Is it safe to drink the water that basil seeds are soaked in? Also would it be okay to drink that water with and/or without removing the soaked seeds? Thanks and regards :-)

4 Answers 4


If the basil seeds are safe, the water should be also safe. If you have food-grade basil seeds (i.e. non-teated seeds) and didn't soak them for too long (so pathogens had enough time to grow), this should be safe. I think soaked basil seed last as long as soaked chia seeds, 2 weeks.

There are even desserts / drinks with basil seeds and the water in which they were soaked in.

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    Do you shake the can before drinking, or do the seeds stay in suspension, or are they filtered out before canning? I'll have to look for this stuff. Apr 25, 2015 at 11:58
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    If I recall correctly the seeds don't stay in suspension for a long time. So you should shake or stir the "soup" before consuming. About filtering before canning: I don't know because I always have eaten only self-made basil seed soup. I always have eaten this soup with some liquid. Apr 25, 2015 at 19:02

Assuming food-safe seeds (are there basil seeds that aren't?), yes it is safe, both to drink the water and to eat the seeds. That's the point.


Just now I have been experimenting with different ways to drink soaked Sacred Basil seeds. Other types of basil seeds seem to work just the same way, as evidenced by the results of an Amazon search for "basil seeds for drinking".

The first recipe I tried was a Thai recipe for Sweet Basil Seed Drink, but I used Sacred Basil (tukmaria).

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I can't tell the difference between the different varieties of soaked basil seeds, but they do produce basil plants that are quite distinguishable from each other. I love Italian sweet and Thai basil and I have a little summer garden to plant. Hmmm...

The mucilaginous outer surface after soaking the seeds is a fun thing. I have found that hot water (even near boiling) works faster than cold for getting the seeds properly soaked, and that the soaked seeds seem just the same immediately after soaking and after three or four days in the fridge. Sugar seems to make no difference one way or another, but something about certain fruit juices (acidity?) will dramatically inhibit the desired swelling of the seeds.

In some cultures, drinks from these seeds are commonly sold in cans and bottles, and are reputed to have health benefits.

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    Look like frogs eggs ;-) Jun 8, 2015 at 12:28
  • Is this the new chia seed? Never heard of drinking basil seed before!
    – Caleb
    Jan 26, 2017 at 19:43
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    At least in India, tukmaria/sabja is sweet basil. It's different from tulsi, which is sacred/holy basil. I don't know why Amazon claims tukmaria is sacred basil. If you used tukmaria, you used sweet basil. The photograph of the soaked seeds show that you did indeed use tukmaria. Tulsi seeds are not eaten and do not swell up in the same way.
    – verbose
    Jan 26, 2017 at 20:40

I have just discovered basil seeds in Asian drinks and am currently enamored with them. I bought seeds and have soaked them and made my own drinks. I make a simple syrup that I flavor and tint slightly with food coloring. What I noticed is when I mix them with water and simple syrup after a while the gelatinous part of the seeds holds the sweetness. Thought I would share.


You can make great drinks for hot weather by soaking the basil seeds for some time and then adding other ingredients like lemon juice and (self-made) yoghurt. Such a drink cools your body.

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