Culinary herbs add flavor to many a meal, but their benefits go far beyond taste. Some of the most easily recognized herbs have various medicinal, nutritional, and other benefits not so well-known.
Parsley (Petrosilinum crispum)
This herb has a very high vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron content. Medicinally, it has many uses including reducing water retention, freshening breath and eliminating halitosis. It is believed to be a strong cancer inhibitor, and it also is used to treat kidney and gallstones. It is an expectorant, stimulates menstruation, and eases flatulence and colic pains. It is also believed to be a potent aphrodisiac.
Sage (Salvia officianalis)
Sage has vitamin A, C, calcium and iron and is used to relieve flatulence and indigestion. It is also used to reduce inflammation in the mouth, throat, and tonsils, soothing the mucous membranes there. As a compress, it helps to heal wounds.
Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis)
This aromatic herb has potent anti-parasitic, anti-depressant, and antiseptic properties. It contains vitamins A, C, and iron. The strong aroma is an insect repellent. It has a calming effect on the digestive system so is used to treat nervous stomach, headaches and depression related to stress. It is also used to treat sciatica, muscular pain, and neuralgia, and to stimulate hair growth.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris):Thyme also contains vitamins A and C and iron. It has strong antiseptic properties and is used to treat respiratory and digestive problems, and infected wounds. It eases sore throats and coughs and is used in bronchitis, whooping cough, and asthma. Its astringent properties make it useful in cases of childhood diarrhea and bedwetting.
Sweet Basil, Common Basil (Osimum Basilicum):The leaves of basil contain vitamin A and C. Basil also contains iron and calcium. It has been used to allay the pain of insect bites, bee stings, and snake bites. It has also been used to calm upset stomach, and reduce vomiting.
Oregano, Wild Marjoram (Origanum Vulgare):Containing vitamins A, C, calcium and iron, it is best known for flavoring Italian and other Mediterranean dishes. This valuable herb is a strong antibiotic, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiseptic, antifungal medicine. It is used to treat chronic sinus infections, mouth, tooth, and gum infections, respiratory infections, fungal infections, digestive problems, and as an appetite enhancer.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis):
This sweet-smelling herb is used to relieve stress and anxiety and induce sleep. It lowers blood pressure and is also used to treat fevers in influenza and other infections. It calms and tones the digestive system. It attracts beneficial bees and repels pests in the garden.