Comparison Between Thai Basil Vs Basil

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Last Updated on August 22, 2022

Is there a major difference between Thai basil vs basil or are they the same in taste, flavor, and look?

Thai basil is just one of many varieties of basil. It is one of the most widely used and consumed varieties of basil.

Thai basil is a member of the Lamiaceae family, which includes mints and other culinary herbs. The leaves are used in cooking and garnishing. It has a sweet flavor and fragrance.

Basil is one of the commonly used herbs for cooking. Its unique flavor is appreciated in a variety of dishes. Thai basil is available at grocery stores, supermarkets, and farmers’ markets throughout the year.

It can be found fresh or dried. Thai basil can be used as a substitute for Italian basil, as the flavor will not change much.

Comparison Between Thai Basil Vs Basil

Thai Basil

Thai basil is a type of basil plant which grows to about 12 to 18 inches in height and has pink and purple flowers that grow in the late summer. Its fragrant, sweet-scented leaves are used as an ingredient in Thai cuisine. 

Thai basil is a variety of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) and can be considered an annual herb. It is widely used in Thai cuisine and has many culinary uses. Thai basil is a member of the Lamiaceae family and has dark green, glossy leaves with fragrant purple flowers.

Thai Basil

Thai basil has many uses and benefits. Its health-promoting properties are similar to those of basil, but with a more intense aroma.

It is used in cooking, aromatherapy, medicine, and perfume. Thai basil can be found in kitchens throughout Southeast Asia and has a slight hint of licorice in the taste. 

Holy Basil

Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) is a type of basil in the family of Lamiaceae. The plant is native to the Indian subcontinent and grows throughout Southeast Asia. It is cultivated in many other places around the world as an ornamental garden plant.

Holy basil has small purplish flowers with green leaves with a hint of purple.  It is also known as hot basil or Tulsi. It can be used for its culinary and medicinal properties.

People in Ayurveda use the Holy basil for medical purposes. It is used for anxiety, stress, diabetes, high cholesterol, and other conditions. It is one of the most important herbs used in Ayurveda for curing various ailments. 

Holy basil is a small perennial herb that has a peppery taste to it. It has an aromatic smell and grows about three feet tall. 

Differences Between Thai basil Vs Basil

Thai basil is a very different plant from other basils. This article discusses the differences between Thai basil vs basil, which are:

  • It has much more delicate leaves than most basils, and they are thin and tender.
  • Thai basil is slightly savory with a spicy, licorice-like flavor. Holy basil has a peppery-sweet flavor.
  • Thai basil has purple flowers while other varieties have white flowers.
  • Thai basil can be grown indoors or outdoors.
  • Thai basil has purple stems while sweet basil has green stems.

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  • Thai basil is used in Thai dishes and Thai people often put it on their food. Basil is used in Italian dishes, and most of the time, people use basil in the United States.
  • The most noticeable difference is the color. Thai basil is green with purple, while basil is light green with no hint of purple. Thai basil has an anise smell, while basil has a sweeter smell.
  • Thai basil is used as a garnish and in cooking while basil is used to make pesto. Thai basil is often used in soups, salads, curries, and other dishes. Basil is widely used as a flavoring for both sweet and savory dishes. It is one of the most common herbs used in pesto.

Similarities Between Thai Basil Vs Basil

  • Thai basil vs regular basil, both have similar tastes, but with slight differences.  Both of them are used in cooking as herbs. They both have similar medicinal properties.
  • Both Thai basil and basil are used for culinary purposes and can often be used interchangeably. 
  • Both are herbs that grow best with six or more hours of sun and regular watering. 
Similarities Between Thai Basil Vs Basil

Final Thoughts Thai Basil Or Basil

Thai basil vs basil do not have many differences and only those who know their herbs well can tell the differences.

If you enjoy using Thai basil to spice up your foods, keep going and if you enjoy the holy basil, don’t stop!  Both are herbs that bring in plenty of flavor to different dishes.


What is Thai basil vs basil taste?

Thai basil is slightly savory with a spicy, licorice-like flavor. Sweet basil has a peppery-sweet flavor.

Differences between Thai basil vs normal basil

Thai basil is a variety of regular basil that has been grown in Thailand.  It's sweet, fragrant and delicious!

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