Top 10 Herbs For Your Body & Improve Your Health

Adding herbs is an inexpensive and simple way to boost the flavor and nutritional value of your meal without adding a lot of calories. With such distinct flavors, it’s easy to take your favorite recipes to a whole new level. Experiment with one or a few of these 10 herbs that will help your waistline without hurting your health.

1. Basil

Fresh Basil
Disease cannot survive in an alkaline environment, but instead thrives in an acidic one. Similarly, all disease begins with some form of inflammation. Basil- often referred to as “king of herbs”- is highly anti-inflammatory thanks to its oils, such as eugenol, citral, and limonene, to name a few. These oils have also have anti-bacterial properties. Have an anti-aging routine? Add basil, as it contains several antioxidant compounds like orientin, vicenin–both of which have been shown in rat studies to prevent oxidative damage in the liver. This finding was published in Journal of American Science in 2011.

Basil is often added to tomato-based soups and dishes with tomatoes, as the two are complementary in flavor. Drop a few fresh leaves in boiling water to make basil tea, which is said to help relieve nausea.

2. Cardamom

Commonly found in South Indian and Sri Lankan dishes, this spice is rich in nutrients that stimulate digestion. It is antispasmodic, helping to ensure that the intestines keep the food moving the way it’s supposed to. This benefit has been shown in a 1996 publication of Pharmacological Research. Cardamom counteracts excess stomach acid, stimulates bile production, and reduction of gastric juices. Keep in mind, proper digestion is the key to keeping the weight off, since better absorption of nutrients results in less feelings of hunger.

Use cardamom as flavoring base for coffee drinks and teas. Try adding some cardamom seeds to rice pudding, frozen yogurt, or over a fresh fruit salad. As a general rule of thumb, use this spice to blur the line between sweet and savory recipes.

3. Cilantro

If you love cilantro, you must add this herb to your weight loss plan, particularly if you’re counting calories. At only 1 calorie per ¼ cup of fresh cilantro, it’s a smart way to add flavor to your meals! Furthermore, cilantro is full of essential nutrients to optimize metabolic processes, keep you full, and less likely to eat empty calories. It’s high in Vitamins A, C, and K- all of which your body needs everyday.

In addition, cilantro has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Stems and leaves contain antioxidants like quercetin and keampferol, while its leaves and seeds contain anti-inflammatory compounds like borneol and linalool. Recently, a study in the Indian Journal of Medical Research found that rats with rheumatoid arthritis that were given cilantro extract had reduced swelling and less inflammation than the rats who received steroidal treatments.

Fresh cilantro is a must for any salsa recipe. Make cilantro vinaigrette by combining a handful of cilantro with one part lemon juice, 2 parts olive oil, then salt and pepper. Finally, try substituting cilantro for parsley in a tabouleh salad for a fresh change.

4. Cinnamon

A favorite in the dessert world, cinnamon is ironically good for diabetics. Recent studies show its promise in helping diabetic patients by improving the action of insulin. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 found that in healthy subjects, consuming 6 grams of cinnamon reduced the glucose response after a meal, most likely due to slowed emptying of the stomach’s contents. Other studies have shown that cinnamon can lower triglycerides, LDL, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. In addition, cinnamon is thought to have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, as well aid in the treatment of rheumatism, some menstrual disorders, ulcers, indigestion, and diarrhea.

Sprinkle cinnamon liberally over fruits or desserts. It can also be added to enhance the flavor of coffee. Throwing just a pinch into curry-based (or similar in flavor) dishes adds a surprisingly good punch to the overall taste.

5. Ginger

Best known for being sushi’s partner, ginger is a powerful digestive aid and antimicrobial herb. Ginger root is particularly potent, containing phenolic compounds like gingerols, zingerone, and shogaols, which help digestion by maintaining the tone of intestinal muscles and neutralizing excess acidity without abdominal irritation.

Traditionally, it has also been used as an anti-inflammatory and painkiller, helping to treat arthritis, chronic muscular pains, even respiratory issues from allergies. In a 2005 article published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, authors discovered that ginger modulates biochemical pathways related to chronic inflammation Other studies have shown that it may help relieve pregnancy-related nausea, motion sickness, migraine headaches.

Boil ginger root slices in water (add lemon juice and honey, if desired) to help with indigestion, diarrhea, and sore throat. A dash of ground ginger complements the flavor of sweet potatoes, and surprisingly, tastes great with peaches!

6. Peppermint

This herb goes beyond flavoring: whether it’s consumed or applied topically, peppermint has various health benefits, due to its active ingredients: menthol, menthol acetate, and menthone. Peppermint is used as a digestive aid, remedy for colic, and provide relief for irritable bowel syndrome.

Researchers in Germany found that among healthy subjects, peppermint oil acts a digestive aid by having a relaxing effect on the gallbladder and by slowing down the transit time of food in the small intestine – where most of the absorption takes place. Their findings were published in a February 2003 volume of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Peppermint is also high in dietary fiber- a must for any weight loss meal plan.

Add a few chopped peppermint leaves to your salad for a refreshing twist. You may also make mint tea by itself, or add to your favorite existing tea. Add a few finely chopped leaves to salad for a refreshing twist. For a healthy snack, mix organic yogurt with some freshly ground mint leaves, some cumin, and a dash of salt.

7. Oregano

It’s long been used as an antimicrobial and anti-fungal agent, but oregano is rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium- all of which support cardiovascular health and promote healthy metabolism. It’s also full of antioxidants like manganese, copper, Vitamins C and A, and beta carotene. According to scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, oregano has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 12 times more than oranges, and 4 times more than blueberries.

Oregano is also believed to be a digestive aid, acting on the motility of the gastrointestinal tract, and on the secretion of digestive juices. Lastly, it is an excellent source of dietary fiber- just 100 grams provides 107% of RDA, or 42.8 grams of fiber.

No pizza is complete without oregano, so sprinkle liberally! Season a tomato-and-mozzarella salad with oregano, then drizzle with some olive oil. For soups, make oregano ice cubes: oregano covered with water or whatever broth you need for the soup, then frozen in ice trays.

8. Rosemary

What once was believed to ward off bad influences, rosemary, as it turns out, may ward off unwanted weight. It’s full of B-vitamins, which play a significant role in the way your body metabolizes carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Without them, some metabolic processes may not work properly, if at all.

Rosemary also has antioxidant abilities, as it contains lots of Vitamin C (100 grams contains about 37% of the RDA), and the mineral manganese (100 grams contains 40% of the RDA). A study in Finland that was published in a 2006 volume of Molecular Nutrition & Food Research suggested that rosemary contained compounds that are able to counteract the harmful oxidation that occurs with heating extra virgin olive oil.

Whether soups, salads, baked vegetables, or meat dishes, rosemary usually complements tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchinis. Rosemary also goes extremely well with lamb, especially when combined with lemon juice and garlic. For sweet-lovers, try sprinkling rosemary over some frozen yogurt or mousse.

9. Saffron

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, but a tiny amount goes a long way, both in flavor and in its health benefits. Studies have been published suggesting saffron’s role in the management of PMS, Alzheimer’s Disease and other neuro-inflammatory conditions, age-related macular degeneration, and depression- just to name a few.

A study published in Nutrition Research in May 2010 followed mildly overweight women who made no changes to their diet except for taking 176.5mg of extract from the saffron stigma (the part of the plant used for consumption) once a day. Compared to other mildly overweight women, the women who took saffron had reduced snacking frequency and increased feelings of satiety (feeling full) after 8 weeks.

Tea is an easy way to enjoy saffron: just drop five or six strands into 1-2 cups of boiling water. Add a few strands to water before making rice, and you’ll love the aroma as the rice cooks, not to mention the flavor. Saffron can also be lightly sprinkled over some cream-based desserts.

10. Thyme

A favorite among the French, this herb is popular for its antiseptic properties, helping to fight a variety of infections. Thyme is an immune-booster, as it’s loaded with Vitamins C and A. Researchers from the University of Brighton, East Sussex, found that thyme oil was affective in killing MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staph aureus), which is otherwise resistant to regular antibiotics. The findings were published in International Journal of Essential Oil Therapeutics in 2010. Thyme is also loaded with B-vitamins (see section on rosemary).

Thyme is excellent in braised recipes and stews. Add to vegetables before roasting them, or throw into a marinade for poultry recipes, particularly those calling for lemon and/or garlic. Throw some in scrambled eggs to start your morning off right.

Say goodbye to bland diet foods, and say hello to mouth-watering meals by giving these herbs a try.

To find out more about how you can boost your health, you can go to the next page and watch my video on ‘3 Alkaline Secrets to revitalize your health and body’.


About the Author:

Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice.

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53 responses to “Top 10 Herbs For Your Body & Improve Your Health”

  1. Terie Wedwick Avatar
    Terie Wedwick

    You forgot turmeric and cayenne! They both have properties that help with inflammation and fat distribution.

    1. Terie Wedwick Avatar
      Terie Wedwick

      Woops! I quess they are spices, not herbs! They are good for you though!

    2. Lynne Monday Avatar
      Lynne Monday

      Cinnamon is a spice too 🙂

  2. Carrie Avatar

    The sidebar of Tweet, google+, and etc. covers part of the information and makes it difficult to read the entire text. Also, would like to have submitted info for the free wt. loss book, but could not advance page to submit. Fortunately, I am using these herbs, and could determine the discussion. It would have been difficult otherwise.

    1. admin Avatar

      @Carrie: Thanks for your feedback. We noticed the problem in some of the browsers and is currently solving this problem. Hope the article benefit you.

  3. susa Avatar

    Nice write up and ihave learnt a lot, pick it up

  4. Patsy Avatar

    Thanks for this wonderful info.

  5. Elena Avatar

    Hi! So which ones are not good for GERD?

    1. admin Avatar

      Hi Elena,

      Some people may have report that these herbs like basil, thyme, peppermint and cilantro may have trigger their heartburn or GERD, but some used them for heartburn treatment and relief too.

      You just have to experiment for yourself to see if you are one of the many it can help or the few it bothers. Keep a food journal to identify trigger foods. Once you have pinpointed potential heartburn-causing foods, you can reduce or eliminate them from your diet.

  6. gwen pasley Avatar
    gwen pasley

    Thanks for insight. Like the idea of herb garden!

  7. DANNY BOY Avatar

    Your right, exponential trials is the only way to get exactly what your body needs to get what it needs! You have to listen to clues!



  9. S. Mohan Avatar
    S. Mohan

    These are common things used in Indian kitchens.

  10. Barry Brain Avatar
    Barry Brain

    Very informative !!!! There is thousands of what nutritionst call HERBS. Certain HERBS are particularly for certain reasons.

  11. June McGouldrick Avatar
    June McGouldrick

    I am allergic to linalool. Can anyone make any suggestions ?

  12. Barbara Audiss Avatar
    Barbara Audiss

    Favor actually, could you re send me the article on When Protein Meets Carbs. ? I really need this food combining information and It disappeared from sight . Thanks

  13. Ken Humpel Avatar
    Ken Humpel

    Brilliant – what wisdom!!!

  14. Connie Tucker Avatar
    Connie Tucker

    GERD can be treated by eating apples, and two a day would be just about right. You can do an online search for this idea and find out more.

    I would also include sage in this list for the same reasons as thyme. They are very similar in their chemical composition.

    1. Darcy Avatar

      I am of the belief that GERD is a general summation for a few different stomach issues.
      I lived with AR for quite some time before using Prevacid. Two years ago, I decided that enough was enough and took control. I used a variety of suggestions, I.e. Apples, cider vinegar, eating times, and on and on. I finally reached a point now that I use brussel sprouts as a means of controlling this issue.

      1. Virginia Harmon Avatar
        Virginia Harmon

        Have never heard of brussel sprouts as a means of controlling GERD. We have them once a week or so when I can get them fresh. Will have to check it out. Thank you for sharing this.

  15. Linda Scherry Avatar
    Linda Scherry

    Thanks for sharing, I believe in using all natural herbs to be good for your body. They do taste good too.

  16. kit andrews Avatar
    kit andrews

    Im starting a large herb garden at my organic allotment that will grow a number of the hers that you have mentioned. I’m looking forward to next year when i can start harvesting the crop.
    Thanks for keeping us informed and updated, very much appreciated. Kit

  17. ray Avatar

    I LOVE ALL OF THESE FRESH HERBS and i also have an essential oil business. Today I am going to try a new new formula inspired by this article by blending 3 drops each of basil, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, rosemary, oregano and thyme and peppermint with a carrier oil of coconut mct, in a half oz bottle. shake the bottle to blend the oils and then use a drop or two under the tongue and let dissolve. our organic oils may be ingested in very small quantities this way or used to make an herbal oil tea as well. just be careful when making your own blend to use organic or wild crafted oils that have not been grown with pesticides. feel free to email me for my results : ) ~Ray~

    1. kawtarr Avatar

      I am a new in website .i likes your new new formula it sounds very good for health .Please if you have an idea of herbs remedies for tinnitus.

      1. phillip Avatar

        i suffer from both tinnitus and vertigo. if you have a remedy, pls let me have it. thanks.

    2. john reyna Avatar
      john reyna

      Hi Ray,
      Just came across your posting to diet sage. Was just wondering how you got started in the essential oils business. I’ve been interested in this topic and also growing organic vegetables and herbs.hope to hear from you and or any sites or books that have real good information.

      Thankyou very much,
      John Reyna

    3. Lourdes Avatar

      Do you ship out of town I am interested in the essential oils

  18. Joel Avatar

    I am from India, and Indians know and love herbs and spices. You have to taste our food to know the taste and the health benefits of herbs and spices.

  19. Goldie Davis Avatar
    Goldie Davis

    Thank you so much for the list of Herbs and their benefits,I have plenty Rosemary in the garden so will make sure to use it more often. Are the dry herbs as good, unfortunately I cannot get some of them fresh.

  20. Jack Avatar

    Great articles just need 1 more thing and that’s how much of each herb/spice in needed to get the full health effects. Thanks again for a great article.

  21. Jen Avatar

    @ Goldie and Jack

    I was wondering both of these things as well. Are the dried herbs as beneficial and how much of each is needed to get the full health effects?

  22. Carol Robinson Avatar
    Carol Robinson

    Thank you for this valuable information. I grow some of these and dry them in an electric drier. Are they still beneficial?And if dried, how long is their shelf life?

  23. Elizabeth Balloqui Avatar
    Elizabeth Balloqui

    Thanks very much Angela,I love your website.i’m using those herbs all the time,

  24. Rich Avatar

    Good information and would appreciate knowing how much, in grams or ounces, you need to take to get the “anti-inflammatory effects” , etc. Many of these studies use doses or levels that are not achievable with a few sprinkles, or even a teaspoonful.

  25. Beverly Avatar

    I have one kidney will cinnamon or other 10 herbs do harm

  26. Elizabeth Koressel Avatar
    Elizabeth Koressel

    This information is very helpful as I experiment with various spices. Thank you!

  27. Candie Avatar

    Thanks for the article. I grow everything on your list except saffron and ginger oh and Cardamom. Living in the desert everything grows great. I hardly ever use the herbs I just like to grow them. They smell so refreshing when I water them. Now to get me to use them. Oh and I don’t have cinnamon.

  28. Betty Riggleman Avatar
    Betty Riggleman

    Thank you for the information about herbs. It was helpful.

  29. Roxana Berrocal Avatar
    Roxana Berrocal

    Roxana Berrocal would love to receive info like this

  30. Carl Davis Avatar
    Carl Davis

    Good info except speaking of actually consuming rice. All, I repeat ALL starches are bad for Homo Sapiens. Eat a lot of fat, moderate amounts of protein and a few green leaves (spinach, etc.)

  31. Corrine Thomas Avatar
    Corrine Thomas

    please remove that phone number.

    I would love to receive information about herbs.

  32. M S. Johnson Avatar
    M S. Johnson

    I have tinnitus and edema in legs. What do you suggest?

  33. Connie Tenhonen Avatar
    Connie Tenhonen

    I have had tinnitus for years. Do you have any recommendations to help alleviate the constant ringing? Thank you for any help you may have.

  34. Shoukat Suleman Avatar
    Shoukat Suleman

    Please send me all the detail to my email.

  35. MONA C BADRAN Avatar

    This was great…It’s below zero here but I am going out to start a new indoor herb garden today!

  36. Sue Dade Avatar
    Sue Dade

    What can be done when your body makes a lot of acid

    do eat yoghurt greek and fruit salads etc

  37. Etienne L. Capiaux Avatar
    Etienne L. Capiaux

    I am printing this and keeping it in the kitchen, handy to add to dishes. Thank you

  38. Jill Avatar

    I just happen to have each of these herbs in my essential oil collection. What are your thoughts about that?

  39. john Avatar

    I enjoy all the e-mails referring to health, they are so basic but you deliver them with a freshness and a credibility, thank you and keep them coming. Isn’t it all about a healthy lifestyle anyway? Thanks again!

  40. Kimberly Avatar

    Do dried herbs have comparable benefits to fresh?!

  41. RUSS Avatar


  42. Nori Avatar

    Love your website. I’ve been taking all of those herbs in a oil form from Young living oils and they have totally helped me. And they taste good. If you can’t tolerate them in your stomach put them on the bottom of your feet they work the same just remembered to dilute them with olive oil or coconut oil 6 drops to one drop carrier oil to your Young living oil or oils of your choice. Good luck stay healthy.

  43. Gillian D Avatar
    Gillian D

    Hi. Quite informative I will be trying some of these. Thanks. However, I notice that not once the ‘good old’ garlic wasn’t mentioned.

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