Basil Leaves-Benefits And Nutritional Facts

Basil is a culinary herb of the family Lamiaceae. Basil is native to tropical regions from central Africa to Southeast Asia. It is a tender plant and is used in cuisines worldwide. Basil is an herb belongs to mint family. It adds flavor to meals and it nutritionally provide many health benefits. There are two types of basil leaves: holy basil and sweet basil.

Holy basil is revered for its strong medicinal and healing properties. We can still find basil plants in many Indian households. It is an ayurvedic medicine.

Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) plays a role in many Mediterranean, and particularly Italian, cuisines. It forms the basis of pesto and adds a distinctive flavor to salads, pasta, pizza, and other dishes. Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisines also feature this herb.


It contains wide range of antioxidants. Its essential oil may also have medicinal benefits.

  • Helps in digestion
  • Maintains skin health and protects against skin aging
  • Boots mental health
  • Fights free radical activity
  • Helps in depression
  • Maintains heart health
  • Supports Liver Function and Helps Detoxify the Body
  • Reduces inflammation and swelling
  • Manages diabetes
  • Fights against cancer
  • Heals upset stomach
  • supports liver health
  • Gut health
  • Reduces oxidative stress

Nutritional Facts

Basil provides some macronutrients, such as calcium and vitamin K and minerals and a wide range of antioxidants. Its essential oil may also have medicinal benefits.

Nutrients Amount per 100 g
Energy23 kcal
Carbohydrates2.65 g
Protein3.15 g
Fat0.64 g
Fiber1.6 g
Calcium177 mg
Phosphorous56 mg
Sodium4 mg
Potassium295 mg
Iron3.17 mg
Folate (Vitamin B9)68 mcg
Vitamin A523.66 mcg
Beta carotene3142 mcg
Vitamin C18 mg
Magnesium64 mg
Vitamin K4141.8 mcg

People using blood pressure lowering drugs or diabetes drugs should use caution with basil supplements since they may lower blood pressure and blood sugar. Your doctor may need to decrease your drug dose. Basil extracts, such as those found in supplements can thin your blood, leading to problems if you have a bleeding disorder or an upcoming surgery. Basil leaves are high in vitamin K, which helps blood clot. High intakes could interfere with blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin.

Basil enlivens many dishes, including pastas, salads and sauces. If using fresh basil, add it toward the end of cooking since heat subdues its flavor and color. Use about 1/3 of the amount of dried basil compared to fresh. Sweet basil is available in many grocery stores, while other varieties have different tastes and fragrances. Holy basil is different from sweet basil. Sweet basil, has a high concentration of the chemical agent eugenol. This gives it a clove-like scent.