In case you are an avid Thai food lover, you must have been captivated by the aromatic fragrance most Thai platters come with, besides the mouth-watering dishes they offer. While it is undeniable that Thai food is all about aroma and herbs, one ingredient that’s truly outstanding is Lemon Basil or Lao Basil.
Lemon basil leaves

A hybrid of sweet basil and African basil, these leaves are a bundle of clear citrus notes and are a staple in Indonesian, Philippines, Lao, Persian and Arabic and Thai cuisines.

Also Read: Choose Basil Oil For Healthy Skin And Hair

What is Lemon Basil?                                                                                   

Also known as Hoary Basil or Thai Lemon basil, this herb cultivated mostly in southern Asian and Northern Africa belongs to the mint family. The history of this herb finds its origin to ancient Greece, an essential part of their traditional therapeutic medical practices, and also a symbol of mourning.

Laden with an astringent flavour, it is used in vegetables, seafood rice and tea. For Indonesians, Lemon Basil is Kemangi and they love it in their salads. The flowers of Kemangi too are a part of their main cuisine. In Thailand, Lemon basil is used extensively in curries and also in noodle-based dishes while in the west, these bright green tender leaves are generously served along with seafood or vegetables.

Health Benefits of Lemon Basil

Protects Against Vision Loss

Lemon Basil is an excellent source of beta-carotene, a pigment found mostly in brightly coloured vegetables. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which aids in functioning of mucus membranes and is essential for a good vision.

Beneficial In Wound Healing

Lemon Basil is a great source of Vitamin K. This Vitamin assists the body in faster wound healing. The herb also provides considerable magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, calcium, and Vitamin C to the body.

Anti-inflammatory Benefits

Lemon Basil contains Citral and Limonene that has well known anti-inflammatory benefits. Those are particularly effective at protecting against breast and colon cancers as citral limits the growth of breast cancer cells.

Controls Cortisol Levels

Lemon Basil keeps the cortisol, the stress hormone levels in check. The elevated levels of this hormone can cause multiple health conditions such as diabetes, reduced immune function, obesity, and even memory problems.

Also Read: Cortisol Structure Crucial Functions Adverse Effects

Lemon Basil Recipes

Roasted Lemon Basil Potatoes
Roasted Lemon Basil Potatoes


900 grams potatoes, chopped roughly 

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

2½ teaspoons fine sea salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon finely grated Lemon Basil


Combine the potatoes, lemon juice, 1½ teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large pan

Add enough cold water to the pan to cover the potatoes

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are soft

Drain the potatoes and transfer to a bowl

Season the potatoes with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, and garlic powder and toss well

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add half of the potatoes and cook until they begin to crisp and brown for about 5 to 7minutes

Transfer the potatoes to a plate

Add 2 more tablespoons of butter and repeat the process with the remaining potatoes

Once the second half has started to brown and crisp up, return to the first batch

Toss both the batches with the remaining butter, fresh basil, and lemon basil until the potatoes are well coated

Serve hot


The recipe is loaded with potassium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Lemon Basil also is a good source of Vitamin K that assists in wound healing. The herb also has a significant amount of magnesium, iron, copper and calcium. The body absorbs this vitamin in the small intestine and stores it in the liver. Potatoes that are a main ingredient provide ample fiber to the body and are replete with antioxidants.

Tiny Tip

Cooking with Lemon Basil is leisurely as there are no rules. However, to derive the best nutrition benefit from this aromatic herb, add it towards the end of cooking because its delicate flavour may not act great to lengthy cooking times and then, you are all set to relish this recipe.