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

Hey folks! Welcome back!!
I hope you are doing great in your gardening field. 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 of. 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’s install this guide so that you know more about holy basil and basil. Make sure you keep connected with this guide. 

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

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. 

Some of the Similarities of holy basil and basil:

  • They belong to the Lamiaceae family. 
  • Holy basil and basil are easy to grow corps. 
  • They both are used in various cuisines. 
  • They are native to Southeast Asia. 
  • The Ocimum genus is of both species. 

Both of the crops have their own different uses and histories. Though they possess some similarities, holy basil and basil are different from each other in some contexts that I will explain to you. So, choosing the right variety for your garden area would be great by following this guide.

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:  


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. 

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. 

Developing needs

As you know basil is one of the annual crops loved by farmers. It gives flowers so that you enjoy its benefits.

Holy basil is known as a perennial crop that lasts for various years and can bloom as per climatic changes. 

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.  

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.  

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. 

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.  

Where to Buy?

As you know basil is a cut herb that can be easily available in the groceries. It is one of the economical crops that can be easily purchased from the market and is also cost-effective if you will continue harvesting the plant.

If you are looking to purchase fresh, Holy Basil, then it is a challenging task to do as dried. Holy basil will be easily available, but not the fresh Holy Basil.

So the best way to get it is by growing on your own with the help of seeds. Some of the peak industries tend to sell holy basil seeds so you can plant them in your garden and enjoy their benefits. 

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. 

Thanks for reading! Happy Gardening!


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

Becky Decker, our esteemed Editor-in-Chief, is a passionate gardener with years of experience in the world of horticulture. With her guidance, BonjourGreen.com aims to be your trusted companion on your gardening journey. Featured In   Becky Decker’s expertise and gardening wisdom have been recognized and featured in various prominent publications, including:   Homesandgardens.com Yahoo.com Urbansplatter.com Inkl.com Foliagefriend.com Yahoonews  Experience & Background   Becky Decker’s love for gardening has been a lifelong journey. She has honed her skills through countless seasons of planting, nurturing, and harvesting a wide variety of plants, flowers, and vegetables. Her deep-rooted knowledge is complemented by her Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Green Valley.   Prior to leading BonjourGreen.com, Becky worked as a garden consultant, helping countless individuals turn their outdoor spaces into vibrant, thriving gardens. Her experience spans over a decade, making her a trusted authority in the gardening community.   The Birth of BonjourGreen.com   Inspired by her passion for gardening and her desire to share her expertise with a wider audience, Becky Decker launched BonjourGreen.com in 2021. This platform serves as a hub for gardening enthusiasts of all levels, from beginners to seasoned pros.   At BonjourGreen.com, we are committed to providing you with comprehensive guides, expert advice, and hands-on tips to help you achieve success in your gardening endeavors. Whether you have a small balcony garden or a sprawling backyard paradise, we have the information you need to make your garden flourish.   Our Mission   BonjourGreen.com is more than just a gardening website; it’s a community of gardeners who share a common love for nurturing the Earth. Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge and resources to create beautiful, sustainable gardens that bring joy and tranquility to your life.   Join Us on This Green Journey   We invite you to explore BonjourGreen.com and embark on your gardening journey with us. Whether you’re seeking advice on planting techniques, pest control, landscaping ideas, or the latest gardening trends, you’ll find it all right here.   Connect with us, ask questions, and share your gardening stories. Together, we’ll cultivate a thriving community of gardeners and help each other make the world a greener, more beautiful place.   Let’s dig in and grow together at BonjourGreen.com, where gardening dreams bloom!

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