Top 10 Herbs Used For Cooking and Health

Top 10 Herbs For Good Health

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 14 Jun 2016 - 11:23


Herbs are a fabulous Mother Nature has given us. Just a dash of the green, fresh herbs turns a simple dish into a more flavorful, colorful and appetizing. They are rich in flavor and contain magical health benefits alike. They have a very special place in all cuisines across the world not only for their aroma but also because these herbs are laden with nutrients, antioxidants and medicinal properties.

Get a peek into the Health Henefits of Top 10 Nutritive Herbs

1. Holy Basil

Holy Basil, called as Tulsi in India, is an ancient and revered herb loaded with some powerful medicinal properties. The seeds and leaves of this plant are used widely in various cuisines. The essential oil extracted from Holy Basil is used as a natural antidote for various health issues. While the leaves add a touch of freshness to your salads and pastas, the seeds also are used in some juices for their cooling properties.

The leaves contain riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A, C, E, B6, and K in rich amounts. It is also home to minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, and potassium as well as protein and dietary fiber. A concoction prepared using the basil leaves and black peppercorns make an ideal drink to bring down fever and ease cold and flu. The anti-inflammatory properties of basil leaves are good for cardiovascular conditions, skin infections, bites and itches, dental issues, kidney troubles and eye disorders.

2. Cilantro/Coriander

Even though both the varieties are slightly different from each other, they possess a strong and pleasant aroma and when added to soups or any dish it elevates the taste, health and flavor of that food. Coriander flavored buttermilk helps ward off heat rashes.

The presence of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidants, along with other minerals helps reduce inflammatory conditions triggered by the presence of free radicals. This revitalizing herb promotes digestion and eases acidity and bloating. It is known to be beneficial for managing hepatic and pancreatic health, blood sugar levels, and keep flu/cold away.

3. Parsley

Parsley is a herb best used to do away with pre-menstrual and menopausal bloating. Its diuretic nature also makes it beneficial for reducing kidney stones. It is densely packed with vitamins A, B6, B12, C, E, K, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and pantothenic acid. Parsley is also a good source of minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, copper, zinc, phosphorous, and potassium, all of which help in boosting immunity and digestive health. The presence of assorted volatile compounds like Eugenol and Limonene make parsley a good antidote for fever and flu. Adding this herb boosts your veggies, salads and rolls both, health-wise and taste-wise. 

4. Fenugreek

While the seeds of fenugreek are used widely along with spices as a digestive aid, the leaves equally serve the purpose. Slightly bitter in taste, fenugreek is a rich source of protein, magnesium, dietary fiber, copper, manganese, as well as iron. It is beneficial to manage diabetes and cholesterol, promote weight loss, and soothe gastrointestinal inflammations. A natural antidote for skin infections such as eczema, these leaves help in easing painful, inflammatory conditions like gout.

Ayurveda advises pregnant and lactating mothers to include these leaves in their diet for better milk secretion. It is also used in controlling sugar levels for diabetics when soaked in water, overnight and taken in the morning.

5. Peppermint

Peppermint and coriander are top herbs to uplift your mood.  The slightest scent of peppermint is known to ease stress and calm you down. This herb is rich in various vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A and C, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, potassium, zinc, iron, and calcium. It also contains a good deal of dietary fiber, making it a good natural remedy for various digestive issues, including flatulence and constipation.

Add it to your diet to prevent and ease fungal and bacterial outbreaks and ease allergies, including asthma. Studies also suggest that peppermint has anti-cancerous properties too. A mild laxative by nature, it promotes detoxification also, making it a good herbal tea for those who want to shed off their excess weight. Mix it to your fruit and/or veggies salad, cookies, breads, sautés, beverages, or desert for a refreshing taste!

6. Sage

Use it fresh or dried in your tea and cooking to make the most out of its nutrients. The flowers and leaves are edible and have admirable medicinal properties. Right from easing stress to soothing gastrointestinal problems, sage works efficiently to curing infections that affect your throat and mouth. It helps to calm anxiety, ease nervous tension, alleviate fever, and prevent premature graying.

7. Thyme

Pair it with other herbs or use it alone to add more zing to your dish. You can steep a tea or use it in your salad or just sauté it with chicken or veggies for a flavorsome delight.

The herb is a rich source of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that boosts eye health and keeps you safe from free radical damage. Its antiseptic and antibiotic properties make it a preferable herb for recurring cold, sinusitis, fever, and flu. A poultice made from the leaves could help in healing acne, pimples, and itchy skin conditions. Rinsing your scalp with thyme infused water adds a healthy glow to your hair.

8. Rosemary

This herb is an inevitable part of the Mediterranean cuisine which is highly aromatic. The lemon-pine flavor of Rosemary renders the dishes an elegant, refreshing touch. Rosemary is rich in vitamin A, B6, and C, iron, calcium, folate, manganese, magnesium, copper, and potassium. It calms your senses and eases stress. It improves your memory and relieves you from aches and pains. A natural solution for digestive troubles, this herb is effective for managing painful conditions such as neuralgia, rheumatism, and arthritis. It is a natural diuretic, making it a good solution for pre-menstrual bloating. Rosemary oil is beneficial for skin and hair care.

9. Fennel

Fennel seeds and herbs are highly pungent, and a perfect natural solution for indigestion and water retention. A highly aromatic herb, it is used to cure flatulence, foul odor, respiratory conditions, menstrual issues, eye problems, colic, diarrhea, and constipation. Since it is known to be pretty safe, a thin tea of fennel seeds is used to ease colic and flatulence in infants.

10. Dill

Dill, according to Roman culture, improves your vitality. The leaves of dill render a specific flavor to the foods. It can be easily included in cold yogurt soups, salads, cucumber delicacies and seafood delights.

Dill is rich in various minerals such as copper, zinc, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese as well as vitamins – A, B6, C, folate, niacin, and riboflavin. It is an effective natural remedy for indigestion, constipation, dysentery, irritable bowel syndrome, menstrual troubles, and respiratory ailments.

The presence of Eugenol in the leaves makes it an effective natural anesthetic and antiseptic. This herb is also used to enhance male fertility and improve the secretion of breast milk.

All the herbs are blessed generously by nature and have a wide array of benefits for your health. But moderation is the key! So include it in moderation and enjoy their benefits!

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