Growing herbs at home is a fun, money-saving hobby that also happens to be good for your health. In addition to flavoring up your favorite dishes, herbs are filled with antioxidants and essential nutrients.
Half of the nutritional value of plants is lost within thirty minutes of harvesting. When you grow your own herbs you can use what you need at the moment by harvesting small amounts, fresh from the plant.
Here we break down 20 of the healthiest herbs:
This pretty, aromatic herb contains compounds, such as carnosic acid, that have been shown to fight cancer cells. What’s more, the smell of rosemary may even improve your memory. In a recent study from the University of Northumbria, in the UK, people performed better on various memory tasks if rosemary scent was pumped into the room.
Good for cancer patients and also a diuretic with a lot of vitamin C for fighting UTIs.
Thyme has long been used as an herbal remedy for respiratory problems such as bronchitis, and it also has antiseptic properties. (Thymol, one of the compounds it contains, is a key ingredient in Listerine.) Even better, thyme is virtually calorie-free and provides a delicious boost of flavor to soups, salads, and just about any other recipe you can think of, even champagne!
Lavender isn’t just a pretty plant; it’s also packed with health benefits. Its fragrance is soothing (helping you to fall asleep), and it contains antioxidants known as polyphenols that fight belly bloating.
For migraines, skin issues, arthritis too, chew the leaves of feverfew.
Basil is known to calm nerves, is a good source of fiber, and has a detoxifying effect on the liver. (Out late partying? Try incorporating basil into your brunch!) Basil oil has also been found to help clear skin blemishes, thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory activity. A little basil goes a long way.
Great herb for better immunity and healing speed. It also stops some cancer types.
Don’t leave this common garnish sitting on the side of your plate! Parsley is full of nutrients. It contains vitamins A and C, and just one tablespoon offers more than half of your recommended daily intake of vitamin K, a nutrient that’s essential for healthy blood.
Remove stress, sleep more and better, and cure the cold sores.
Many beauty products include sage on their ingredient lists, and it’s no wonder: Sage has antiseptic and antioxidant properties, which can help in the fight against early aging—a bonus for any beauty product. Sage has also been used as a natural remedy for anxiety and fatigue, and is thought to be a memory enhancer.
To remove acne and sun spots, use this.
A staple of Mexican and Asian cuisines, cilantro supplies fiber and iron and helps clear heavy metals from your body. “Our body mistakes heavy metals for nutrients,” Hetrich says. “Cilantro attaches itself to mercury, lead, and other toxic heavy metals and draws them out of your tissues.”
Loads of vitamin, C, B and minerals like potassium and iron, all good for digestion.
This tasty herb—part of the onion family—can help boost your immune system. Multiple studies even suggest that eating allium vegetables, a category that includes garlic and scallions in addition to chives, is associated with a lower risk of developing certain cancers, including those of the prostate, stomach, and breast.
This flavorful herb isn’t just for pickles! It’s a great source of antioxidants (such as beta-carotene), and is also said to cure hiccups. Next time you get the hiccups, mix a teaspoon of dill leaf with a cup of boiled water, strain out the leaves, and drink the liquid slowly.
Many antioxidants are packed in this herb and skin heals faster and looks better too.
For the flu, grab this herb!
Also removes bad breath and even soothes irritated belly.
Mint is a rich source of vitamin A, providing more than half of your recommended daily intake in just two tablespoons. In addition, Hetrich says, “mint is good for the breath, digestion, nausea, headaches, respiratory disorders, asthma, pimples, [and] cavities.” Need another reason to use this herb? A recent study found that essential oils in peppermint have a positive effect on exercise performance, respiratory rate, and blood pressure.