The Oxford Dictionary defines an herb as any non-woody seed bearing plant which dies to the ground after flowering and is used for flavoring, food, medicine, scent etc. What the common eye tends to miss out on, is the fact that it’s not only after you’ve caught a disease for which the herb serves as a drug that its use comes in. The properties of certain herbs equip them to be used in daily life in order to keep your health levels in their best possible positions and your fitness intact. Here we offer for your convenience, a list of some of the most underrated herbs which along with their medicinal properties help the human body in its functioning.
- Oregano – With its leaves possessing a characteristic aromatic, warm and slightly bitter taste, it is most frequently used in Italian and Greek cuisines as a dressing on salads and pizzas. The benefits that the herb provides constitute a long list of properties. It contains no cholesterol in itself but with its dietary fiber content, controls blood cholesterol levels. The anti oxidant properties have been rated to be amongst the best sources of the same. Added to this, are the Vitamin K constituents that equip the body to fight against infections. The enzymes secreted by the usage of this plant also facilitate the digestion process as well as the gastro-intestinal secretions. As sources of vitamins K and C, oregano helps improve the blood clotting and bone density.
Usage – Studies suggest that one of the healthiest consumption of the herb is to add it to tomato soup.
- Thyme herb belongs to the category of those herbs that grow perennially. Science has proved that thyme has anti-fungal and anti-septic properties. Adept at fighting against bacteria, microbes and cancers, the plant is particularly beneficial even in the treatment of bacterial respiratory infections, acne and candida. Thyme herb is considered to be a storehouse of vitamin A and thus is believed to be essential for vision and for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin.
Usage– As per nutrition-and-you.com its usage is in different forms from sausages, soups to marinating chicken, fish and meat.
The best idea would be to consume it with tea as a health drink.
- Sage or garden herb is one of the most commonly used herbs from the Roman times and serves as an ingredient in salads for most people. Characteristically, it has aromatic leaves which have a texture similar to those of pebbles. The plant is known to attract bees in winters owing to its flowers. The tea made from the herb is also established to be the “Thinker’s Tea” as it stimulates memory, mental attention, concentration and the quickening of the senses. Vitamin A and manganese serve as the potential sources of antioxidant action and to improve night vision. Known to be beneficial for patients of mild Alzheimer’s, sage also helps lower cholesterol. The herb has been traditionally used by menopausal women to ease hot flushes as found by bodyandsoul.com
Usage- As mentioned the best use of sage is when it is consumed as part of tea. However people also roast pork and mushroom with the same to add flavor to the dish.
- Rosemary herb has more than its medicinal properties to its value. It is also believed to ward off bad influences and is hence used as a piece of decoration on auspicious occasions. With the consumption of up to 100 grams of the leaves of the rosemary herb, the calorie count adds only to 131K. Among the constituents of the herb are also fotales, which can be given to pregnant women during the peri-conception period in order to prevent neural tube defects in new born babies. It is also known to control gene mutations and thus proving a shield against cancers. Along with being a source of iron, vitamins A and C and many other nutrients and minerals, rosemary herb also provides dietary fibre to the body. The damage to the blood vessels is also managed to reduce the chances of a heart attack.
Usage- One of the most delicious ways to consume the flavouring substance is as by preparing a chicken rub. The herb is also added to salads and soups and is the most popular co-ingredient in Mediterranean dishes.
- Turmeric is now a household name as a relative herb to ginger, with its unique flavour and fragrance. Turmeric like most others, serves as a rich source of dietary fibres and antioxidants. The bad cholesterol in the body is hence, kept under check. The plant contains vitamin B6 and can be used as a drug to treat anemia, radiation sickness and even dermatitis. The presence of vitamin C prevents infectious agents from entering the body. Turmeric also helps to prevent cancer owing to its constituent of curcumin. Other minerals which the body gets by the consumption of this herb range from calcium, manganese, iron to potassium, copper and zinc. It is also beneficial when it comes to controlling heart rate and blood pressures.
Usage- The advised amount of turmeric consumption is 500-800 milligrams a day. The herb can be added to rice, tea and curry masala powder. Marinating fish, chicken and meat with turmeric is known to increase the shelf life of the above mentioned.
You can now make those informed changes to your ration list and your grocery shopping. Just remember that with every spoonful of a dish with those plants that you are taking, you are bringing relief to your body and an ease with which it will hence function.
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