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Health Benefits of Common Herbs & Spices

We all like to add herbs to our food. They can improve its taste and give a dish that extra little something it was missing. In addition to these great advantages, did you know that most herbs and spices also have amazing health benefits?



Low in calories (100 grams of it contain only 30 calories), chives are rich in dietary fiber, with 100 grams containing 7% of your daily intake. Chives are also rich in antioxidants, such as allicin, which is shown to reduce cholesterol production and has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Allicin also helps reduce blood pressure and helps prevent strokes, coronary artery disease, and peripheral vascular diseases.

Chives also contain vitamin A and antioxidants, such as carotenes, zea-xanthin, and lutein, which together offer the human body protection from lung and oral cancer. Furthermore, chives are one of the best sources for vitamin K in nature, which helps limit neuronal damage in the brain and is essential for the treatment of Alzheimer’s.

Packed with minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, zinc and calcium, these leafy greens contain several vital vitamins such as B-6, B-5, B-3, B-2, and B-1 in healthy proportions.



Cilantro contains many antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins and dietary fibers that help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL). The leaves and seeds contain oils such as borneol, linalool, cineole, cymene, terpineol, dipentene, phellandrene, pinene, and terpinolene, and the stems are rich in polyphenolic flavonoids (such as quercetin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and epigenin).
Cilantro is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron and magnesium, which help control heart rate and blood pressure. It is also rich in many vitamins like folic acid, B-2, B-3, vitamin A, beta-carotene and vitamin C (all are essential to your health). Some 100 grams of cilantro leaves provide you with 30% of the daily recommended levels of vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant).
Vitamin A is required for maintaining skin and mucous membrane health. It is also essential for vision, and like chives, cilantro is also rich in vitamin K.


Basil contains oils such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene and terpineol, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Basil is very rich in beta-carotene, vitamin A, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. These help protect against free radicals (that play a role in aging and various disease processes). Zea-xanthin was found to filter harmful UV rays and protect your eyes' retinas. 
Basil contains a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. All help to control heart rate and blood pressure. Basil leaves are an excellent source of iron - a component of hemoglobin inside your red blood cells.


Dill sprigs and seeds contain many essential oils (d-carvone, dillapiol, DHC, eugenol, limonene, terpinene and myristicin) and have been used as a local anesthetic and anti-septic. Dill was also found to reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Oil extracted from the seeds has anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, disinfectant and sedative properties, and is rich in B-9, B-2, B-3, vitamin A, beta-carotene and vitamin C.
Dill is a great source of minerals such as copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Copper is essential for many of the body's vital enzymes (like cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase).
Zinc is an essential component in many enzymes that regulate the body's growth and development, sperm production, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Potassium is important for cell and body fluids that assist with controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is essential for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.


Thyme has disease-preventing and health-promoting properties. It contains thymol, an essential oil, which has been found to have antiseptic and anti-fungal characteristics. Thyme contains flavonoid phenolic antioxidants, like zea-xanthin, lutein, pigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin.
Thyme leaves are one of the best sources of potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium, and are a rich source of many important vitamins such as B-complex vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin C and B-9.
Thyme provides about 27% of our recommended daily intake of vitamin-B-6 - a beneficial neurotransmitter for the brain, that helps with reducing stress. Fresh thyme is one of the richest in antioxidant among all herbs.


Turmeric has been in use since ancient times. Known for its anti-inflammatory, carminative and anti-microbial properties, it also contains essential oils such as termerone, curlone, curumene, cineole, and p-cymene.
Curcumin is the pigment that gives turmeric its orange color. Studies suggest that the curcumin may have anti-tumor, anti-oxidant, anti-arthritic, anti-amyloid, anti-ischemic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber, which help control bad cholesterol levels.
Turmeric is a rich source of many vitamins such as B-6, choline, B-3, B-2 and more. B-6 is used in the treatment of CBS deficiency, anemia and even radiation sickness. B-3 helps prevent dermatitis, and B-2 helps the body convert carbohydrates into sugar, which in turn gives us energy.
Fresh turmeric root contains high levels of vitamin C, which helps the body develop immunity against infections and remove harmful free radicals. Turmeric also contains healthy amounts of minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc and magnesium.


Rosemary leaves contain certain phytochemicals that are known to have disease-preventing and health-promoting properties. The herb parts, (especially the flower tops) contain phenolic antioxidant rosmarinic acid, as well as numerous oils that are beneficial to human health, such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, alpha-pinene, and more. These compounds are known to reduce irritations and inflammations, as well as for having anti-fungal, antihistaminic and antiseptic properties
Rosemary contains very good amounts of vitamin A, and is exceptionally rich in many B-complex groups of vitamins, such as B-9, B-5, B-6, and B-2. It also contains high levels of folates, which are important for DNA synthesis. 
Fresh rosemary leaves are a good source of vitamin C, which is required for collagen synthesis in the body (collagen is required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones). Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C protects the body from scurvy, boosts its immunity and helps clear it of free radicals. 
Fresh or dried, rosemary is a rich source of minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium, and it is an excellent source of iron (a component of hemoglobin inside red blood cells, which determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood).


Parsley contains essential oils like myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene, as well as flavonoids, including apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin. Many of these (particularly myristicin) have been shown to inhibit the formation of tumors in the lungs.
Myristicin also activates the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which helps attach the molecule glutathione to oxidized molecules that can be very harmful to the body. The oils in parsley qualify it as a "chemoprotective" food, meaning it can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens.
The flavonoids in parsley (especially luteolin) function as antioxidants, halting the damage that free radicals cause to the body. Additionally, extracts from parsley will help increase antioxidant capacity in the blood.
Parsley is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C, and is helpful with preventing recurrent ear infections and colds.
Beta-carotene (another important antioxidant in parsley), is known to reduce risk of the development and progression of certain conditions, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis and colon cancer. It may also help with reducing asthma attacks and some forms of arthritis.
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