try it. But which is the best among hair mask. If fenugreek causes problem then which I should go for.?Thanks in advance

  6. First Name: Sasikumar - Last Name: Kondalraj
    February 1, 2016 / 7:28 am

    Thank you for the information, I grow it in my garden now I know the usage.

  7. Anonymous
    February 11, 2016 / 3:56 pm

    love ur site

  8. Padma Pandian
    February 26, 2016 / 1:01 pm

    Hi Mam, do u have this plant and can I get some leaves for ear ache

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      March 20, 2016 / 2:10 am

      Basil plant grows in the farm during the rainy season not now. If you don't get this plant you can easily use garlic oil from the blog for earache…

  9. Anonymous
    June 29, 2016 / 6:00 am

    is thiruneetru pacha illai and sweet basil is same

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      July 13, 2016 / 6:39 am

      Yes, sweet basil is called thiruneetru pacha illai in Tamil…

  10. Radha Krishnan
    August 17, 2016 / 3:49 am

    i have been having ringing sound in my ears and when i heard juice of this leaf can cure it i started growing it in my garden.but i have not been using it regularly.can i use it daily and will it stop the ringing sound in my ears.

  11. Radha Krishnan
    August 17, 2016 / 3:55 am

    ihave ringing sound in my ears for several years and somebody suggested these leaves.but i have not been using it continuously. can i use it daily till sound subsides.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      August 23, 2016 / 5:07 am

      For tinnitus, I would suggest ginkgo biloba herb, it is very very beneficial for tinnitus, you can also read the study that proves it here

  12. settai oh settai
    February 6, 2017 / 1:25 pm

    Can i eat this seeds

  13. Govind
    February 13, 2017 / 10:56 pm

    Hello mam, This is govind from hosur i bought sweet basil seed in natu marundu kadai in gopichetipalayam but i dont know the uses of that seed is this seed is use for brain related diseases combined with some other nattu medicine

  14. sasi priya
    June 2, 2017 / 8:11 am

    Very good sister

  15. Anonymous
    October 24, 2017 / 4:00 pm

    If anyone wants to see the plant they can visit the nursery at Tampcol nsk arch Siddha hospital Anna Nagar chennai

  16. Nirog Street
    February 7, 2018 / 9:43 am

    Thank you so much for sharing health benefits of Basil I really enjoyed reading it

  17. Renuka
    July 7, 2018 / 7:46 am

    Dear sister, I am a regular follower of all ur posts and Utube videos…. I have a doubt….. Instead of thiruneetru pachilai leaves I have thiruneetru pachilai samulam(whole plant dried and powdered) bought frm ayurvedic shop…. Can I use this samulam powder in my home made Nalangu maavu powder to be used for kids? Please clarify my doubt, sister…. Awaiting for ur reply…. Thank u🙏

    • Ramya (Wildturmeric)
      July 7, 2018 / 6:49 pm

      Hi Renuka, You can. It will make the nalangu maavu smell great and is very good for skin care too…

  18. Divakar
    November 19, 2018 / 12:59 pm

    It is available at Koyembedu flower market

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