Is Basil Carcinogenic? – The Dose Makes The Difference

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:58 pm

The finding of the scientists makes one sit up and take notice and deserves closer examination. Under certain conditions, basil exerts a mutagenic and carcinogenic effect. Find out about the details here.

Basilikum krebserregend

Estragole essential oil under suspicion
The labiataceous plant basil is valued worldwide as an aromatic spice. In particular, it is the essential oils that contribute to the inimitable taste of the leaves. In animal experiments, scientists found that estragole can have a carcinogenic effect, among other things. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment therefore issued a warning that this substance must no longer be included, especially in tea mixtures for infants and young children.

Is Basil Carcinogenic? - The Dose Makes The Difference

So far, there is a lack of detailed knowledge with regard to a hazardous effect on human health. Therefore, the warning is purely a precautionary measure. If the harmful quantities are extrapolated from the test animals to a human being, the threshold of concern is exceeded from a quantity of 20 basil leaves per day. No one will voluntarily eat such a quantity.

Positive aspects outweigh risks

There is nothing wrong with continuing to use basil as an aromatic kitchen herb. In addition to its legendary seasoning power, royal herb scores with other beneficial attributes based on decades of experience in natural medicine:

  • Basil stimulates the appetite
  • relieves flatulence and gastric distress
  • strengthens the nerves and calms the mind
  • the sesquiterpenes contained in basil have an anti-inflammatory effect on the throat
  • as an alcoholic extract basil has a wound healing effect
  • headaches subside
  • the ingredient linalool lifts the mood
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First and foremost, basil is a delicious ingredient for Mediterranean dishes, fish, meat, salads, poultry and soups. Since the herb plant grows excellently in a pot on the balcony, it can be harvested throughout the summer. What does not immediately go into the cooking pot can be easily preserved by drying, pickling or freezing.

Tips & tricks
If penetrating wasps or mosquitoes spoil your stay on the balcony or terrace, get some help from basil. Simply place a bouquet on the table and the pests will make a bottom around the seat. The small miracle is performed by the essential oils that exude royal herb around.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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