Instead of using herbs just to add flavour and colour to your cooking, do you ever add them for their medicinal benefits? Since ancient times herbs have been used as medicine in cultures all around the world. Many modern medicines use active ingredients which come directly from plants – so there’s clearly a lot to be gained from plant medicine.
Here are 25 herbs that you probably have in your kitchen – and what they are claimed to be beneficial for.
- Basil: full of minerals and a natural antioxidant
- Black pepper: anti bacterial, antioxidant and helps to stimulates digestion
- Cardamom: fresh breath
- Cayenne pepper: antibacterial, rich in beta carotene (pre cursor to vitamin A), reduces pain and helps stimulates metabolism
- Celery: stimulates the appetite, diuretic, detoxifing, helps with constipation, relieves rheumatism, helps with kidney stones and eases arthritis symptoms
- Chili pepper: rich in vitamin C, anti-inflammatory and natural antioxidant
- Cinnamon: regulates blood sugar levels, powerful antioxidant, regulates cholesterol metabolism and promotes good circulation
- Clove: powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and mildly anesthetic
- Coriander: rich in iron and magnesium, prevents gas, prevents urinary infections, regulates blood sugar level and a natural detoxifier of heavy metals
- Dill: anti bacterial, antioxidant and contains a lot of iron
- Fenugreek: relieves constipation and said to stimulate muscle growth
- Ginger: antiseptic, calms the stomach, anti-inflammatory and an effective natural remedy for motion sickness
- Ginkgo biloba: stimulates the circulation, anti-aging and improves memory
- Garlic: anti bacterial, anti-viral, lowers blood pressure and has natural antibiotic properties
- Mint: rich in vitamin C, calms the stomach and intestines and relieves headaches naturally
- Mustard seed: rich in selenium, omega-3, phosphorus, vitamin B3 and zinc, helps against cancer and is a natural anti-inflammatory
- Nutmeg: anti-inflammatory and helps to regulates sleep
- Oregano: anti bacterial, strong antioxidant and useful as preservative
- Paprika powder: anti-inflammatory and a natural antioxidant
- Parsley: detoxifies, helps with kidney stones and a natural antispasmodic
- Pepper: contains a lot of capsaicin (the ingredient that ensure the ‘heat’), clears stuffy noses, relieves pain and said to be beneficial for prostate cancer
- Rosemary: keeps the genes young, strengthens the immune system, improves the circulation and stimulates digestion
- Sage: improves the memory, anti-inflammatory and a strong natural antioxidant
- Thyme: antiseptic and a natural anti bacterial
- Turmeric: often called Curcuma, yellow root or curcumine. Very strong antioxidant, is said have a role in cancer prevention, help with skin infections, anti-inflammatory and relieves arthritis symptoms.
Which herbs do you use in your cooking? Have you ever used plants and herbs for health reasons? Was it successful? I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts in the comments below! And please remember – seek medical advice before using herbs for medicinal purposes!