Super herbs have been known for centuries to have health benefits and incorporating them into your diet is easy. Many are already in your kitchen spice cabinet. If not, you can find them at the grocery store or your local farmer’s market.
Here’s a list of super herbs as well as their health value.
Basil is related to peppermint. Which is why the plants look so similar. There are more than 60 varieties. They vary from sweet to lemon-flavored. If possible, select fresh over dried basil. The difference is amazing!
How to use basil: top your pizza with fresh or dried basil. You can also add it to ice cream and sauces.
This herb is sharp and bitter flavored and often used in Indian and Napalese dishes. Many people use them whole and take them out when the meal is finished.
How to use bay leaves: add dried leaves to soups and stews. Infuse in olive oil.
Hands down one of the most popular super herbs due to the smell and taste of it. Elevate your mood by opening a jar and taking a whiff.
How to use cinnamon: add to beverages, sauces, casseroles, scents, and potpourris. Typically found in baked goods.
An herb that most people only have because a recipe called for its use. Coriander is actually cilantro. The stalk and leaves of the plant are cilantro. While the seeds are coriander. So we actually use coriander/cilantro more often than we think.
How to use coriander: the ground herb is delicious in chili, soup, and curries. Use fresh cilantro in salsas and on top of Mexican cuisine. It’s also available as an essential oil to add to topical applications or to toothpaste.
This super herb is given a hard time. That’s because people spend their time and money trying to rid it from their yards. Most of us don’t realize the superpower of this plant. For instance, it’s packed with nutrients, grows everywhere, and the best part is it’s free!
How to use dandelion: both the leaves and roots are edible. The leaves are good in both soup and salad. Roasted dandelion root is often a substitute for coffee.
One of the most popular super herbs we keep in our kitchens because it’s excellent in almost any dish.
How to use garlic: to get the most medicinal benefits it should be eaten raw or cooked. When you cook with it, allow 10 minutes after you’ve crushed or minced it to maximize the health benefits. Lastly, using fresh garlic is always best.
The mildly spicy herb commonly used in Asian and Indian dishes. In addition, it can be found in many baked goods.
How to use ginger: add to any of your favorite dishes, for example, use it dried, freshly chopped or grated. Some people chew it, juice it and use it in tea.
An absolute essential in your household. Especially oregano oil. Usually found in Italian dishes, but is good in many other dishes as well. Use as a natural air freshener for example by crushing the fresh leaves to release the strong scent.
How to use oregano: add it dried, or fresh to your favorite salads, marinades, sauces, and stews, even as a tea. It can be used as a topical treatment when the oil is diluted in water.
A very aromatic herb, whose smell enhances when you rub the leaves and release the oil inside the leaves. It’s often used in aromatherapy.
How to use sage: for skin conditions, make a tincture or infuse the leaves in an oil such as olive oil, apricot or sunflower oil. Use dried or fresh in stews and soups.
A root or rhizome just as ginger is, but it boasts a beautiful orange-yellow colored flesh which is used as a food coloring and for dyeing fabrics. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric that provides most of its medicinal properties.
How to use turmeric: fresh (chopped or grated), dried and can easily be added to smoothies or most recipes due to its mild flavor.
This information is not to be considered medical advice. It’s recommended that you consult with your physician before making any changes to your diet or medical treatment plan.
Blog author Minyette Burke is a Wellness Specialist who works at The Connection, a fitness center offering a variety of classes and equipment specifically designed for those aged 50+. The Aquatic Center includes a 75-foot heated pool, aquatic bikes, and a whirlpool. The Connection is located in College Hill, Ohio and membership are open to the community. For more information call 513-853-2000.
Confident Living is a continuing care at home membership program, focused on helping you remain active and independent as you age in your own home. We serve the greater Cincinnati area. For more information, contact us online or call (513) 719-3522.