They're anti-microbial, beautiful, packed with vitamins and minerals and antioxidants, anti-inflammatory—and by the way, delicious. We leaned heavily on nutritional information from Livestrong for this post.
Thymol, one of thyme’s prominent essential oils, is able to stimulate Omega-3 production in brain cells. Studies show that thyme tea can help relieve coughs and bronchitis.
A couple tablespoons of fresh thyme scattered over your meal provides 20% of the RDA of iron.
Our favorite use: We put an entire bunch in every pot of stock we make.
Scapes are the flower of a hard-neck garlic plant. Like mature garlic, scapes contain allicin, a compound that the NIH suggests can help guard against osteoarthritis. In lab trials, sulphur compounds in garlic cause cancer cells to die.
Our favorite uses: Tossed with salt & olive oil and grilled. Garlic scape pesto.
It kills E.coli in test tubes, reduces nausea during morning sickness, and can help calm the effects of irritable bowel syndrome.
It’s also delicious with a huge variety of flavors, from cumin to ginger, sugar to lemon.
Our favorite use: As an iced tea, in combination with lemon balm.
Search the term ‘lemon balm’ on the internet and you’ll find a plethora of salves and tinctures. Lemon balm is reported to be a mild relaxant, and some studies have shown it to improve cognitive function in both healthy people and those with dementia. Like many herbs, it has antimicrobal properties.
Our favorite use: As iced tea, in combination with mint.
Studies show sage has positive effects on the way the body metabolizes sugars, and because it is also full of antioxidants, it helps the body fend off free radicals.
Like many herbs, it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial qualities.
Our favorite use: With lemon and a stick of cinnamon in a roast chicken.
A relative of carrots, cilantro is highly nutritious. Significant amounts of vitamin K support blood and bone health, while B vitamins help your cells make DNA. Some reports show it can be helpful in removing heavy metals from the body, in combination with other herbs.
Our favorite uses: In curried chicken salad and shredded carrot salad.
Dill is incredibly nutritious. Peer-reviewed scientific journals found it to be rich in antioxidants. It also has the capacity to kill harmful microbes, including Staph. It helps to alkalize the gut against ulcers, reduces cholesterol, and more.
Our favorite uses: Combine it with beets or cucumbers, and include it in creamy dressings.
Oregano is rich in antioxidants and minerals. People take it in medicinal quantities for everything from painful menstrual cramps to mild fevers.
Like many other popular herbs, it has antibacterial, antifungal properties.