What Is Basil Tea?

Marjorie McAtee

Basil tea is generally brewed from the leaves of the culinary herb basil. Tea made from this herb is believed to have a number of health benefits, including aiding digestion and cardiovascular health. It may also help support the healthy function of the hair, skin, and eyes. Basil tea is usually made by steeping basil leaves in hot water for five to ten minutes. This tea should ideally be brewed in a covered container, and the basil leaves should be allowed to float freely in the hot water for maximum benefit.

Dried basil is steeped in hot water to make basil tea.
Dried basil is steeped in hot water to make basil tea.

Most proponents of this herbal tea advocate using 2 teaspoons (3 grams) of dried basil in about 8.5 ounces (250 milliliters) of boiling water. This tea is generally considered safe for consumption as often as desired. Many proponents of basil tea drink it after every meal. Cold, leftover tea can be used as a soup stock or in the baking of savory pastries and breads. Others have used cold basil tea as a savory stock in which to prepare rice.

Basil tea is often made by steeping the leaves in hot water for several minutes.
Basil tea is often made by steeping the leaves in hot water for several minutes.

The benefits of basil tea are said to be many. Two teaspoons (3 grams) of dried basil typically contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals, such as manganese, vitamin K, iron, calcium, and magnesium. When properly brewed, basil tea can offer a good source of these nutrients.

Thai basil is a cultivar of sweet basil, Ocimum basilicum, with a licorice flavor.
Thai basil is a cultivar of sweet basil, Ocimum basilicum, with a licorice flavor.

The many nutrients in basil tea are believed responsible for its health benefits. It is said to help ease digestion and soothe gas, upset stomach, and stomach cramps. It is said to be good for anorexia, diarrhea, gastric ulcers, and colic. This may be due to the herb's high content of potassium and magnesium, which are believed to aid digestion by maintaining an appropriate fluid balance in the digestive tract.

Basil tea may help relieve colic in infants.
Basil tea may help relieve colic in infants.

This herbal tea also contains significant levels of beta carotene, which the body generally uses to synthesize vitamin A. Beta carotene is also considered to have anti-oxidant properties, and many believe that basil tea can help support healthy hair, eyes, and skin. This herbal tea may also have some cardiovascular health benefits.

Basil tea may help promote healthy skin.
Basil tea may help promote healthy skin.

Most proponents of basil tea as a health tonic recommend that it be neither sweetened with sugar nor served with milk. It has been suggested, however, that honey or another natural sweetener can be added for those who believe it improves the taste. The tea is, however, said to be quite pleasant tasting without added sweeteners or milk.

Some herbalists recommend that basil tea be served without milk or sugar.
Some herbalists recommend that basil tea be served without milk or sugar.
Basil tea can be helpful for gastric ulcers.
Basil tea can be helpful for gastric ulcers.
Basil.
Basil.

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Discussion Comments

burcinc

@fify-- Yes, Tulsi is a different type of basil. It's Indian basil and also called "holy basil" because many Hindus have this plant in their home and it carries a spiritual importance. But the plant is also used as tea for various health benefits.

I'm not sure if it's better than sweet basil but it might be because basil tea is often being made from Tulsi basil now. My mother drinks Tulsi tea. She says it helps with diabetes. She also had me drink it when I had a bad cold last month and I did find it very soothing. It helped clear up congestion and reduced my cough.

fify

I saw a basil tea at the grocery today, it was called "Tulsi basil." Is this different than sweet basil? Is it better or more beneficial?

candyquilt

I have basil tea daily for detox and digestive benefits. I have a small basil plant at home and I take some fresh leaves and add it to a cup of boiled water and steep for some time.

Until recently, I was leaving the cup uncovered. But I read last week that herbal teas should always be covered while steeping because some of the beneficial ingredients literally evaporate during the steeping process. Keeping the cup covered keeps the beneficial components in the tea.

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