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April 26 2011

6 Common Herbs and Why You Should Eat Them (Hint: They Don’t Just Taste Good)

By Mark Sisson
107 Comments

We typically think of culinary herbs as useful flavorants. They round out flavor profiles, add complexity to otherwise basic dishes, meld with other herbs to form novel taste compounds that you can’t quite place and cannot be replicated with any other combination, and, used with a subtle, skilled hand, simply make food taste incredible. Oh, and like most seemingly inconsequential things people have been adding to food for thousands of years, they also happen to have some fascinating health benefits. Huh – how about that? Things that taste good and have a long and storied culinary history might also be good for you? Amazing how that works out!

Let’s get down to it.

Rosemary

Rosemary goes well with just about anything, in my experience, which is odd, because it’s one of the most pungent, powerful herbs in existence. Some herbs just kinda linger in the background, maybe adding a slight change to the bouquet of a dish but never really distinguishing themselves, but when rosemary’s around, you know it. You can’t avoid it. Heck, even walking around most neighborhoods you’re liable to find a massive rosemary bush trying to evolve into a rosemary tree.

What’s so great about rosemary, besides the flavor and smell? Rosemary-infused olive oil displayed the strongest resistance to oxidative damage and rancidity, beating out herbs such as thyme, lemon, and basil (although both thyme and lemon improved stability, too). In healthy volunteers, oral rosemary extract improved endothelial dysfunction (perhaps due to up-regulation of glutathione, eh?). Rosemary extract also improved the oxidative stability of butter, and it inhibited the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines (a potential carcinogen) in fried beef patties.

Thyme

Rosemary’s great, but I find it even greater with a bit of thyme involved. If you have the time, I’d definitely use both in concert. Okay, that was bad; I apologize.

Thyme, however, is worth using, awful jokes aside. I mean, what else but thyme could stave off the oxidative damage done to corn oil under deep-frying conditions for a couple extra hours? Sure, you’re not eating corn oil, but that same lipid-stabilizing accumen would probably work awfully well for, say, butter. And for those who enjoy the classic rosemary/thyme/garlic rub on your lamb, keep an eye out for lamb borne to thyme-fed pregnant ewes, which exhibits greater oxidative stability, lower bacterial counts, and better color. No word on whether it influences taste.

Sage

Sage is under appreciated. Brits have always used it in their cooking, and Mom probably uses it to season her turkey stuffing, but that’s about it. I like it, but I’ll admit that it can be overpowering; you only need a pinch, or a few leaves, meaning most of the bunch you bought for $2 at the market goes to waste. One solution is to grow your own. Another is to freeze or dry the leftovers. Either way, it’s worth using on poultry and fatty cuts of meat (think big juicy roasts).

Sage is rich with rosmarinic acid, an antioxidant found in many common culinary herbs that (surprise, surprise) protects fats against oxidative damage. In humans who drank sage tea for several weeks, endogenous antioxidant defenses were up-regulated and the lipid profile was improved (HDL increase). Perhaps most interestingly, a sage extract was used to improve memory and attention in healthy older subjects. It also seems to work on memory in healthy younger subjects, too.

Mint

Everyone loves something about mint, in my experience. They may hate the classic spearmint, but love peppermint (a hybrid of spearmint and watermint). They may hate the taste, but love the smell (or vise versa). They might be scared of Santa and his creepy elves, but the allure of the candy cane draws them to his expansive lap. They may hate getting hair cuts, but cannot resist the hypnotic swirl of the barber’s pole.

As for its health benefits, peppermint oil was more effective than placebo at treating irritable bowel syndrome, a meta-analysis of the clinical literature found, and it was equally effective as pharmaceutical treatments. Also, though it was a very brief trial, spearmint leaf tea showed promise as an anti-androgen treatment for hirsutism (abnormal hairiness) in polycystic ovarian syndrome in female subjects.

Basil

Ah, basil. Pesto uses it. Thai cooks will sometimes stir-fry it. I like nibbling on raw leaves, from time to time. It’s one of those herbs with a flavor so distinct that its usage is severely limited. That is, you can’t just add basil to everything and expect the dish to taste good, but when it works, it’s a thing of beauty. Go get yourself a plant or a bagful. The good thing about basil is that it freezes well, so don’t worry about wasting it.

And basil does some cool stuff, too. In hypertensive rats, sweet basil reduced blood pressure. In diabetics, holy basil reduced both fasting and post-prandial blood glucose. And as is usual with the herbs, basil displays some protective attributes against fatty acid oxidation.

Oregano

US soldiers returning home after World War II carried with them a fondness for the “pizza herb” – oregano. We at MDA prefer to call it the “meatza herb,” but you get the point: it’s a good ally in the kitchen.

Oregano is a strange herb in that its dried form confers a more potent taste than the fresh leaves, so don’t feel too bad about using the dried stuff. It works just fine, and it retains most of its antioxidant capacity even when dry as a bone. And a bountiful, impressive antioxidant capacity it is, what with its ability to reduce the formation of carcinogenic and atherogenic compounds when added to cooking hamburger meat. Malondialdehyde levels were also reduced in plasma and urine samples taken from those who ate the meat.

What can we gather from this quick look at just a few of the most common culinary herbs? Well, herbs confer a lot of benefits to the cooking process. They make it taste good for one, but they also protect the fats from oxidation during cooking, making them perfectly paired with fatty foods – like herbed cheeses, herbed butters, lamb legs studded with rosemary and thyme, butter or cream sauce reductions with a dash of herbs, and herb-infused olive oils.

A Few Herby Tips

  • Use a wide variety of herbs.
  • Never use too much of any single herb at once.
  • Try different blends.
  • Grow some fresh herbs and keep plenty of dried on hand.
  • Let your taste buds guide you.
  • Add herbs when cooking fats; this won’t just protect the fat from oxidation, but it will also provide the best flavor.
  • Feed your pregnant ewe plenty of thyme.

What’s your favorite herb? There are dozens out there, and I’m sure each has its own set of health benefits. Anything else you’d like to know about herbs? Tell me in the comment board and I’ll see about a follow-up post!

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107 thoughts on “6 Common Herbs and Why You Should Eat Them (Hint: They Don’t Just Taste Good)”

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  1. Jeez, I think you covered all of my favorites. I keep thinking that someday I’ll get sick of sea-salt/oregano or sea-salt/rosemary, but it hasn’t happened yet.

  2. My Greek friend who grew up on an island in the Cyclades swears that the lamb and goat only required a little salt and pepper before cooking. The reason: they grazed on thmye, oregano and rosemary which grows natively all over the islands.

    1. My best friend who I have known my entire life is Greek. Small world, eh?

      I will have to ask him about “greek lamb” myself. Even if they grazed on those herbs I don’t seem to taste them in the meat.

      I enjoyed a leg of lamb on Easter Sunday. We threw on some garlic and cinnamon. You may think this is a weird combination but it turned out awesome!

      We enjoyed with homemade sweet potato fries (olive oil, sea salt baked in the oven!) and green beans with butter. My family enjoyed an apple pie dessert. I had a few bites of the apples in cinnamon and 2 blocks of my dark chocolate.

      Eating primal on holidays is becoming easier and easier.

      1. you got me with “Greek Lamb”…oregano, rosemary, thyme, olive oil and lemon juice! Then roasted to perfection – can taste it now 🙂

  3. I love herbs in salads. The standard romaine and mesclun mix found in most salads can get so plain and boring after a while. I like to add mint and basil to my salads.

  4. Chives! I have a window box of chives I’ve been growing for several years now. It goes dormant in the late winter and by early spring it is in full force. Great addition to eggs, roasted winter squashes, infused butter, and add fresh to anything with onion to help enhance the flavor.

    1. Thanks for the tip about window boxing chives! I’m about to get a home herb garden set up and you’re right, they’re excellent in just about everything!

  5. Great post.
    I’ve got a mad mix of herbs growing around my trees and in my garden. If you have the patience, making a few small 18″ x 18″ x 4″ deep boxes (or start them in empty plastic meat trays or whatever you can find – a little space for roots is a good idea) to start seeds in can be very rewarding. A pack of seeds will start you at least 50 plants – and costs around $1.50. One herb plant in a pot costs around $3.50. All you need is to take a little thyme, er, time, and scatter seeds on the top of a box of potting soil… plant ’em out to individual pots or in the garden as they get bigger… and you can populate your landscaping with dirt-cheap and tasty herbs. That said… now I want some sage tea.

    1. Keep your extra seeds in a sealed container with a desiccant packet in a dark place and they will be good for several years past the expiration date on the package. My $1 packet of basil seeds is five years old and had about an 80% germination rate this year.

      1. fresh sage leaves in cup, pour over hot water, steep few minutes, pull out leaves – drink. works for virtually any herb – just gotta see how strong you want it – ie – how much herb, time steeping.

        we drink thyme, sage and mint teas from the garden almost daily–

  6. Just curious what you mean when you warn, “Never use too much of any single herb at once.” Danger of overdose? Culinary law? I mean, can you REALLY eat too much basil? When it comes to fresh herbs, I say, eat as much as tastes great…

      1. i totally over rosemary’d some dish the other day. have to be more cautious with that…

      2. Actually, you can overdose on certain culinary herbs. Rosemary can cause miscarriage and both basil and sage are toxic in large amounts. Not a problem with the amounts typically used in culinary applications, but there is such a thing as a toxic level. If you use enough herb for it to start tasting very bitter, be wary.

        Also, I use sage tea as a headache remedy for tension headaches.

        1. There is a toxic level with all foods. But, unless you are crazy, its easy to know what is too much. If you eat basil every single day for the rest of your life then you may have problems.

          I would hope that most, if not all, people understand this. Who would even want to eat basil every single day?

        2. I was told to take sage tea when I stopped nursing one of my children, it’s supposed to dry up the milk, so I suppose you’d want to be careful with that if you were breastfeeding too.

        3. Actually my son eats basil every day and loves it. This article popped up as I am curious as to how much is too much.

    1. Culinary rule. A little seasoning judiciously applied is always better than the alternative.

  7. Don’t forget about one of my favorite herbs…Cilantro/Coriander!

  8. I have yet to taste a herb that I don’t like. We grew a huge basil plant last year at home. Oh how sweet it was to step on the deck, go a few feet and pick a few fresh basil leaves to throw on my big ass salad. The flavor was awesome.

    We also grew oregano but that was annoying because the leaves are so damn small.

    We grew mint too and that was super nice – bigger leaves!

  9. Just a note…although I think you were making a joke, Mark. The barber pole is a medieval tradesmen’s sign, that represents a leeching staff, with blood running down it in rivulets.

    In ancient times, the barber was a village surgeon, and would lance boils, pull teeth and perform minor surgeries, including leeching and bloodletting. In fact a synonym for the archaic usage of barber is Leech (know anyone with that surname?)

    During bloodletting, the patient would lean on or grip a staff to force more blood out of the cuts, and it would trickle down the staff to a bronze collection bowl. Very old style barber poles used to be capped in bronze or brass bowls on the top and bottom representing the bowl that held the leeches and the bowl that caught the blood.

  10. Really interesting post. The info about thyme being the cause of greater oxidative stability in lamb was completely unknown to me.

    Personally, the I usually try to keep it simple by only using Basil and Oregano, which has worked fairly well. Nonetheless, when I decide to branch out, this post will be the first thing I consult.

  11. If I have too much sage or dill I will blend one of the herbs in the food processor with a couple of sticks of room-temp butter. Then, I freeze the butter in ice cube trays and store the cubes in a labeled bag in the freezer. If I want dill butter for my steamed broccoli I just throw in a cube. Sage for my roasted butternut squash soup? Two cubes usually are the perfect amount.

    The same method can be done with basil and plain olive oil, as well as basil that is pureed into pesto for a variety of Italian inspired dishes.

    1. Basil pesto is a freezer staple at the end of the season here in the midwest. I grow enough to savor all winter.
      I moved to a new location last summer and have the best herb garden I’ve ever in my entire gardening history. I’m going to plant them all around the yard this year.I bring rosemary and thyme inside in the winter. I love herbs. I’m going to try some differnt tea using some of the above mentioned. Native Americans drink sage tea during ceremonies.

  12. Wonderful article! Mint is especially a godsend.

    When my IBS was at its worst, I saw quite a few doctors, including a gastroinetrologist (digestive specialist); and none of them could cure my continual upset stomach. I had to do a lot of elimination dieting to remove all the potential irritants, and I lost so much weight my parents thought I had some sort of cancer.

    Then one day my dad discovered herbal remedies like peppermint oil and ginger. They were in capsule form and they made me feel exponentially better. I could eat without being in pain!

    We also discovered later that I was fructose intolerant.

    So yes, mint! Yay for mint!

    1. My cousin has IBS, I will have to tell him about this. What dosage did you take of the peppermint and the ginger Danielle?

  13. Delighted to say that I’ve got all of these thriving in my back garden right now!

  14. I had no idea of the anti-oxidative properties of these herbs, thanks Mark! New Rule: mixed herbs with the fats.

  15. I can vouch for oregano being better dried – I have some that is doing amazingly well in the garden, but a massive handful in a roast did very little for the flavour. Also, if anyone can successfully grow thyme pease share your secrets – I have one twig surviving from a whole packet of seeds!

    1. My thyme is doing well. It was slow to germinate so I wondered about it, but it is green and coming up slowly.

      I used the square foot gardening method. It requires raised beds and “Mel’s mix.” 1/3 compost, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 peat moss. I germinated the seeds in the ground. Also, I live in the south, so the weather is fairly warm.

    2. I think thyme likes well drained soil. Mine grows on a north facing slope but gets sun in a sandy, gravely soil on top of loam. I never water it but we do get pretty regular rain in summer. I don’t water it in drought conditions either. Occasionally it doesn’t rain for a month or so. It also survives fine in our snowy zone 5 winters.

      I originally had one plant but it comes up on it’s own periodically in various places. I think any sunny but well drained place would fine.

    3. I put in 2 varieties of thyme I purchased from home depot. This was at least three years ago! I use the herb all year round, even when it is sub-zero temps. All I have done is water it and clear dead leaves away on occasion. Perhaps it is the soil. Well-drained and maybe slightly sandy. I live in Southern Colorado.

    4. Thyme is one where you might do better putting in a started plant.

      Anyway, as others have said, Thyme likes drainage, and does not like to be over-watered. It also does not like root competition and needs good air circulation. Basically, conditions close to Mediterranean! Keep it in a sunny place that drains well and is well weeded and with bare soil around it. If your soil is too clay consider growing it in a pot.

  16. My parent’s billy goat decided to start eating chicken eggs that he finds laying around. They doctored some eggs with a bunch of very hot pepper flakes but the goat kept eating. I suggested that they find a recipe for pre-spiced goat meat. Kinda like thyme-fed lamb……..?

  17. Interestingly most cultures or cuisines seem to have a dish which is heavy with green stuff – herbs or vegetables. Take pesto as already discussed, or tabouleh in the middle east with all the parsley, or spinach and feta pie in Greece. In Vietnam cooking you get a small forest of herbs with for example Pho – their famous soup, or in Thai Beef salad which is full of coriander and mint. Maybe traditional food cultures knew a lot before it was ever studied. I love all these dishes

  18. I have all of those growing in my herb garden at the side of my house (there are three different kinds of mint, as a matter of fact) along with chives and tarragon. In fact, the sage, chives and Greek oregano are threatening to take over our side lawn.

    This summer, we will see the addition of parsley, both curly and Italian, along with cilantro, lemon basil, Thai basil and pineapple sage. I looooove my herb garden!!

  19. One of my favorite herbs is Italian parsley. It’s easy to grow, is quite healthful, and tastes great (unlike the bitter curly kind).

  20. Even now that I live in the city again, and our growing season is very short…I always have fresh herbs growing on the porch, in pots, on the kitchen windowsill, wherever. I love to snip and cook! I have used oregano (oil) before as an antibiotic with good results. Love fresh sage too, I don’t think people appreciate it enough! Right now I have chives, thyme, oregano, sage, parsley and rosemary. Oh, and basil, duh. I would like to grow my own garlic, I use so damned much of it!

  21. I love sage when cooking pork. It’s the first thing I grab for when seasoning it(aside from garlic).

  22. “Some herbs just kinda linger in the background, maybe adding a slight change to the bouquet of a dish but never really distinguishing themselves, but when rosemary’s around, you know it”

    I had to giggle at Mark’s description quoted above. My middle name is Rosemary and this pretty much sums up my extroverted personality 🙂

    Back to the actual herbs. I love the list that Mark has compiled above but I also use dill, marjoram and tarragon.

    Dill is an excellent partner for smoked salmon. I mix 2 tablespoons of finely chopped dill, 1 tablespoon of grated lemon rind, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 4 tablespoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Whisk together and pour over some wild salmon or trout and finish with some ground black pepper. Delicious food to enjoy on the deck with a glass of vino.

  23. There’s something called “mountain tea” – I believe it’s a sage – that we used in Greece for any kinds of cold or congestion issues. A steaming hot cup of that with a spoonful of honey was incredibly comforting and healing. I’ve seen it in import shops in both the US and AU as “mountain tea”. Well worth trying if you can find some!

  24. Maybe your oregano tastes more potent dried, but we grow Greek oregano that is so strong when fresh it would stop you in your tracks. It’s pretty robust when dried as well, but nearly overwhelming when fresh. Very nice with lemon & garlic on pork.

  25. I have an oregano plant, I think I like taking care of it more so than eating it, since I forgot I had a large stash of dried that needed to be used up. Anyway, I liked the article and neat facts.

  26. Hooray for herbs.. I love basil in an omelette.. to die for! So many combinations of herbs can make such great tasting meals!

  27. Herbal medicine is as primal as medicine can get! I should freakin’ write a book about herbs for the primal pantry/medicine cabinet. There are many herbs that can support a primal lifestyle!

  28. I am growing all these herbs in my garden this year. My oregano is starting to fade though. Not sure if it’s the TX heat getting to it, bugs, or not enough water. What herbs are not heat tolerant? Also, don’t some herbs aid in garden pest control?

  29. Is bacon a herb?
    😉

    I’m going to give growing herbs another go this year, but last time the local cats turned my box garden into a litter tray. Any (legal) suggestions to keep them away?

    1. I’ve heard that covering the area with lava rocks will keep the cats from digging (and then pooping) in your garden.

    2. Cayenne pepper. If it gets on their paws it stings their nose and their tongue when they try to lick it off. I’ve used it indoors when I had a cat scratching where they shouldn’t. It works very nicely.

  30. And you left out Coriander? Great in salsa which is perfect with omelets. I just planted some in my garden because I just can’t get enough of it. But will try the basil with my eggs too – great idea!

  31. I love mint, basil, thyme…actually all of these. Now I know what to put in my herb garden this year…
    A recent discovery–dill! Love dill! So fresh and yummy, especially with eggs and on salads.

  32. @CavemanGreg Garlic is a great natural pest controller and can be started from a store bought clove. Break apart the smaller cloves and plant. The stalks are like a super chive though it will take awhile for the bulb to grow.

    I have successfully started growth from fresh store bought herbs — except thyme — by sticking them in water. A few days on the window sill and roots start. This works really well with basil which is great for keeping summer fruit flies out of the kitchen.

  33. Some may already know of this seasoning, but I recently tried Za’atar for the first time at a Moroccan restaurant and love it.

    In its basic variety, it’s simply oregano, basil, thyme and maybe sage, along with cumin and salt, crushed into a slightly finer powder then they add some toasted sesame seeds. It’s dusted on the food before it’s served, and tastes amazing.

    You could easily make it yourself, and it packs in most of the above in one serving. GREAT with eggs!

  34. Being a sheep farmer, I’m interested in the study about feeding Thyme to pregnant ewes. Do the lambs need to be fed that thyme after weaning to maintain those results? Just curious if it’s too late to feed some to my crop of lambs this year. 😉

  35. The first thing I did after I moved to my current house and started working on the yard was to fill 3 planters with organic potting soil and start a herb garden. Mint, chives, thyme, oregano, marjoram, sage, coriander, parsley, basil. Lovely stuff.

    I use pots rather than planting directly in the garden as the soil here is a bit poor and there’s a lot of very old fill underneath it. No clue as to what’s in it, so I’m erring on the side of caution and growing food in raised beds or containers, leaving the dirt for flowers.

  36. I use herbs in my green smoothie – basil, cilantro and parsley. You can use much less than if you were using kale or other greens, because they’re so concentrated.

    This lets you make the smoothie taste better without adding too much fruit or other sweetener.

  37. And what about ginger, cinnamon,cyanne pepper, nutmeg and curcumin? All great herbs. Someone having a heartattack? Just a teaspoon of cyanne under the tongue every 15 minutes will save his/her life.

    All herbs have great ORAC capacity.

    1. All great stuff but they are spices, not herbs, so not included in the article.

      1. Sorry, Dutch is my native language. In dutch we don’t make that distinction.

  38. Thank god – no Bay Leaf on that list. I hate that stuff – suspect it’s really a toxic substance!

    All the herbs listed – love them. Thanks for the post. Now if I could just learn to love to cook…

  39. I use herbs because they make it taste better. IDGAF about health reasons, because I have a healthy lifestyle anyway! Chut up.

  40. When my mother made tabboulah I found out I love the bitterness of parsely. I have grown cilantro but it always bolts when the weather gets warm. I would love to have a patch of mint but it takes over the yard. I have lemon balm growing wild in my yard and I use it for bedtime tea with my kids.

    There are a lot of herbal websites online. I bought a board game for my kids called Wildcrafting from learningherbs.com. It is a fun game that teaches you how to recognize weeds that are good for food or healing. Even kids too young to read can play. I found out lambsquarters is delicious! And it was growing right in my garden.

    Right now they are selling a culinary herbalism class. http://www.culinaryherbalism.com/sp/4732-fe4732

  41. I use my home grown oregano all the time in my salads and my work friends are always saying how good my salads look and smell so fragrant – I let the oregano grow until just before it starts to flower, I cut and tie the bunches and dry them on my back porch, I’ve used them on presants as decoration and part of the gift – my friends love it and use it. I’m trying to grow thyme in my ditch out in front of my house as it is beautiful and fragrant to walk on.

  42. I also grow cilantro, but it is tricky as it is an annual, so… I grow and cut it according to my needs and then I let it go to seed and plant the seeds to have an ongoing garden of cilantro going all the time. It helps if you live in a warm climate, which I don’t, but if you plant the seeds in the fall and let it winter, they will come up in the spring and you can start again.

  43. 2 of my favorites are cumin and cardamom. All herbs need to be fresh and please invest in a mortar and pestle. It’s a world of difference between dried bottled herbs and fresh ground herbs.

  44. I use basil and rosemary pretty routinely. I also love lemongrass stalks. They are a woody stalk and when you crush the stem and add it to tea or crockpot chicken it adds the most amazing lemon-herb flavor. Not sure about it’s antioxidant profile but I adore it!

  45. Breastfeeding mothers should NOT drink sage tea. It will dry up your breastmilk. Sage sprinkled on meat or something is fine as it is a small amount. Large amounts, like in tea, are to be avoided until after weaning.

  46. A very pleasant experience is steeped tarragon tea.Add a frest sprig to the finished product.It is so good,it’s like crack to me.

  47. I LOVE sage! My favorite use: fry some pork chops seasoned with salt & pepper. When they’re done, remove from the pan and fry some whole sage leaves (add more oil if needed). Yum! Now I can’t wait for my new sage plants to grow!

  48. Thanks for such useful information. If you would like recipes that are healthy and healing then please visit our website http://www.workoutathome.co.uk and have a look at the section on Nutrition. We know that a healthy diet with exercise improves feelings of well-being which is why we also offer personal training. A personal trainer will not only design an exercise programme for you, they can offer advice when it comes to healthy eating aswell. All our personal trainers are mobile, so there is the added advantage of convenience.

  49. I love the smell of fresh rosemary. It’s such a treat to crush a leaf and breathe in that fresh, crisp aroma. I’ve also learned to sprinkle it on meats when I grill to help neutralize carcinogens. What a great herb!

  50. Hey Mark,

    Love herbs,your training/health philosophy and “Marks Daily Apple”.

    My favorite herb is cilantro, and we can even grow it up North in Newfoundland – our beautiful island in the Atlantic Ocean.

    Bet herbs will help us snowboard, and body surf better too! And I miss body surfing at Zuma beach.

    Hope you and family are well.

    Keep up the great work promoting a healthy and fun lifestyle.

    Sending you greetings and kind regards from Canada,

    Scott

  51. 1 more herb: the HERB. Legalize weed. Can’t find any reason why it should be treated different from alcohol or tobacco. Personally, I prefer rosemary, but I don’t favor locking up someone who prefers the other herb.

  52. Marjoram is fantastic for any poached or baked white fish. Grouper, halibut, cod etc. I’m not sure of it’s nutritional components though!

  53. Lemon Thyme on Mark’s BA Salad! Also, a couple of people pointed out: be sure you’re willing to be ruthless if you plant mint in your garden. I plant it in pots and keep it on the deck; if you plant directly into the garden, you either need to REALLY, REALLY like a LOT of mint, or be willing to dig the spreading mass.

    I use Rosemary twigs for shish kabobs skewers. YUM!

  54. Mmmm…lamb. We just did the whole Greek Easter thing, with a whole lamb cooking on a spit in my driveway with 25 adults crowding the spit, picking the meat off it while it was still turning. Neighbors now think we’re nuts, but it’s the best way to eat lamb/goat! I did not use thyme, though, and I’m pretty sure a lamb from some farm in western Massachusetts does not eat lots of it. I’ll have to try using it next time – sounds delish. I personally cannot live without oregano (I store dried oregano in my freezer) and loads of parsley…wonder if parsley is as healthy as the herbs mentioned here? I love to put whole basil (or parsley or mint) leaves in salad, too, just as you would use any other greens.

  55. Marjoram is hands down my favorite herb, and very underutilized. Bit subtler (and BETTER) than Oregano.

  56. A tough challenege to pick out 6 herbs but I think you made great choices here. I really enjoy fresh dill as it is very versatile and goes particularly well when whipping up a natural Greek yoghurt mix (try natural greek yoghurt, chopped cucumber, dash of extra virgin olive oil, black pepper and some fresh dill on top).

  57. TIP: It’s worth drying yourself even if you’re buying rather than growing herbs.

    Dry as whole leaves and DON’T crumble. Just store in a jar whole. When using, THEN you crumble. This retains much of the fresh flavor a long time – my dried herbs are barely distinguishable from fresh.

  58. Herbs are wonderful things. I grew up learning about the amazing properties of basic herbs. Some of the things I’ve learned that are useful: Turmeric is very anti inflammatory, and fantastic for PMS and cramps, or just muscle cramps. Ginger is good for stomach problems, and has other amazing properties (You might look it up). Cinnamon lowers blood sugar, which might not be necessary for a primal blueprint diet, but it’s a bonus. Pepper lowers blood pressure and is blood thinning. Almost all edible flavoring herbs and spices have health benefits. My spice rack is huge and overflowing with just about every herb imaginable, well I’m missing a few, looks like I need to go to my local produce and herb shop.

  59. holy basil is a different herb than culinary basil. both are incredibly beneficial though!

  60. My favorite herb is Lemon Balm(Mint Balm. Its one of the most easiest plant and herb I have ever grown! I love it! Plus it smalls really nice too. (the only bad thing about it probable though is that since its in the mint family, it grows like a weed!)

  61. When my ram gets bloat I make him a huge bowl of candy mint tea & sugar. He slurps it down to the last drop & fixes him right up!

  62. please send me about more herbs and their use thanks .

  63. My nephew is two and he loves Basil. A lot. Especially raw. He will eat several leaves at a time. That’s OK, right?

  64. Hello

    Could you Please tell me what is considered effective dosage per day ?

    Rgd
    h

  65. Interesting… Those 6 herbs are the only ones we are currently growing in our “Tower Garden”. I guess in certain cases common can be normal. Yeah!

  66. I love all kinds of herb’s I love it to dash the food’s and I make it tea evryday wow tastes so good and those wonderful aromatic flavors so great feel better and relaxing evryday I’ve feel awesome. ..just love it taking a cup of thyme tea rosemary oregano and more herbs that I love. ..

  67. Whenever I steam muy Chicken, I always marinate the Chicken for at least an hour with Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Basil, Oregano, Red Chilli Powder, Black Pepper and Paprika (with NO salt).

    Then steam it until cook.

    And the combination for my STEAMED CHICKEN, are as follows:
    (1) Steamed Potato
    (2) Tomato appetizer-Salad mixed with Lemon Juice, Red Chilli, Paprika, Black Pepper, red Onion and white onion, Thyme, Rosemary, Basil, Parsley and Oregano.
    (3) Fruits (either Banana, Peach, Melon)
    (4) Just Water, no sodas.

    That’s my meal for every Lunch, or most of my lunch pack.

  68. Need to ask you some questions on the consumption and importance of fresh and dried herbs?

  69. I would like to know all HERBS n spices that are anti
    Inflammatory