Ocimum basilicum L has been traditionally used for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease in Iran. This study investigates the ameliorative effect of Ocimum basilicum essential oil on an acetic acid-induced colitis model in rats. Ocimum basilicum essential oil with 2 doses (200 and 400 μL/kg) significantly ameliorated wet weight/length ratio of colonic tissue compared to the control group. Higher doses of essential oil (200 and 400 μL/kg) significantly reduced ulcer severity, ulcer area, and ulcer index. On the other hand, histological examination revealed the diminution of total colitis index as a marker for inflammatory cell infiltration in the colonic segments of rats treated with Ocimum basilicum essential oil (200 and 400 μL/kg). The increased level of myeloperoxidase was significantly decreased after the treatment with the essential oil (200 and 400 μL/kg). These results suggest that Ocimum basilicum exhibits protective effect against acetic acid-induced colitis.