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Cinnamon Basil

Typical to all basils, the cinnamon basil is fragrant with a hint of spicy. The reason why people call it cinnamon basil is because it somehow tastes like cinnamon, and this is because this herb contains methyl cinnamate.

In some parts of the world, people also refer to cinnamon basil as Mexican spice basil. This plant can grow up to 30 inches tall.

Classification Information:
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales 
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Ocimum
Species: O. basilicum
Binomial name: O. basilicum ‘Cinnamon’

Cinnamon Basil Trivia

  • Dried cinnamon basil is used in potpourri.
  • Retired NASA astronaut and STS-118 robotic arm operator and transfer coordinator Barbara Morgan brought millions of basil seeds on the International Space Station in an experiment in low Earth orbit. Some of the basil seeds there were brought back to Earth to be studied.
  • Cinnamon basil is a natural insect repellant.

Cinnamon Basil Buying Guide

To spot cinnamon basil, look for narrow, slightly serrated, dark green, leaves, dark purple stem, and reddish-purple veins. If you are looking at a plant, it helps to know that the flowers of cinnamon basil are pink, produced by the plant sometime between July to September. 

Please note that it is difficult to find cinnamon basil, specifically. Your best chance is either in a farmers market or in an herb garden that grows or sells cinnamon basil. If you have neighbors who enjoy planting herbs, you may ask them if they have cinnamon basil and if they are willing to sell or give away some leaves.   

Because it is not a common herb to find, buying seeds or potted plants of cinnamon basil is encouraged. Plant and grow your own. 

If there are cinnamon basil for sale, inspect the color and condition of the leaves. If it looks like it has been on display for several days because of the wilting leaves and drooping stem, do not buy it. That is not of excellent quality. There should be a label that says it is cinnamon basil. If you are unsure, feel free to ask.

Cinnamon Basil Production & Farming in Texas

Cinnamon basil is grown during the summer. There are many basil growers in the Lower Valley and the Winter Garden region. This is where there is a good chance of finding cinnamon basil. 

To achieve optimal growth, allow cinnamon basil plants a minimum of six hours of bright sunlight per day. Cinnamon basil is considered a perennial in USDA plant hardiness zones 9–11. This means in Texas, the best place to plant cinnamon basil are in these places: Corpus Christi and Larado (Zone 9A) and McAllen (Zone 9B). Cinnamon basil prefers a soil pH of 5.5 to 7.5


The typical problems of a basil plant like cinnamon basil include Japanese beetle, disease, leaf blights, and weeds.

  • Pyrethrin – To rid cinnamon basil of Japanese beetle, use pyrethrin, which is a combination of six chemicals (pyrethrin I, pyrethrin II, cinerin I, cinerin II, jasmolin I, and jasmolin II). An organic version of pyrethrin involves the use of chrysanthemum flowers. When using pyrethrin, make sure to mix 7.5 to 15 oz of concentrate in 5 gallons of water and apply enough to cover the upper and lower leaf surfaces.

To fight downy mildew and similar problems, use any of the following:

  • Dimethomorph
  • Dithiocarbamate 
  • Metalaxyl-M
  • Fosetyl aluminium
  • Propamocarb hydrochloride

For those who want an organic or natural approach, one option is planting cinnamon basil near tomatoes and roses to discourage whiteflies.


Cinnamon basil is native to tropical and subtropical climates around the world. Cinnamon basil is commonly found in Mexico and used in many Mexican dishes, and because many Mexican dishes became popular in Texas, cinnamon basil today is one of the commonly-grown herbs in the state. The United States is the biggest producer of basil worldwide.


After harvest and before delivery to supermarkets and restaurants, basil growers use bulk boxes to store harvested basil and kept in a storage room with a temperature sufficient to keep the basil fresh and safe from chill damage. The same process applies to cinnamon basil. 

Freshly-picked leaves are usually sold in the produce section. A small clamshell plastic container packaging keeps the integrity of the cut leaves intact. There are also cinnamon basil plants for sale in groceries, supermarkets, and garden-nurseries. You buy this to grow your own and become self-sufficient. These are sold in plastic pots or plastic plant pouches. Dried cinnamon basil leaves are sold either in bottles or inside a sealed plastic pack.

Besides leaves, cinnamon basil seeds are also sold, for growers interested in growing cinnamon basil from seed. You can find cinnamon basil seeds sold in groceries, markets, or specialty stores inside a sealed, polythene bag.

Enjoying Cinnamon Basil

Pasta tastes great with cinnamon basil garnish. When drinking tea, cinnamon basil is a good choice. Others infuse vinegar with cinnamon basil to create a distinct flavor when using the vinegar for cooking or as a dip. Cinnamon basil is an excellent topping for savory or sweet dishes because when you eat it, it does not have an overpowering flavor that eclipses the taste of the other ingredients.


You can put freshly-cut cinnamon basil leaves in the refrigerator. You can also freeze or dry it. Place the cinnamon basil leaves inside a plastic bag and put the plastic bag inside the refrigerator. You can also wrap it in a paper cloth or towel before putting it inside the refrigerator. This way, the cinnamon basil leaves will stay fresh for at least 10 to 14 days.

To freeze, put the moringa leaves in an ice tray, fill it with water, and freeze. This will keep the leaves fresh and flavorful for a year, but only if the ice cubes remain frozen at all times. If the refrigerator temperature is not consistent, it can impact the quality of the leaves inside the ice cubes. 

To dry moringa leaves, spread these out on a drying screen and then place this in a warm, dry room to allow it to completely dry. Make sure to turn the leaves every two days to make sure these dry out evenly. You’ll know these are completely dry when they turn brittle. 

Putting moringa leaves in a jar or bottle will preserve the aroma and taste of the dried and ground moringa for several months. Place it in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.


Basil is a versatile herb that has many uses. As for cinnamon basil, in particular, this is used in baking, especially when making cookies and pies. Fresh cinnamon basil leaves are used in making salads. You can use cinnamon basil to flavor meat dishes. You can blend it and make cinnamon basil sauce, or puree it to make cinnamon basil soup. If you are using cinnamon basil as an ingredient when cooking, make sure to put the cinnamon basil leaves with just enough cooking time that the leaves are not overcooked.   


Cinnamon basil leaves are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

  • Calcium: 177.00mg 
  • Iron: 3.17mg
  • Potassium: 295mg
  • Sodium: 4mg

Nutritional Benefits:

Cinnamon basil helps in a wide variety of illnesses – spasms, colds, worm infection, cancer, skin aging, liver and cardiovascular problems, diarrhea and constipation, and inflammation. Cinnamon basil is good for our mental health. Drinking cinnamon basil tea promotes regular sleep.



  • Serving Size: 5 Pieces, Leaves (2.5g)
  • Calories: 0.6 0.1
  • Carbs: 0.1g 0%
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g 0%
  • Protein: 0.1g
  • Fat: 0g 0%
  • Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 0.1mg 0%
  • Vitamin C 0.8%
  • Vitamin A 2.6%
  • Calcium 0.3%
  • Iron 0.4%
  • Potassium 7.4mg 0%
  • Vitamin K 414.8mcg 346%
  • Vitamin B6 0.155mg 12%
  • Riboflavin 0.076mg 6%

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