Wild Basil

Biological Name:

Ocimum americanum (Wild-Basil)

Natural Habitat:

Wild-Basil is a type of herb that is native to tropical regions, such as the Mediterranean. It typically grows in warm, sunny environments and is often found in herb gardens or other cultivated areas.


Wild-Basil is a perennial herb that is native to North America. It has small white flowers and opposite oval-shaped leaves. It is often found in moist shaded areas and is used in traditional medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is wild basil edible?
A: Leaves are edible and are known to be used as a seasoning or as a tea. A member of the mint family: mint familylabiate (comparative more labiate, superlative most labiate) Having lips or liplike parts. (botany, of flowers such as the snapdragon) Having the corolla divided into two liplike parts.

Q: What are the health benefits of wild basil?
A: Having antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties, basil helps maintain skin health, boosts digestion and detoxifies the body. It also helps in the prevention and cure of diseases like cancer, diabetes and other heart conditions. Fresh basil contains Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Iron, Manganese, Calcium, and essential oils.

Q: Is there poisonous basil?
A: Mostly Safe for Pets. Basil flowers, like the rest of the plant, are considered to be non-toxic to domesticated animals such as dogs, cats and horses under normal circumstances. Basil flowers and leaves do contain plant compounds that can be harmful to their digestive systems when consumed in mass quantities, though.

Q: What does wild basil taste like?
A: Native Basil has a delightful fragrant mix of Basil, Mint and Sage flavours and was often called the 5 Spice Plant by early settlers.

Q: Can you eat raw basil leaves?
A: The leaves are also commonly used in cooking, though some people eat the leaves raw.

Q: What should I do if I ate my basil?
A: Soft bodied insects such as aphids, spider mites and whiteflies can be eradicated with insecticidal soaps. Most of these pests will be on the underside of the basil leaf and must have direct contact with the soapy spray to effectively eradicate them.

Q: What is wild basil used for?
A: The leaves of wild basil are used as an aromatic herb in the preparation of food dishes and to make a herbal tea. They can also be used in the preparation of both a brown and a yellow dye.

Q: Why we should not chew basil leaves?
A: Tulsi leaves have mercury in them, which is not good for the enamel and thus one must not chew them. When chewed, the mercury content in Tulsi gets released in your mouth, which can damage your teeth and cause discolouration.

Q: What diseases can basil cure?
A: These anti-inflammatory properties can help to lower the risk of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. heart disease, and bowel issues. Basil has antibacterial properties. The oils in the herb may help to fight bacteria in people with respiratory, urinary, abdominal, and skin infections.

Q: Is basil good to eat raw?
A: Raw or cooked, fresh basil adds its own distinct, beloved flavor to any number of dishes. It’s one of those herbs that home cooks turn to so often that many have found it more convenient to grow their own so they always have a supply on hand.

Q: Is basil good for anxiety?
A: There’s less risk of contamination when taking an herb in its natural form. Holy basil has been shown to have antidepressant and antianxiety properties similar to antidepressant drugs. Studies have shown that it can help people feel more social and less anxious.

Q: Is wild basil the same as basil?
A: A wild relative of the basil we use in our kitchens, whilst it isn’t as pungent it is slightly aromatic. Like true Basil it is however part of the LamiaceaeLamiaceaelabiate (comparative more labiate, superlative most labiate) Having lips or liplike parts. (botany, of flowers such as the snapdragon) Having the corolla divided into two liplike parts.en.wiktionary.org › wiki › labiatelabiate – Wiktionary (mint) family which helps to give this wildflower its other name ‘Cushion Calamint’.

Q: What kind of basil is holy?
A: Ocimum tenuiflorum, commonly known as holy basil, tulsi or tulasi, is an aromatic perennial plant in the family Lamiaceae.

Q: How can you tell if basil is edible?
A: All parts of the basil plant are edible, including the flowers, leaves and stems. Moreover, all parts of the plant remain edible even after the basil plant flowers. Once the basil flowers, the taste typically becomes more bitter. Gardener Report says after basil flowers, its leaves also may have a milder flavor.

Q: What type of basil is used in pesto?
A: Italian Large Leaf Basil is the most commonly used in pesto. This variety offers a strong flavor for a robust fullness. When using fresh basil to prepare pesto, crush the leaves first to release the flavor, then add them to the olive oil.

Q: Is wild basil invasive?
A: A native of India and China, this annual herb was introduced as an ornamental and is widely naturalized. It spreads invasively in our state and should not be planted or allowed to spread. It reseeds abundantly.

Q: Why should you not let basil flower?
A: If you’ve been growing basil plants, you may already know that it’s a good idea to prune the flowers off of the plants as soon as they appear. Leaving the flowers on slows the production of leaves, and many gardeners find that it also reduces the quality or flavor of the leaves.

Q: Can you use wild basil in cooking?
A: A perennial plant, wild basil lives for longer than two years. Besides it aesthetic qualities and tendency to attract wildlife, wild basil has many practical applications. It is most well known as a cooking ingredient that can be used to add flavour to a wide variety of dishes.

Q: Can basil be poisonous?
A: When taken by mouth: Basil is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in food amounts. When taken by mouth as a medicine, basil is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Basil herb and basil oil contain estragole. Estragole is a chemical that might increase the risk of getting liver cancer.

Q: Will basil grow back after picking?
A: Basil is a cut-and-come-again plant that you can harvest from again and again, all summer long. In fact, the more you pick them, the more the plant will produce. For the biggest bounty possible, be sure to pick the leaves or pinch out the flowers and tender tips as often as you can.

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.