Basil (Luo Le)

Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum

Beyond basil’s well-known culinary use, it is a medicine for the body, mind, and spirit. Some consider it an emblem of hatred, others a benevolent spirit. It is a powerful adaptogenic herb that helps counter the symptoms of stress, including headaches, stomach disorders, chest pain, insomnia, and lethargy. Do not confuse sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) with holy basil or tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum). Both are in the mint family Lamiaceae, sharing some similar properties and exhibiting distinct differences.

Watch a short video, from Ann Christensen, Founder and Creator of White Rabbit Institute of Healing™ – Basil As An Antiseptic.

Below is an overview of basil, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of basil.

How to take FULL advantage of Basil's healing powers...

Basil (Luo Le)

JOIN ME in an exploration of the healing herb, Basil (Luo Le). Explore the benefits and applications of basil, from Eastern and Western perspectives, and so much more!


Western Name: Basil​

Also Known As: Sweet Basil, Common Basil, Garden Basil

Organs/Systems: Lung, Digestive

Key Actions: Antipyretic, Antiseptic, Expectorant, Stomachic, Antibacterial, Anticancer, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Adaptogen, Sedative, Analgesic, Immune Enhancing, Antimicrobial

Medicinal Uses: Reduces and prevents fevers. Improves memory and concentration. Relieves stress, tension, anxiety, headaches, indigestion, cramps, nausea, constipation, coughs, asthma, and insomnia. Supports kidneys and bladder. Helps prevent cancer.


Pin Yin: Luo Le​

Also Known As: Lo Le

Meridians: Heart, Lung, Spleen, Stomach

Key Actions: Lifts the Spirits and Calms Shen, Tonifies Yang, Dispels Cold, Moves Blood, Tonifies the Lungs, Dries Damp and Transforms Phlegm, Clears Toxicity, Antidote for Poisons and Intestinal Infections

Medicinal Uses: Counters depression with mental and physical exhaustion, adrenal insufficiency, fainting, coma, epilepsy, cold, uterus, abdominal cramping, low back pain, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, indigestion, bloating, improves blood circulation after birth, intestinal worms, insomnia, anxiety, promotes menstruation.

Basic Habitat / Botany:

Sweet basil is a common aromatic herb In the mint family Lamiaceae. A half-hardy annual plant with many different varieties and over 160 named cultivars.

Basil is Native to India, China, Southeast Asia, and New Guinea. It is now grown all over the world.

Parts Most Frequently Used: Leaf​

Flavors/Temps: Pungent, Sweet, Warming

Caution: Considered very safe.

Key Constituents: Essential oils (mainly Estragole, Eugenol, Linalool, Thymol), Tannins, Monoterpenes, Sesquiterpenes, Phenylpropanoids, Camphor, Flavonoids (including Orientin and Viceninare), Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Manganese, Calcium, Copper, Iron

History/Folklore: Basil originated in India where it was cultivated for over 500 years. Because it is considered the most sacred herb, Hindus call it “The Queen of Herbs.” It is often grown around temples devoted to the Hindu gods Krishna and Vishnu. In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, the herb is often used for its antiseptic properties. In China, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) uses basil to promote blood circulation after birth and to treat kidney problems and stomach disorders.

For the Romans, it became an emblem of hatred that was associated with the scorpion.

In Greece, basil is grown around homes to help bring good luck. In Western Europe during the Middle Ages, it was considered the devil’s herb and used in potions to protect against witches.

Sweet basil (O. basilicum) is a different species from holy basil (O. tenuiflorum). Holy basil has a more medicinal flavor and is favored by some for use in Thai cooking. It has purple stems and leaves that are floppier than sweet basil, with its slim, pointed shape leaves.

Basil has powerful antibacterial properties that can even help restrain bacterial infection strains that do not respond to antibiotics. It is also rich in vitamin K, with one-half cup containing 108% of your minimum daily requirement.

A 2004 study from Food Microbiology showed that adding the essential oil of basil or thyme to water in quantities of just 1% and using the solution to clean vegetables significantly reduced the quantity of Shigella bacteria found in the food. Shigella is a bacteria that triggers diarrhea. By adding fresh basil to your salads you can help fight, counter, and reduce the impact of unwanted bacteria in fresh foods. Oral disinfectants containing basil can kill 99% of germs found in your mouth.

Boiling some fresh basil, ginger, and a bit of cardamom in water and sipping it is an excellent and effective traditional remedy for treating strep and sore throats.

Basil is an adaptogenic herb that helps the body cope with stress and its symptoms including lethargy, anxiety, headaches, and irritability.

The compounds orientin and viceninare, found in basil are powerful flavonoids known for their ability to protect white blood cells and help prevent damage from cancer-causing free radicals.

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Did you know?

Basilisk to Basil

It is believed that the name basil is derived from the name basilisk, an ancient creature that was half lizard and half dragon.


Clear the Brain

In Elizabethan times, basil was used to clear the brain, create snuff for colds, and accessorize the hair of young girls to indicate they were single.

Fun fact!

Reaching Paradise

In the Indian tradition, basil is sacred to Vishnu and Krishna and, thus, considered a protective plant and a beneficent spirit. A basil leaf placed on the tongue of a dead Hindu assured that he reached paradise.

Take FULL advantage of Basil (Luo Le)!

Connecting Eastern and Western perspectives on HOW and WHY this herb works. Find out how to safely and effectively use this healing herb for treating conditions and for your Body, Mind, and Spirit. Find True Health. Explore uses, safety information, benefits, history, recipes, gardening tips, essential oil information, if it applies, and much, much more in this online course.

Disclosure: If you purchase from some links on this web page, we may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, we only ever mention products we would recommend whether we were being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of White Rabbit Institute of Healing!

ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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