These culinary herbs not only improve the taste of your dishes, they are packed with a wide range of nutrients to boost your health. They contain more diseases-fighting antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals than most fruits or vegetables.
So branch out from salt and pepper and try one of these easy-to-use health-promoting culinary herbs to add some zing to your dishes.
Basil, commonly used in Italian cuisine, is a versatile herb that can be added to nearly every dish. It has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anticancer properties. It can help prevent osteoarthritis and soothes digestive complaints or headaches.
How to use: pesto, stir-fries, omelets, soups, salads, pasta, baked or grilled veggies, layered with mozzarella cheese, or paired with fruits, such as strawberries or raspberries, in smoothies or desserts. Always add at the end because cooking ruins its taste.
Mint has been used for ages to soothe digestive issues and alleviate nausea. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It strengthens the nervous system and can help to relieve headaches. It can be used to freshen your breath and when used externally it repels mosquitoes.
How to use: tea, dressings, chutneys, yogurt, juices, smoothies, curries, or salads.
We add parsley to nearly all our dishes. This wonderful herb is rich in antioxidants to heal, cleanse, and protect your kidneys and bladder. It aids digestion and works as a natural diuretic. Also read my previous article for more health benefits and a delicious green smoothie recipe with parsley.
How to use: omelets, mashed potatoes, salsa, vegetables, fish, rice, pasta dishes, soups, smoothies, and juices.
A powerful cleansing and detoxifying herb with antifungal and anti-microbial properties. It helps to regulate insulin levels, reduces cholesterol, and relieves headaches.
How to use: fish, salsa, curries, salads, sauces, dips, green smoothie or juices, rice, and pasta dishes.
Rosemary is packed with antioxidants and has strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It may lower the risk of asthma, liver diseases, and heart diseases. It can soothe a sore throat or upset stomach and calms the nerves.
How to use: tea, roasted vegetables, meats, salmon or potatoes, soups, or to infuse vinegar or oils.
Dill works as a natural diuretic and has antibacterial properties to prevent or treat bladder infections. It calms the digestive tract, cures inflammation, and neutralizes carcinogens.
How to use: seafood, soups, tea, salads, dressings, roasted or steamed vegetables, potatoes, or rice. Dill loses most of its healing nutrients when cooked at high temperatures, so add at the end.
Thyme is well known for its mucus clearing benefits, hence it use for asthma, bronchitis, cold, cough, flu and sinus infection. It aids digestion and is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants.
How to use: casseroles, stews, marinades, veggie dishes, sauces, teas or to infuse vinegar or oils.
Oregano has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It prevents or eases menstrual cramps or abdominal pains. It works as a natural diuretic and can be helpful to ease colds, flu, headaches, and respiratory issues.
How to use: pasta sauces, on pizzas, fish or chicken dishes, salad dressings, soups, and stews.
Sage is the herb for a women’s health. It eases heavy or irregular periods and relieves menopausal symptoms. It is also great to treat rheumatism, cataract, excessive sweating, upset stomach, and improve memory.
How to use: teas, salads, soups, or stuffing’s. It is a very powerful herb that doesn’t lose its nutrients or flavor when cooked.
Tarragon has been used for ages to treat toothaches and inflamed gums. It calms the nerves, promotes sleep, and improves digestions. This herbs can be found in many French dishes and is best added at the end.
How to use: salad dressings, sauces, fish, chicken or egg dishes.
Remember fresh herbs are always best as they contain the most health-promoting nutrients. Most of these are easy to grow and do well on your window sill.
Also read my article about how to freeze fresh herbs for the winter months: How To Freeze And Preserve Fresh Herbs For Later Use