Powerful Anti-Oxidant Herbs
by Purple Herbal
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have found that many common culinary herbs have more anti-oxidant properties than fruits and vegetables. Anti-oxidants work to neutralize free radicals, which come from pollution or toxins like pesticides and insecticides. This prevents disease and slows down the aging process.
Consequently, using herbs to flavor our food not only gives it a great taste, but, as this study shows, keeps us incredibly healthy. Blueberries and carrots have nothing on these herbs!
In the study, dried herbs were shown to be not as effective as fresh ones. Thankfully, all of the herbs listed as high in anti-oxidants can easily be grown in an herb or container garden. Otherwise, they can be found fresh in your local supermarket.
Oregano was found to have the most powerful anti-oxidant properties of any herb. Known best as a spice used in Italian cooking, it has shown to have anti-microbial properties. Contrary to most herbs, oregano can actually have a stronger flavor when it is dried.
Dill has a flavor similar to fennel. It is commonly used in fish dishes, soups, and to make pickles. Add some to mayonnaise with lemon juice for a creamy dill sauce. Helps to soothe stomachs and relieve gas. Also freshens breath.
When in doubt as to what spice to use, use thyme! It has a strong flavor, but does not overpower. Ancient Greeks believed using thyme gave them courage. Medicinally, thyme is used for respiratory infections and works as an anti-bacterial agent in all-natural mouthwashes and hand sanitizers.
Rosemary is used primarily in Mediterranean cuisine, and is extremely aromatic. It is thought to improve the memory and have anti-carcinogenic properties.
The leaves of the coriander plant are known as cilantro. The seeds are commonly known as coriander in the United States. The flavor of coriander is reminiscent of lemon or citrus. Has anti-anxiety properties. Also is used for insomnia in herbal medicine.
Peppermint is one of the oldest herbal medicines. Commonly used as a tea. The oil is used to flavor ice cream, gum, and toothpaste. Has been shown to help relieve IBS. Helps relieve insomnia.
Medicinal herbs, without any culinary use, with highest anti-oxidant properties were found to be St. John’s Wort, Wormwood, and Madagascar Periwinkle.