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Health Benefits of Herbs

What are Herbs?

Herbs are the leaf part of a plant that can be used fresh or dried in cooking. These leaves- parsley, basil, cilantro, mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc- not only add flavor, aroma, and vivid color to food but also have remarkable health benefits. Herbs have been used since ancient times for their medicinal properties. Most herbs are perennial.

Difference Between Herbs & Spices

  • In broad terms, both herbs and spices come from plants but herbs are a fresh part of the plant and the other part of the plant which is usually dried is referred to as spice. These include dried root (turmeric), bark (cinnamon), buds (cloves), seeds (cumin), flowers (chamomile), and berries (peppercorns).
  • Herbs are more subtle in flavor while species are strong flavored.
  • Herbs are best used when it is fresh and have a short shelf life, however, you can store your spice in an air-tight container for as long as a year.

Delicious Herbs & Their Benefits

Holy Basil– Not to be confused with Thai basil or normal basil, holy basil is considered a sacred herb in India. Studies show that it can inhibit the growth range of bacteria, yeast, and molds. Moreover, it boosts the immune system and also helps in reducing blood sugar levels.

Rosemary– The active ingredient in rosemary is called rosmarinic acid. Rosemary has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that suppress allergy symptoms and reduce nasal congestion. It also boosts the production of red blood cells and is great as a home remedy for an upset stomach.

MintMint is not just a pretty herb that can garnish your mojitos, it helps in digestion and keeps respiratory disorders away. The leaves are good for oral health and also improve memory fighting depression and fatigue.

Cilantro– Commonly known as coriander in India. the leaves are used as a garnish. Cilantro is a great herb for improving cardiovascular health. It also lowers down bad cholesterol and helps increase good cholesterol levels. It is a good source of iron and magnesium.

Oregano– Besides its use as a seasoning in pizza, fresh oregano is rich in anti-oxidants and fights against bacteria that can affect skin and gut. It is also beneficial in detoxifying the body. It even reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Thyme– The wide variety of vitamins in thyme when eaten all contribute to a healthier vision. High levels of potassium and iron in thyme, promote a healthier heart when eaten regularly. It also helps in minimizing stress and promotes relaxation.

Parsley– It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. A high concentration of calcium can prevent osteoporosis. It also helps to strengthen the immune system.

Adding herbs to your meals has many health benefits but consumption of any herb in large quantity can be dangerous.

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