Holy Basil vs Basil - What's the actual difference?

Holy Basil vs Basil – What’s the actual difference?

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Are you worried about choosing the right type of basil for your garden area? If yes, then you are at the right place. They are great herbs that come from the mint family which are basil and holy basil. But they are not the same, they have their differences in terms of appearances, properties, uses, and other things. 

Quick takeaways:

  • Most of the farmers become confused when it comes to choosing between holy basil vs basil. Though both of the herbs are great when it comes to using them.
  • It is said that basil is used in cooking and as an ornamental plant.
  • Holy basil is used for medicinal purposes which makes both of them different from each other.

There are differences between holy basil and basil which you should be aware. So, it would be easy for you to identify them. Growing basil in the home garden is every farmer’s choice and there are various types of basil plants. They grow basil in their home garden so that they can enjoy its benefits. The differences between holy basil and basil will be discussed in this guide which will let you know about the right variant for you. So, let us install this guide so that you know more about holy basil and basil. Make sure you keep connected with this guide. 

What is Holy Basil?

Holy basil is one of the common herbs that is grown by farmers. It is also famous for its other name which is a tulsi herb that gives a great essence to tulsi. It has medicinal benefits too.

By consuming the leaves of Holy basil, you can get rid of various problems such as indigestion, respiration issues, etc. it also helps in boosting the immune system of an individual. Various Ayurvedic medicines use this herb as an ingredient in medicine. 

Scientific nameHoly basil’s scientific name is O. tenuiflorum. 
Other namesThey are even known by other names such as tulsi, sacred basil, Kapoor Tulsi, etc. 
HistoryIt is one of the sacred basil of the Hindu dynasty. It has various benefits whether it is for cooking or medicines. It is said that the leaves of this herb were buried with the dead bodies in India which helps them to get into heaven. 
Some UsesIt is obvious that holy basil does have some uses that is what is the farmer’s favorite choice. It is used in making tea which is good for health. It will help you to have good sleep and will relax you from anxiety. This herb also has other recovery features. 

What is Basil? 

Basil is a culinary herb that is being used by people to give flavor to their dishes such as Italian, Thai, and others. It is great to plant basils in the garden. They will help you in your health recovery and also help to reduce your stress level of an individual. It has the power to cure the symptoms of asthma naturally. 

Scientific nameBasil scientific name is Ocimum basilicum.
Other namesThere are various names for basil. One of them is sweet basil. It belongs to the mint family. 
Some usesBasil is one of the herbs that can be used for various culinary purposes. It even has the features to be used in medicines that will prevent diseases. 

Holy Basil vs Basil: What’s the Actual Difference?

Before coming into confusion, you should know where you want to start your career. So, you need to be clear about which herb is best for your garden.

Whether basil or holy basil, which one will suit best in your garden and fulfill your needs? So, let’s proceed to know the differences between holy basil and basil:  

1. Taste

The taste of both herbs differs from each other. Holy basil has tasted more like cloves but basil has a different taste when it comes to eating. Holy basil is not used in the kitchen as its taste is not liked by the people. 

2. What about the Appearance

The leaves of holy basil are easy to use and can be cut down easily. The stems of holy basil are hairy while on the other hand, the leaves of the basil herb are hard which makes it difficult to cut down with the hands. 

3. Developing needs

As you know basil is one of the annual crops loved by farmers. It gives flowers so that you enjoy its benefits. Where holy basil is known as a perennial crop that lasts for various years and can bloom as per climatic changes. 

4. Medicinal properties

Holy basil has variations as compared to basil. The herb helps in reducing the stress level of an individual. It will even reduce your anxiety level if you consume it on a regular basis. It will reduce the symptoms of depression.  

5. Soil Choices

There is a difference in the choice of soil used by holy basil and basil. Holy basil will do great in soil with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5 whereas basil will do best in pH 5.1 to 8.5 as basil is less particular.  

6. Scientific basis

Though both of the herbs sound similar. The scientific name of holy basil is Ocimum Tenuiflorum whereas Ocimum Basilicum is for the basil. But both Holy Basil and Basil belong to the Lamiaceae family. 

7. Their uses

The uses of both Holy basils vs basil differ from each other. You can use basil for kitchen and ornamental purposes whereas holy basil is mainly used for medicinal purposes to prevent diseases faced by people.  

Concluding lines

In this guide, you come to know that there are differences between holy basil vs basil which you should be aware of. This you will come to know in this article. It is said that basil is used in cooking and as an ornamental plant. Whereas holy basil is used for medicinal purposes which makes both of them different from each other. The shade of the basil is lighter than the holy basil. So, it would be easy for you to identify them. You have to read the whole guide so that you understand better about them. 


1. What is the difference between holy basil and Genovese basil?

Both the basils are different in their aspects. Holy basil has uneven edges to the leaves whereas the other has smooth edges with rounded leaves.  

2. What is the difference between Thulasi and holy basil?

Thulasi is pointed and long whereas the holy basil is hardy with its purplish stem. 

Becky Decker

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