Look Like Chia Seeds? These Are Actually Basil Seeds

Look Like Chia Seeds? These Are Actually Basil Seeds


18 September 2016


You’ve probably not heard of basil seeds but if you live in Asia, chances are you’ve come across these little seeds. Known as ‘selasih’ in Malaysia, many of us have had it or at least seen it served especially in drinks.

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Basil seeds are sometimes confused with chia seeds as they are popularly used in the same way that chia seeds are used - added to drinks. And the basil seed also absorbs water, similar to the chia seed. However, these are two different seeds so to answer a question I’ve heard many times – No, chia seeds and ‘selasih’/basil seeds are not the same thing.

So we’ve all heard of how beneficial chia seeds are to our health but what about the basil seed? Is it just there to make our drinks look interesting? Or do they offer something more?

Here are some of the benefits that the basil seed has to offer.

Weight Loss

Basil seeds are full of fibre and therefore have the ability to keep you feeling full for longer. This is useful if you are trying to control your eating but feel hungry frequently. Add this seed to your (non-sugary) drinks and let it help you keep your diet under control.


Indigestion can be uncomfortable and this little seed can relieve that discomfort. Basil seeds help to soothe the stomach and help with digestive issues such as cramps, constipation, flatulence and irregular bowel movement.

Skin Infections

Crushed basil seeds can be used to treat skin infections like psoriasis and eczema. Just mix it with some coconut oil and apply to soothe the skin.

Lowers Body Heat

Basil seeds can help to cool one’s body down. Just mix it in a drink and let it take effect.

Good for Your Hair

The amount of protein, vitamin K and iron in the basil seed is good for your hair, keeping it healthy.

Stress Reliever

Consuming these seeds can have an uplifting effect on your mood and help to relieve headaches, migraine, depression and calms your nerves.


Basil seeds contain carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fat, and also concentrated nutrients and fibre. Like many other seeds, adding it to your diet could benefit you greatly. Below are a few ideas on how to incorporate this seed into your diet:

  • Add it to your drink – As mentioned before, basil seeds are already added to drinks but most of the time, these drink are high in sugar which negates the benefits. Try adding it to fruit juices, tea or even just water instead.
  • Add it to your salads – Apart from adding texture to your salads, these will also pack a nutritious punch and add even more goodness to your greens. Don’t forget to soak the basil seeds beforehand.
  • Use it in your desserts – You can use the basil seeds in a variety of ways but if you’re not feeling too adventurous, you can simply substitute basil seeds for your chia seed recipes. Here’s a basil seed recipe for you to try – Coconut Lime Basil Seed Pudding.

So while chia seeds may be all the rage right now, don’t underestimate this lesser known power-packed nutritious seed!


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