Ocimum basilicum

Plant name: Ocimum basilicum

Family: Lamiaceae

Common names: Basil [USA] Guang ming zi (Seeds)[China], Luo le (Herb) [China], Albahaca, Witch’s Herb, Njilika, Balanoi, Feslien

Category: Aromatic Transform Damp (Herb), Clear Heat Purge Fire (Seeds)

Properties: Acrid, Sweet and Bitter, Warm (Herb),. Seeds: Cool (Seeds)

Energetic Functions: Harmonizes the Spleen/Stomach, Dispels food stagnation, Transforms phlegm and dampness, Stops wheezing


  • Transforms phlegm, stops wheezing: Bronchitis, pertussis, cold phlegm, lung infections

  • Lifts the spirit and restores the mood, tonifies the yang and restores strength: Depression in deficient conditions

  • Supports the yang, generates warmth, reduces spasms: Cold stomach, uterus, Kidneys, stomach cramps, vomiting, infertility

  • Clears the vision: Eye inflammation

  • Other: Seeds poulticed for sores

Part used: Herb, Seeds


  • In China sometimes used as a substitute for Eupatorium fortunei (Pei lan)

  • Renaissance – “quicken the brain and heart, restore the vital spirit.” and to “awaken joy and courage”.

  • At various times basil was thought to be poisonous, named after a reptile called a basilisk which could kill with a glance or a breath.

  • Sacred to the Hindus.

  • The scent of fresh Basil is said to create empathy and sooth the hot tempers of lovers.

  • Traditionally used to keep goats away, attract customers and scorpions, and prevent inebriation.