Not only do herbs add flavor to our food, herbs are also a wonderful, natural medicine. Let’s look at the four most common herbs grown in gardens today. Oregano, Rosemary, Basil, and Thyme.
Oregano tastes wonderful in spaghetti sauce, pizza, stews, and soups, but did you know if you take a handful of fresh leaves and pour boiling water over them it makes a wonderful tea for anyone suffering from a cold? Oregano has anti-bacterial qualities that inhibit the growth of bacteria. It is also a powerful antioxidant as it contains many phytonutrients including thymol and rosmarinic acid, both of which prevent oxygen-based damage to cell structures all throughout our bodies. All of this and it is a good source of fiber and a wonderful source of vitamins!
Oregano is a perennial herb which means it will continue to grow yearly. It is sometimes touted as the world’s healthiest food!
Fresh oregano is preferable to the dried as it has more flavor. It is also easy to grow and propagate annually.
Rosemary is well known to boost memory and improve one’s mood, it also reduces inflammation, relieves pain, Is a protector of the immune system, It stimulates circulation, helps detoxify the body and helps protect the body from bacterial infections,
Rosemary is full of flavor and aroma, but it is also a wealth of beneficial health effects if you add it regularly to your diet. Just the aroma of rosemary alone has been known to reduce stress and improve memory. Rosemary is also an excellent breath freshener, just steep some leaves in a cup of hot water then gargle and swish to eliminate bacteria and give yourself the freshest breath!
H. pylori bacteria is the bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers, but studies show that rosemary has been shown to prevent its growth when consumed. Rosemary is also linked to preventing Staph infections.
Rosemary is slightly diuretic in nature, so it can help flush toxins out of your body more efficiently during urination.
Most recipes call for rosemary leaves, which can be easily removed from the stem, by gripping the stem and running your fingers down it. You can even add the whole sprig to season your soups and stews.
Use fresh or dried rosemary in eggs, use it to season chicken and lamb, even add it to butter or oil for a fresh dipping sauce for bread.
Basil Baby! If you only buy a few herbs, basil should be one of them. Its fragrant essence combines well with other herbs like rosemary and thyme. Basil provides the body with vitamin A, which contains beta-carotenes, these are powerful antioxidants that protect the cells lining, as well as a number of other body structures, including blood vessels, from free radical damage. This preventative measure keeps cholesterol in blood from oxidizing, helping to prevent atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke.
Basil is wonderful in meat dishes, with fish, vegetables, soup, eggs, and even cheese. It is one of the main ingredients in pesto, along with pine nuts and parmesan cheese.
Basil is one of my favorites herbs because it has so many uses. Everything from soups to sandwiches is simply better with the addition of its fresh, full-flavored leaves. It also contains oils and flavonoids that protect the body from illness and infection. Very small concentrations can kill harmful bacteria, but still be very beneficial, even preventing atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke.
Basil is known to help with asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Basil is also a good source of magnesium, which we all need more of since the soil has become so depleted. Magnesium promotes cardiovascular health by helping muscles and blood vessels to relax, thus improving blood flow.
Thyme is an evergreen shrub that has been used in medicinal and culinary applications for thousands of years.
It has one of the highest antioxidant concentrations in any herb, thyme has been praised for thousands of years as an overall health booster. The antioxidants in thyme eliminate free radicals throughout the body. Free radicals are dangerous to your healthy cells by causing spontaneous mutation. Antioxidants like these help to prevent oxidative stress in all of your organ systems, and neural pathways, also your heart, eyes, and skin.
Thyme has a high concentration of iron making it ideal for the production of red blood cells,
Circulation: The high concentration of iron and other essential minerals in thyme make it ideal for stimulating the production of red blood cells, thereby boosting your body’s circulations and the oxygenation of essential organ systems and extremities throughout the body.
Heart Health: All of the antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins in thyme have many small effects on the heart, but the potassium and manganese are particularly important. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it can reduce the stress on the cardiovascular system by relaxing blood vessels and lowering blood pressure. This can extend your life by preventing atherosclerosis and avoiding strokes, heart attacks, and coronary heart disease.
Vision Booster: With carotenoids and vitamin A that are found in thyme, it is no wonder that it makes it an effective antioxidant agent for your eye health. Carotenoids can neutralize the free radicals in your ocular system and slow the onset of macular degeneration and prevent cataracts!
Immune System: Vitamin C is abundantly found in sage making it a natural immune booster. It stimulates the production of white blood cells, Your body’s first line of defense. Vitamin C also plays a crucial part in the production of collagen, which is essential for the creation and repair of cells, muscles, tissues, and blood vessels.
Respiratory Issues: One of the most well known and long-standing uses for thyme in traditional medicine is as a respiratory health agent. If you are suffering from bronchitis, chronic asthma, congestion, colds, flus, blocked sinuses, or seasonal allergies, thyme acts as an expectorant and an anti-inflammatory substance, eliminating phlegm and mucus from the respiratory tracts, easing inflammation to help breathing, and prevent microbial development that can lead to illness. Thyme leaf tea is a powerful tonic for respiratory ailments.
A Final Word of Warning: For those with sensitive stomachs, high intake of thyme can cause gastrointestinal distress, but generally, this herb is not known as an allergenic substance and can be consumed regularly in your diet.
So there are four ways for you to get not only wonderful flavouring for your food but a little medicine that will go a long way!