Culinary herbs are not as potent as medicinal herbs, but many confer some health benefits. They povide a wide variety of active phytochemicals that promote health and protect against chronic diseases.
Basil: A mainstay in many dishes, basil is also used in larger quantities as a tonic and cold remedy.
Chives: These tiny onion relatives contain sulfur compounds that may lower blood pressure if eaten in large amounts.
Coriander: Pungent fresh leaves or seeds may be chewed to ease digestion.
Dill: Widely used in pickles, salad dressings, and fish dishes, dill is also eaten to alleviate intestinal gas. Europeans often give babies weak dill tea to relieve colic.
Mint: Chewing the leaves can freshen breath; tea is a digestive aid.
Oregano: Brewed as tea, it is said to aid digestion and alleviate the congestion.
Parsley: When consumed in portions of at least 1 oz (30g), this herb contains useful amounts of vitamin C (fresh parsley ony), clacium, iron, and potassium. Parsley is also high in bioflavonoids and other anticancer compounds.
Rosemary: Its leaves contains oil used in liniments to relieve muscle aches. Rosemary tea is said to alleviate headaches.
Sage: Sage tea can be used as a digestive aid; as a mouthwash or gargle to ease painful gums, mouth ulcers, or sore throat. Some research indicates that sage oil can boost acetylcholine levels in the brain, improving memory.
Thyme: Brewed as tea to quiet irritable bowels, as a gargle for sore throat, or as a syrup for a cough or congestion.