Rosemary vs Basil: Difference and Comparison

Who doesn’t like food that has immense flavors to immerse you in. Spice and herbs are the crucial elements that fill the food with the flavor; that we desire.

Rosemary and basil are two of those herbs; found in a spice rack of any kitchen. These herbs put life and colors to a dish making it more tasty and healthy, but not every food requires rosemary and basil in them.

Because of this, it is crucial to understand these herbs and experience their benefits in the right way.

Key Takeaways

  1. Rosemary is an evergreen herb with needle-like leaves and a strong, woody flavor, while basil is an annual herb with broad, fragrant leaves and a sweet, peppery taste.
  2. Rosemary is commonly used in Mediterranean cooking and pairs well with meats, potatoes, and vegetables. In contrast, basil is a key ingredient in Italian cuisine and complements tomatoes, cheese, and pasta dishes.
  3. Both herbs have various health benefits, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and can be used fresh or dried in cooking.

Rosemary v/s Basil

Rosemary has a stronger and pungent flavor with pine and lemon undertones. Basil has a sweeter taste with hints of licorice and clove. Rosemary is used in savory dishes such as meat, while basil is commonly used in Italian cuisine and sweet dishes like desserts and appetizers.

Rosemary vs Basil

Food Quiz

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Rosemary is has a sweet aroma and tastes that can magnify the original taste of any food: be it a soup, casseroles, a salad, or stew, but mostly paired with chicken dishes and other poultry like lambs, steak, pork, and oily fish.

As this herb is versatile, it goes well with mushrooms, grains, onions, potatoes, etc.

Basil is a herb that belongs to the mint family has many medicinal benefits. Apart from its health benefits, it is used: in Italian, Vietnamese, Thai, and Indonesian cuisines.

Like other herbs, this herb is green in color but has huge delicate leaves that have a sweet-smelling fragrance with a peppery taste.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Rosemary Basil
Scientific nameSalvia rosmarinusOcimum basilicum
Growth height3 to 5 feet.18 to 24 inches
Physical description Needle-like leaves with white, pink, or blue flowers.Smooth oval-shaped leaves with slightly toothed tips.
Varieties 2 types50 to 150 types.

What is Rosemary?

Rosemary is an evergreen herb mainly used as a condiment for cooking: for making body perfumes, and for other health benefits.

This herb is from the Lamiaceae family of mint with oregano, thyme, lavender, and basil. Rosemary not only tastes good, but it also provides a good amount of iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6.

It is mainly sold as a whole dried herb or as a powder, and the liquid or the tea and oil is from the fresh leaves or dried leaves.

Many variations of rosemary are available online for purchasing purposes.

Since ancient times, rosemary has been acclaimed beneficial due to its medicinal properties; and was used to help with muscle pain; sharpen memory; boost the immune and circulatory system, and reduce hair-fall by promoting hair growth.

In European countries: this herb was used for treating digestive issues, and the fragrance of rosemary has proven to improve concentration power, performance, accuracy, and the mood of a person.

It is also proven: to be good for the brain as it contains carnosic acid that prevents brain damage by free radicals and even improves recovery.

Some studies have found out that rosemary helps people that are suffering from Stroke, Alzheimer, and can also be used as a medicine for tumors and inflammation.


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What is Basil?

Basil is a herb belonging to the mint family mainly known for adding flavors and health benefits to meals. The Ocimum basilicum or also known as sweet basil; is most commonly used in the cuisines of Italians and Mediterranean people.

It is the principal ingredient in making pesto and adds more flavor and freshness into salads, pizza, pasta, and many other dishes. Other cuisines such as Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese also use basil quite a lot.

Sweet basil provides minerals, vitamins, and many antioxidants. Essential oil made from this herb also has many medicinal benefits.

This herb is available in almost all grocery stores. Tulsi is another type of basil that is also known as Ocimum sanctum and is different from sweet basil.

Tulsi is widely used in Tamilian cuisine and Aryuvedic medicines, which is mostly practiced in the Southeastern part of Asia. Basil provides many health benefits as herbal medicine and essential oil.

It also treats bite of snake, cold and nasal area inflammation.

Basil provides macronutrients like calcium and vitamin K along with many antioxidants. Sweet basil has highly concentrated eugenol which gives the basil fragrance of cloves while lime and lemon have highly concentrated limonene which gives them a citrusy scent, and they both have antioxidant properties.


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Main Differences Between Rosemary and Basil

  1. The scientific name of rosemary is Salvia Rosmarinus, whereas the scientific name of basil is Ocimum basilicum.
  2. The plant of rosemary can grow up to 3 feet to 5 feet in height, whereas the plant of basil can grow only up to 18 inches to 24 inches.
  3. Rosemary is a woody perennial shrub that has leaves shaped like needles, whereas the basil is small in height with oval-shaped leaves that are slightly cupped.
  4. In terms of calories, 100 grams of rosemary provides 131 calories, whereas 100 grams of basil provides 23 calories.
  5. There are mainly two types of rosemary known, and those are the ones that grow on top of the tress, and the other grow as ground covers, whereas the basil has up to more than 150 different types.
Rosemary vs Basil – Difference Between Rosemary and Basil

Last Updated : 22 July, 2023

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