Herbs are used in cooking for the health benefits that they provide as well as to enhance the flavor of any dish. Here are the most common herbs you can incorporate in your everyday food to enhance aroma, flavour and get medicinal value:
Scientific name: apium graveoleus, can be used in salads, soups, dips and sauces. It can be eaten raw as well as cooked. Tender stems can be eaten raw while thick stems should be cooked.
Its is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it reduces risk of high blood pressure, also a good source of various micro vitamins.
In Ayurvedic remedies Wild celery seeds can be powdered and stored in a glass jar and should be taken 1g, three times a day before each meal for people suffering from poor appetite, intestinal gas and sinus congestion. It promotes kidney function and also energizes the nerves.
The most delicate of herb and also the easiest to grow. Used mainly for garnishing food and as a base for green chutney or green sauce. (p.s. The three bunch which look the same are corriander leaves, the one in the middle is a type of onion.)
Corriander leaves are a rich source of calcium and also high content of iron, Coriander has unusually high levels of dodecanal which is beneficial for treatment for salmonella-based illness.
Boiling coriander seeds in water and then using this water to gargle helps reduce discomfort in case of mouth ulcers and it also speeds up healing time of the mouth ulcers. A paste made of Corriander and rose water relives itchy and inflamed skin.
It is an aromatic culinary herb. It is also used to flavor confectionery and beverages and as salad dressing. (p.s. the leaves on the right are mint leaves.)
Two tablespoons of mint provides 2 calories, 0.12 grams of protein, 0.48 grams carbohydrates, 0.03 grams of fat and 0.30 grams of fiber. Mint also provides potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C and vitamin A.3
Mint Tea is beneficial in treating sore throats, peppermint essential oil obtained from mint leaves can be added to cream and applied on sore nipples to treat cracked skin during breastfeeding, It also has a calming and cooling effect on the skin.
Scientific name: Murraya Koenigii Spreng belonging to the Rutaceae family, this plant is native to India.
They are used to flavour pickles, chutneys, salted buttermilk drinks and some traditional South Indian dishes.
The main nutrients found in curry leaves are carbohydrates, energy, fiber, calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, copper and minerals along with various vitamins like nicotinic acid and vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E, antioxidants, plant sterols, amino acids, glycosides and flavonoids.
Curry leaves are known to be effective in treating premature graying. Eating the leaves helps in strengthening hair roots. Add a handful of curry leaves to a litre of coconut oil and boil it for a few minutes. This hair oil is applied to the scalp. This is found to prevent premature graying as well as curing the condition.
A glass of buttermilk mixed with a little asafoetida with a few curry leaves thrown after meal for good digestion.
Where To Buy
All these herbs can be bought at an organic food store or if you have the resources you can grow them at home, contact your local nursery for seeds or buy a plant.
Note: Not all mentioned seeds above are for gardening purposes, please make sure you buy the right ones.