The Healing Power of Culinary Herbs

Discover the everyday healing power of flavorful culinary herbs. Add herbs and let your diet do double duty by eating well to feed your appetite and your health.

| August/September 2010

  • Herbs that deter harmful bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms keep foods from spoiling and help protect our bodies from such microbes.
  • Free radical damage to cells and tissues may contribute to many aging-related ailments, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, dementia, atherosclerosis and arthritis. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals. In foods, they also help prevent spoilage.
  • Click on the IMAGE GALLERY for more images.
  • Most culinary herbs help digestion. A few are outstanding.
  • These herbs are heart-healthy. Others include onion, chives, juniper berries and ginger.
  • Some herbs help our brains function more effectively.

Flavorful Recipes With Healing Powers

• Herb Butter
• Herb Oil 
• Shrimp with Coconut Milk, Chile and Curry Leaf 
• Carrot and Ginger Energizer 
• Salsa Verde 
• Herb-Roasted Potatoes 
• Turmeric Yogurt Soup
• Chile Pepper Garnish
• Strawberry, Cantaloupe and Basil Salad 
• Online Exclusive Recipe: Bow Ties with Herb Sauce 

I once gave a friend a gift basket I had filled with packets of culinary herb seeds. On each packet I wrote the herb’s therapeutic benefits. My friend later said she was now sprinkling “little green things” on all of her food—a new habit that she still enjoys.

Culinary aficionados describe those “little green things” as they would a fine wine or an intoxicating perfume. For example, Jill Norman in The Classic Herb Cookbook (DK Adult, 1997) portrays mints as “…highly aromatic, the strong, sweetish yet fresh smell is instantly recognizable. The taste is pleasantly warm and pungent with a cooling aftertaste.”

Aromatic, flavor-rich herbs truly are intoxicating—not just in a culinary sense, but medicinally, too. Their flavors and aromas are rich in medicinal import. Herbs help us digest our food, detoxify our bodies, and keep our hearts and minds active. Even in smidgens, they make their presence felt.

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