Culinary Herbs


As seen on Home Herbalist Magazine's blog.

Did you know you could have wonderful healing substances in your garden and not even know it? Let's look at some that are fun and easy to grow. In this article I am going to talk about culinary "doses". When small amounts are used in cooking, it reduces the chance of drug interaction and contraindications.

I have all of these growing in my garden and use them on a daily basis. It is so fun to run out to the herb garden and snip off just what I need. It's always fresh, beautiful, vibrant and I know exactly where it's coming from.

Basil (Ocimum basilium) - is a common herb you will find listed in many recipes. It can be used to make pesto and even lemonade. If you haven't tried basil lemonade, I highly suggest it! YUM! Basil contains vitamin A, C, K, folate (B9), calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and sodium manganese. (source) Basil has been known to help with inflammation and pain, improve bone density, and reduce bacterial infection. It is also known to aid in clotting of the blood, reduce PMS symptoms, acts as an antioxidant, cancer fighter, immune booster, aphrodisiac, fever reducer, promote a healthy brain, boost metabolism, reduce depression and stress, aid in heart and liver health, digestion and diabetes.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) - is native to the Mediterranean region and typically used in soups, stews and stuffing. It contains iron, calcium, vitamin A, C, and B6, thiamin (B1), folate (B9), magnesium, calcium, copper, iron, and manganese. Rosemary has been known to help alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory systems, promote hair growth, aid in digestion, improve brain function, have an antioxidant effect, is antibacterial, help to detox the liver, reduce stress, balance hormones, reduce blood clots, beneficial with coughs and colds, act as a weight stabilizer, improve immune function, a breath freshener, and provides circulatory support. (source)

Sage aka Garden Sage (Salvia officinalis) - is easy to grow in most any climate. In cooking, Sage is typically used for stuffing, chicken, beef and other meat dishes, pasta and dressings. It contains vitamin K, A, C, E, B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and copper. (source) Sage is beneficial for skin conditions like eczema, helps heal canker sores and gingivitis (the leaf can be chewed and applied to the area of concern), reduces halitosis (bad breath) and dandruff (you can make a strong tea or infusion and use as mouth wash or a rinse for the head after shampooing). It can help with hot flashes and digestion. Sage is anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-bacteria, an antioxidant, and may aid the liver and pancreas. It has also been made into a poultice and used externally for swelling, sprains, bleeding and skin ulcers. Please be careful using sage if you have epilepsy or other seizure disorders. (source) Also in herb classes we learned it may help improve brain function and reduce cognitive disorders, reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and strengthen bones.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) - Although it is mostly considered an Italian herb, oregano is said to have originated in Greece. It contains vitamins A, C, E, K, B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folate), iron, fiber, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. (source) It has been said to help with dandruff, respiratory tract issues, gastrointestinal disorders and bloating, menstrual cramps, acne, urinary tract issues, cold sores, bronchitis, muscle pain, tooth ache, headaches, heart conditions, ear aches, sore throat, general fatigue and nail fungus. In aromatherapy school we also learned it is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal. In culinary use there are no known contraindications or medicine interactions.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) - Did you know ancient Greeks thought Thyme brought on courage? The did! There are even Thyme martini recipes! This one looks yummy. Thyme contains vitamin C, B6, and A, iron, manganese, copper, folate (B9), phosphorus, potassium, zinc and fiber. (source) It's healing abilities are said to include help with bedwetting, colic, diarrhea, cough - even whooping cough, high blood pressure, cancer, stomach ache, arthritis, sore throat, bronchitis, flatulence, skin issues and to increase urination. In aromatherapy school we learned it is antifungal, antibacterial, anti-insect, antimicrobial, and antifungal. Best to avoid long term use in pregnancy, and only culinary amounts while pregnant.

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) - is a common herb that you will also find in many recipes from the Mediterranean, to India, and Mexico. Something that I learned while researching the benefits of cilantro is the leaves and stems are cilantro, while the seeds are coriander. Cilantro contains vitamin A, K, C, folate (B9), potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. (source) Cilantro has been known to help lower cholesterol, reduce mouth ulcers, reduce heavy metals in the body, is an antioxidant, reduces allergies, maintains blood pressure, reduces anxiety, improves sleep, aids in digestion while reducing the chance of food poisoning, protects the heart, reduces blood sugar levels, reduces PMS and menstrual issues, preserves vision, relieves pain and inflammation, protects against colon cancer, helps prevent bladder infections and so much more.

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) - When we think of herbs, we don't generally think of Parsley. It is typically used in dishes as a garnish but does have many health benefits. It contains vitamins K, C, B1, B3, and A, folate (B9), iron, copper, fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and phosphorus. (source) Parsley has been used for urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney stones (nephrolithiasis), gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, constipation, jaundice, intestinal gas (flatulence), indigestion, colic, diabetes, cough, asthma, fluid retention (edema), osteoarthritis, “tired blood” (anemia), high blood pressure, prostate conditions, and spleen conditions. It is also used to start menstrual flow, as an aphrodisiac, and as a breath freshener. (source) Parsley may also fight cancer, promote bone health, boost the immune system, act as an antibiotic, help the heart and detoxify the body. Culinary use has no contraindications.

I hope you enjoyed this article, please comment below and let us know what you are growing and how you use it. Let me know if you have any questions by sending an email to melissa@sweetwillowspirit.com. Have a great day!!!!

Love and light,

Melissa

This information is not meant to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a qualified medical practitioner. Since the actual use of this product by others is beyond our control, no expressed or implied guarantee as to the effects of their use can be given nor liability taken. Use at your own discretion. Any application of the recommendations is at the user’s risk. Sweet Willow Spirit, LLC disclaims any liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of this information and assumes no responsibility for any actions taken. This should not be used in place of traditional therapies but solely as a complementary means for bringing well-being. The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of any oil or healing modality.

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The material on this entire website is not meant to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a qualified medical practitioner. Since the actual use of this information by others is beyond our control, no expressed or implied guarantee as to the effects of their use can be given nor liability taken. Use at your own discretion. Any application of the recommendations is at the user’s risk. Sweet Willow Spirit, LLC disclaims any liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of this information and assumes no responsibility for any actions taken. This should not be used in place of traditional therapies but solely as a complementary means for bringing well-being.   The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of anything here.