Basil Vs Oregano — What’s The Difference?

Basil Vs Oregano. Basil does not have as much protein, vitamins, or minerals as oregano. Basil contains 12 times as much iron and 30 times as much Vitamin E as oregano. Basil, on the other hand, has higher quantities of vitamin C and vitamin A and is lower in carbohydrates, calories, and sodium.

People frequently mix up the two herbs oregano and basil. It can be challenging to distinguish between them because of how similar they appear, especially if you are a beginner cook.

Hence, what are the differences between basil and oregano? Basil and oregano both belong to the mint family. However, they differ in the following:

  1. Appearance: leaves and flower present different color and shape
  2. Growing conditions: oregano needs less water
  3. Life span: oregano lasts longer
  4. Taste: stronger for oregano
  5. Culinary purposes: different recipes although replaceable

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What Is Basil?

The plant known as basil, or Ocimum basilicum, is a member of the mint family and is a key component in many international dishes, including Italian, Thai, Indonesian, and Vietnamese.

It has been utilized for centuries and is renowned for its distinctive flavor and adaptability. The basil plant has religious importance as well; in Hinduism, it is known as Holy Basil.

The leaves of this herb are pointy and oblong, smooth, and deep green in color with numerous veins running through them. It tastes spicy and has a lovely, sweet scent.

Basil is quite simple to grow at home and is frequently found in kitchen gardens.

What Is Oregano?

The mint family also includes oregano, which is sometimes referred to as wild marjoram (in the Mediterranean) and Origanum vulgare, which means “joy of the mountain” in Greek.

It is a fragrant herb that has been utilized for both culinary and medicinal purposes for thousands of years.

Oregano is one of the most well-liked cooking herbs in the world and is a perfect complement to a range of foods, including pizza and pasta sauce. It is known for its mildly sweet, herbaceous, and earthy flavor.

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Italian, Turkish, Mexican, and Greek cuisine all heavily feature oregano. The majority of the time, dried oregano is marketed since fresh oregano may be very strong and overbearing.

What Is The Difference Between Basil And Oregano?

Although they may have a slight resemblance in appearance and both basil and oregano are herbs that belong to the mint family, they are completely different from one another.

They are easily interchangeable when used as dry herbs, especially for heartier and richer meals. Since their flavors will be stronger in lighter foods, their flavor distinctiveness is more noticeable.


By attentively examining their leaves and blooms, you can distinguish between basil and oregano with ease!

The stem of basil is pale green, though it can also be purple or brown, depending on the type. Basil has smooth, round leaves that curl downward and can grow up to 4 inches long. When massaged, they give forth a powerful scent.

The stem of oregano is dark green or brown and coated in minute hairs. Oval in shape, oregano leaves have a pointed tip. They can reach a height of 2 inches and are slightly fuzzy due to the little hairs that surround the edges. They have a strong scent as well.

Both plants have flowers. Small, tubular blossoms on basil are typically white in color.

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Basil is regarded as a gentle herb with a sweet aroma and flavor. Depending on the cultivar, it might also have a powerful, peppery flavor.
Here are some of the most popular basil varieties along with descriptions of their flavors:

Basil VarietyFlavor Profile
Sweet BasilFresh, subtly sweet flavor and aroma
Thai BasilSpicy, anise-heavy flavor
Cinnamon BasilMild flavor with hints of spicy cinnamon
Purple BasilLess sweet, known for its purple tone and clove-scented flavor

On the other hand, oregano has a flavor that is strong and earthy with a delicate balance between sweet and spicy. Additionally, it has a mild bitterness that is similar to camphor.

Like basil, oregano is available in a variety of forms, each of which has a distinctive flavor profile.

Here are some of the most popular oregano varieties along with descriptions of their flavors:

Oregano VarietyFlavor Profile
Mediterranean Oregano (Greek Oregano)Mild taste and bold aroma
Mexican OreganoFlavorful variety with strong peppery notes
Italian OreganoSweeter flavor that is ideal for seasoning
Cretan OreganoSimilar flavor profile to Greek oregano

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Culinary Uses

Italian cuisine uses basil frequently, but that’s not the only place it’s utilized! Additionally, it is extremely well-liked in Asian nations including Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Combining this delicious herb with tomatoes for salads and sauces is a fantastic usage for it. Furthermore, it is perfect for flavoring vegetables and also works well for fish and poultry. Even basil tea is a possibility!

Popular herbs used in Italian, Mexican, Spanish, and French cooking include oregano and basil. It can be used in meals with olive oil or with tomatoes, just like basil.


Both basil and oregano have a comprehensive nutritional profile. Out of the two, oregano is richer in micronutrients and contains more carbs, protein, fiber, and fats. Basil, on the other hand, has fewer sugars.

Oregano also contains more calories than basil, while both contain no amount of cholesterol.

When it comes to the mineral content, oregano is richer and has a good amount of potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, and copper, while basil has a lower level of sodium.

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Basil Vs Oregano — Comparison Chart

Here is a detailed comparison of how these two popular herbs are similar and different from one another in terms of flavor, appearance, uses, nutritional value, and more.

Botanical FamilyLamiaceaeLamiaceae
Available InFresh and dried formFresh and dried form
Appearance (Leaves)Dark green, red, or purple leaves that are oval-shaped and curl downwardGreen leaves that are smaller and oval-shaped with a pointed end and tiny fuzzy hairs
Appearance (Flowers)White flowers with light green stems that grow separatelyLight pink or purple flowers with dark green or brown stems that grow in bunches
Taste And AromaMixture of sweet and savory with notes of pepper, mint, clove, and aniseGrassy and earthy with a hint of spiciness and bitterness
Nutritional ValueLow in sugar and sodium, rich in vitamins C and ARicher in micronutrients and vitamins
UsesUsed in Italian and Asian cuisine; tastes great with tomatoes, fish, and poultryUsed in Mexican and Mediterranean cooking; tastes great with vegetables and olive oil
SubstitutesOregano, mint, tarragonBasil, fresh thyme, parsley

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Nutritional Value & Health Benefits Basil & Oregano

Even while you may be confident that eating oregano and basil won’t damage you, you should be aware that they differ in terms of nutrients. Check out this table for a more thorough comparison of 100 grams of dried oregano and basil.

Energy233 kcal265 kcal
Protein23 g9 g
Total fat4.07 g4.28 g
Ash14.8 g7.87 g
Carbohydrate47.8 g68.9 g
Fiber37.7 g42.5 g
Calcium2240 mg1600 mg
Iron89.8 mg36.8 mg
Magnesium711 mg270 mg
Sodium76 mg25 mg
Vitamin B-61.34 mg 1.04 mg