What are Sabja Seeds? - Uses, Health Benefits and Side Effects

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aman Priya Khanna
Written by Sangeeta Sharma, last updated on 23 December 2023| min read
What are Sabja Seeds? - Uses, Health Benefits and Side Effects

Quick Summary

  • Sabja seeds are tiny black wonders that pack a punch in both flavour and nutrition! They are derived from the beloved basil plant and can revolutionise your wellness routine
  • Drop them into your favourite drinks or sprinkle them over desserts to add a playful twist to your culinary creations
  • Sabja seeds bring a host of health benefits to the table, including improving gut health, regulating blood sugar, and more
  • Dive into the exciting world of sabja seeds and give your taste buds and well-being a reason to celebrate!

Sabja seeds - tiny black wonders that pack a punch in both flavour and nutrition! Derived from the beloved basil plant, sabja seeds can revolutionise your wellness routine. Drop them into your favourite drinks or sprinkle them over desserts to add a playful twist to your culinary creations.

But it’s not just about the fun texture - sabja seeds bring a host of health benefits to the table. Sabja seeds’ benefits extend to gut health, blood sugar regulation, and more. Dive into the exciting world of sabja seeds and give your taste buds and well-being a reason to celebrate! 

What are Sabja Seeds?

Sabja seeds, popularly known as falooda seeds, are small black seeds derived from the sweet basil plant (Ocimum basilicum). Their origin is the reason why sabja seeds in English are called Basil seeds. 

These seeds have a long history of culinary and medicinal use, particularly in Asian countries. When soaked in water, sabja seeds develop a gelatinous outer layer, which gives them a unique texture. This makes them a popular addition to various foods and beverages.

Nutritional Value of Sabja Seeds

Sabja seeds are packed with numerous nutrients and immunity-boosting properties. According to research, the nutritional value of sabja seeds can differ based on where they are grown. The following is the nutritional chart for 100 grams of sabja seeds grown in India:




63.8 g


22.6 g


14.8 g


13.8 g


31.55 mg


2.27 mg


1.58 mg

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Health Benefits of Sabja Seeds

Sabja seeds emerge as tiny powerhouses brimming with health benefits. Adding these seeds to the diet can be a delicious and nutritious step towards a well-rounded wellness journey. Some of the most important sabja seeds’ benefits are as follows:

1. Rich in Essential Minerals

Sabja seeds are a good source of calcium, magnesium, and iron minerals. Calcium and magnesium are crucial in maintaining strong bones and supporting muscle functionality. Iron is vital for the production of red blood cells. 

Many individuals fail to meet the recommended intake of calcium and magnesium from their dietary choices. Incorporating sabja seeds into your diet may assist in fulfilling your daily requirements for these essential nutrients. Moreover, for individuals who do not consume meat or dairy, basil seeds could serve as significant sources of both calcium and iron.

2. Aids in Digestion

The high fibre content in sabja seeds plays a pivotal role in maintaining regular bowel movements. Constipation often arises due to inadequate water intake, causing the large intestine to extract water from the stool. However, consuming fibre and water triggers soluble fibres to draw water into the large intestine, resulting in softer stools.

The unique gel-like texture they acquire when soaked in water adds a gentle, soothing effect to the digestive system.

3. Helps With Blood Sugar Regulation

Sabja seeds can help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing carbohydrate absorption in the body. It is particularly beneficial for individuals aiming to manage their blood sugar.

Evidence suggests fibre can prevent increased blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetic patients. This is why giving sabja seeds regularly to people with diabetes before meals can be beneficial.

4. Lowers Bad Cholesterol

Pectin, the soluble fibre in sabja seeds, can help regulate cholesterol levels. Soluble fibre binds to cholesterol molecules in the digestive tract, preventing their absorption in the gut. This can contribute to lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels, often called “bad” cholesterol.

5. Improves Heart Health

Sabja seeds have alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a special omega-3 fatty acid. These omega-3s can lower inflammation and keep your cholesterol levels in good shape. 

As a result, sabja seeds improve heart health. They lower the chances of problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

6. Supports Weight Management

Sabja seeds have protein and soluble fibre - two nutrients that stay in your digestive system for quite a while. This means that after you eat sabja seeds, you will feel full for a long time. When you are not hungry, you are less likely to crave unhealthy snacks. This can help maintain a healthy weight or even lose some. 

Plus, the slow digestion of the gel-like substance from the seeds keeps your blood sugar levels steady and helps control those sudden cravings.

7. Boosts Hydration

Sabja seeds offer a hydration boost. When you soak these seeds in water, they absorb it and turn into a jelly-like substance. This can help keep you hydrated because your body gets a slow release of water as the seeds get digested. It is like a natural way to stay refreshed and hydrated, especially on warm days or after activities that make you sweat.

8. Improves Skin Health

One of the most important sabja seeds benefits is their role in promoting skin health. Sabja seeds have a natural detoxifying effect on the body, helping to cleanse the internal systems. This contributes to clear and flawless skin by keeping acne and breakouts at bay.

With antimicrobial and antifungal properties, sabja seeds shield people from skin infections. They are even utilised in treating skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Moreover, packed with vitamins and minerals, these seeds offer the skin a radiant, natural glow.

9. Cools Down the Body 

Sabja seeds offer a remarkable cooling effect, making them a go-to choice during hot weather. This cooling property stems from their ability to absorb and retain water, forming a gel-like substance. When consumed, this gel slowly releases water, aiding in reducing internal heat and soothing the stomach. 

This natural cooling effect makes sabja seeds a refreshing addition to beverages and desserts, particularly in regions with warm climates. You can incorporate these seeds into a range of beverages, including lemonades, coconut water, milkshakes, smoothies, and yoghurt, to name a few.

10. Has Antioxidant Properties

Sabja seeds have compounds like phenolic and flavonoids with notable antioxidant properties.

  1. Phenolic compounds are natural plant substances. They help protect your cells from damage and support your health.

  2. Flavonoids are plant compounds that bring vibrant colours to fruits and veggies. They offer health benefits, like fighting cancer and improving heart health.

Harmful molecules called free radicals can lead to oxidative stress and cellular damage. The presence of antioxidants in sabja seeds helps neutralise these free radicals. It, thus, supports the body’s defence against neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers. 

How to Use Sabja Seeds?

Sabja seeds are known for their gentle flavor and unique gel-like texture after soaking, which makes them a versatile addition to drinks and desserts. There are numerous recipes to incorporate sabja seeds into your diet.

To use basil seeds in a dish, the initial step involves soaking them in water. Place about two teaspoons of sabja seeds in a cup of warm water and let them soak for approximately 15 minutes. As they absorb water, they will expand in size, and you will notice a translucent grey film forming around each black seed. Strain the water and add them as topping in:

  1. Milkshakes

  2. Smoothies

  3. Yoghurt

  4. Lemonades

  5. Soups

  6. Salad dressings

  7. Pudding

  8. Oatmeal

  9. Pancakes

  10. Bread and muffins

Side Effects of Sabja Seeds

While sabja seeds offer various health benefits, there are a few potential side effects and considerations. Side effects of sabja seeds may include:

  1. Digestive Discomfort: The high fibre content in sabja seeds can cause digestive discomfort, bloating, or diarrhoea. You should gradually increase the consumption of sabja seeds. This allows your gut time to adjust. 

  2. Blood-Thinning Effect: Sabja seeds contain vitamin K, which can have a mild blood-thinning effect. Therefore, consult a healthcare professional before adding them to your diet if you are on blood-thinning medications or have a bleeding disorder.

  3. Choking Hazard: When soaked in water, sabja seeds expand and form a gelatinous mass. This could pose a choking hazard for individuals with swallowing difficulties, particularly children.

Precautions While Using Sabja Seeds

Sabja seeds are typically considered safe when used in moderation. However, like any other food, there may be some side effects. The following are some precautions to take when consuming sabja seeds:

  1. Soaking: Always soak sabja seeds in water before consuming them. Consuming dry seeds can lead to digestive discomfort.

  2. Pregnancy or Breastfeeding: Sabja seeds can increase oestrogen levels in the body. Therefore, pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult their doctor before incorporating these seeds.

  3. Medical Conditions: If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or other chronic conditions, consult your healthcare professional before using sabja seeds. 

  4. Moderation: Start slow and consume sabja seeds in moderation. Excessive intake might lead to digestive issues or other discomfort. 

  5. Allergies: If you are allergic to seeds, especially basil or related plants, be cautious while using sabja seeds. Discontinue use or consult a doctor if you experience adverse effects after consuming the seeds.

  6. Discontinue Use Before Surgery: Since sabja seeds can slow blood clotting, you must stop consuming the seeds at least two weeks before surgery.


Sabja seeds offer a multitude of health benefits that span from digestive support to potential cholesterol regulation. With their unique gelatinous texture and versatility in culinary applications, these seeds are a promising addition to a well-balanced diet. However, exercising caution and seeking professional advice is essential to reap their advantages completely.

Contact the HexaHealth team for expert guidance, medical insights, and personalised care plans. Our experts can help you navigate health challenges and access the best treatment options. We can also connect you with the best doctors to get advice on the safe consumption of sabja seeds. Schedule an appointment TODAY!

Suggested Reads

  1. Chia Seeds Benefits

Frequently Asked Questions

Sabja seeds, derived from the sweet basil plant, are tiny black seeds with a gelatinous outer layer when soaked in water. They are known for aiding digestion, regulating blood sugar, and offering a unique texture in beverages and desserts.

Sabja seeds’ benefits are as follows:

  1. Aids in digestion

  2. Regulates blood sugar

  3. Lowers bad cholesterol levels 

  4. Improves heart health

  5. Boosts hydration

  6. Supports weight management

  7. Improves skin health

  8. Manages body temperature

Sabja seeds in English are known as basil seeds. It is because they are derived from the sweet basil plant. When soaked, they develop a gel-like coating.

Sabja seeds enhance wellness by aiding digestion, regulating blood sugar, and improving heart health. Their cooling properties offer relief in hot weather, while essential nutrients contribute to overall health.

Yes, you can soak sabja seeds overnight. However, it is not always necessary. Soaking them for 15-20 minutes is usually sufficient to achieve the desired gel-like texture.

Yes, there are potential side effects of sabja seeds. These side effects include:

  1. Choking hazards 

  2. Digestive discomfort, bloating, or diarrhoea

  3. Allergic reactions

  4. Blood-thinning effect

It is advisable to consume them mindfully, especially if you have specific health conditions or allergies.

While Sabja seeds are generally safe, their overuse can cause infertility in men. Consult healthcare professionals for accurate information regarding diet and fertility concerns.

Sabja and chia seeds offer similar benefits due to their high nutrient content. Chia seeds have more omega-3 fatty acids, while sabja seeds have more fibre. Choosing between them depends on personal preferences and dietary goals.

Chia seeds and sabja seeds are not the same; they come from different plants. Chia seeds are derived from Salvia hispanica, while Sabja seeds come from Ocimum basilicum. 

Both have similar gel-like properties and nutritional benefits but are botanically distinct. Sabja seeds are slightly larger than chia seeds. However, both have a bland flavour, making them ideal to be used in many of the same recipes.

For maximum benefits, soak sabja seeds in water for 15-20 minutes until they become gel-like. Add them to beverages, desserts, or yoghurt. Consider individual health conditions and consume mildly to enjoy their advantages.

Sabja seeds are known for their high nutrient levels and immense cooling nature. They can be used in lemonades, smoothies, faloodas, desserts, yoghurts and salads. Used mindfully, they provide both a unique experience and potential health benefits.

Individuals who should not consume sabja seeds include those:

  1. With swallowing difficulties

  2. Who have allergies to seeds or basil-related plants

  3. On blood-thinning medications

Pregnant or breastfeeding women and individuals with specific health concerns should consult healthcare professionals before consuming them.

 There are several benefits of sabja seeds that make it a valuable addition to the diet. Some benefits of sabja seeds include:

  1. Aids digestion 

  2. Contributes to a feeling of fullness

  3. Regulates blood sugar

  4. Cools down the body

Eating sabja seeds daily can provide consistent fibre intake. This improves digestive health, regulates blood sugar levels, and aids in weight management. However, moderation is important to avoid digestive discomfort and ensure a balanced diet.

Yes, you can drink sabja water (water infused with soaked sabja seeds) daily. However, it should be done in moderation. Excessive consumption can lead to unwanted effects like:

  1. Nausea

  2. Vomiting

  3. Acid reflux 

The best time to drink sabja water is based on personal preference and health goals. You can drink sabja water before going to bed for better digestion. Consuming sabja water first thing in the morning can help with weight loss. Consult a nutritionist to help determine the timings that suit your routine while considering potential benefits.

Yes, consuming sabja water daily on an empty stomach can help lose weight and reduce belly fat. Omega 3 fatty acids in sabja seeds boost metabolism and burn extra fat. Furthermore, the fibre content contributes to a feeling of fullness, supporting weight management efforts.


All the articles on HexaHealth are supported by verified medically-recognized sources such as; peer-reviewed academic research papers, research institutions, and medical journals. Our medical reviewers also check references of the articles to prioritize accuracy and relevance. Refer to our detailed editorial policy for more information.

  1. Calderón Bravo H, Vera Céspedes N, Zura-Bravo L, Muñoz LA. Basil Seeds as a Novel Food, Source of Nutrients and Functional Ingredients with Beneficial Properties: A Review. Foods. 2021 Jun 24;10(7):1467. doi: 10.3390/foods10071467. PMID: 34202798; PMCID: PMC8303141.link
  2. Samateh M, Pottackal N, Manafirasi S, Vidyasagar A, Maldarelli C, John G. Unravelling the secret of seed-based gels in water: the nanoscale 3D network formation. Sci Rep. 2018 May 9;8(1):7315. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-25691-3. PMID: 29743527; PMCID: PMC5943253.link
  3. Leelahagul P, Putadechakum S, Tanphaichitr V. The effects of soluble dietary fibre from the Thai herb, sweet basil seed, on human body composition. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 1992 Sep;1(3):169-74. PMID: 24323171.link
  4. Vlaicu PA, Untea AE, Turcu RP, Saracila M, Panaite TD, Cornescu GM. Nutritional Composition and Bioactive Compounds of Basil, Thyme and Sage Plant Additives and Their Functionality on Broiler Thigh Meat Quality. Foods. 2022 Apr 12;11(8):1105. doi: 10.3390/foods11081105. PMID: 35454692; PMCID: PMC902link
  5. Martínez R, Mesas C, Guzmán A, Galisteo M, López-Jurado M, Prados J, Melguizo C, Bermúdez F, Porres JM. Bioavailability and biotransformation of linolenic acid from basil seed oil as a novel source of omega-3 fatty acids tested on a rat experimental model. Food Funct. 2022 Jul 18;13(14):7614-7628. dlink
  6. Chaudhary S, Semwal A, Kumar H, Verma HC, Kumar A. In-vivo study for anti-hyperglycemic potential of aqueous extract of Basil seeds (Ocimum basilicum Linn) and its influence on biochemical parameters, serum electrolytes and haematological indices. Biomed Pharmacother. 2016 Dec;84:2008-2013. doi: 10.link
  7. FoodData central [Internet]. Usda.gov. [cited 2023 Dec 23]. link
  8. Calderón Bravo H, Vera Céspedes N, Zura-Bravo L, Muñoz LA. Basil Seeds as a Novel Food, Source of Nutrients and Functional Ingredients with Beneficial Properties: A Review. Foods. 2021 Jun 24;10(7):1467. doi: 10.3390/foods10071467. PMID: 34202798; PMCID: PMC8303141.link

Updated on : 23 December 2023

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and learning purposes only. It doesn't cover every medical condition and might not be relevant to your personal situation. This information isn't medical advice, isn't meant for diagnosing any condition, and shouldn't replace talking to a certified medical or healthcare professional.


Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More


Sangeeta Sharma

Sangeeta Sharma

BSc. Biochemistry I MSc. Biochemistry (Oxford College Bangalore)

6 Years Experience

She has extensive experience in content and regulatory writing with reputed organisations like Sun Pharmaceuticals and Innodata. Skilled in SEO and passionate about creating informative and engaging medical conten...View More

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