Care2 will go offline for site maintenance July 31 at 9pm PST.
START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good

4 Unexpected Health Benefits of Basil

How to use basil:

-       Add fresh basil to salad dressings, smoothies, herbal teas or your favorite pasta sauce.

Basil will not only give any drink, dressing or dish a great flavor, but can also help kill any microbes that might be hiding in your greens or other food.  I love adding a sprig or two of basil to my green drinks in the morning!

Dried basil still has many of the health benefits listed, but your best bet is fresh! Try growing some in your garden and add fresh basil to raw dishes or at the end of the cooking process to preserve its nutrients and other beneficial properties.


-       Add basil essential oil to natural store bought or homemade cleaning products:

Adding basil essential oil to your natural cleaning supplies (Sal-suds, Castile soap, vinegar etc.) or hand/body soap (Dr. Bronners) in a low concentration (1% or less*) can add natural anti bacterial (anti microbial) properties.

*I often use one drop of essential oil per one ounce of carrier solution (you can try using more or less, but test for sensitivity before using on your skin.) I would not add essential oils to a chemical cleaner or soap.


What to learn more about basil? Check out:

Holy Basil (Tulsi) for Stress Reduction & More (with growing instructions)

Related Stories:

Unexpected Health Benefits of Blueberries

10 Weeds Worth Growing

10 Reasons to Eat More Carrots

Love feeling healthy and living well? Follow Care2′s Pinterest boards for more inspirational tips and recipes.


-       whfoods


- Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

Read more: Basics, Cold and Flu, Conscious Consumer, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Health & Safety, Heart & Vascular Disease, Home, Household Hints, Lawns & Gardens, Natural Remedies, Nature, Non-Toxic Cleaning, Raw, Surprising uses for ..., Vegan, Vegetarian

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati

Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


+ add your own
10:04AM PDT on Jul 27, 2014

I add basil to my morning shake for the taste and the inflammatory properties. Love it. And I make lots of pesto.

6:45AM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

I love basil :) I grow sweet basil every summer and use it in most of my cooking.

11:47PM PDT on Jun 27, 2014

Thank you for the info.

9:15AM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

Basil and oregano are my favorites and use both on most things. Thanks for the information, very good.

8:26AM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

I would get another one, but I believe i would also hammer on moderation to her. LOL! I am sure the plant would love you for it.

8:17AM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

Got a basil plant this summer. It has taken off like gang-busters! The only problem is that once my daughter gets home, I'm pretty sure she'll harvest the life out of it. Maybe I should get another one this afternoon...Thanks for the article.

5:38PM PST on Nov 9, 2013

i loooove basil so delicious!

11:01PM PST on Nov 3, 2013

i wish we could grow Basil here in warm, humid Singapore!

6:03AM PDT on Oct 26, 2013

My hubby went to a specialty garden shop and bought 4 varieties of Basil at the beginning of Summer. I just hope they will make it through the winter since they are huge now!

Not only are they healthy, but they are a nice looking plant for the garden!

8:11PM PDT on Oct 15, 2013

Basil is yummmm and easy to grow in a sunny window to have a fresh supply on hand.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Love it and agree with Marie G.

good to know that the principle of moderation applies here

Proud to share this world with mutts - but prefer the term BUDDIES!

I love all of these foods and not only are they healthy and delicious, but can be prepared a number …

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.