The Ultimate 101 Guide on Herbs & Their Health Benefits

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In Medieval times, rosemary was used as an all-purpose medicine; mint was believed to treat stomach aches, while the Melissa herb, more specifically the Melissa essential oil, was considered to be a cure against melancholy. Today, we use all these herbs in our kitchen and many more, to enhance or improve the taste of our food.

But herbs are not simply garnish. They have some amazing health benefits that we can often times overlook. In fact, we should incorporate them into our nutrition, beverages, supplements and cosmetics. Now if you’re new to herbs and their medicinal properties than you may be wondering what the benefits are, which is why we have created a guide to give you the 101 on herbs, and how you can use them to encourage a healthier lifestyle.

What are herbs and herbal combinations?

Herbs are plants with distinct flavor, scent and medicinal or some other properties. The culinary and medicinal values of herbs are many, and each has its own unique purpose. Putting two or more herbs together with the aim of treating one problem is called herbal combination. Compared to a single herb used to treat a health issue, herbal combinations are making sure that the body heals faster and more efficiently.

Health benefits of herbs

Did you know that a lot of herbs and spices you already have in your kitchen have numerous health benefits you can exploit? Here are some of them:

  • Strengthening the immune system: Herbs are rich in nutrient substances (vitamins, essential oils, antioxidants…) that help your body fight off germs and toxins and boost your immunity.
  • Reducing cholesterol and blood sugar levels: Some herbs like licorice and fenugreek can lower the cholesterol levels, while others like cayenne pepper can stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: They’re excellent natural remedies for inflammation.
  • Cancer-fighting abilities: Not only are they useful when it comes to preventing cancer and treating its symptoms, some herbs can also soothe the after-effects of chemotherapy.
  • Skin care: Herbs like aloe vera, turmeric and neem can guarantee you radiant and healthy skin. Even the beauty industry has embraced the benefits of herbs, and began to incorporate them in skincare products. Many moisturizers in particular, now contain aloe vera.
  • Hair care: Jojoba oil stimulates hair growth; chamomile tea can lighten your hair and aloe vera soothes the scalp… These are just some of the ways your hair can benefit from herbs.
  • Dental care: Herbal toothpastes are cleaning your teeth and nourishing your gums, but even using some raw herbs can have pretty good results; e.g. rubbing sage leaves on teeth and gums is an instant cleanser.

How to use herbs and spices?

Now that you know everything these plants can do for you, you must ask yourself: how can I consume more of them? Well, it’ simple. Some easy-to-find spices, like mint which is good for alleviating nausea and oregano. Other uses include mproving congestion, as well as being  flavor enhancers in our food (it is best to plant them and use them raw). And others, like Siberian ginseng are used to prevent colds and increase energy. This can usually be bought in the form of healthy Biocare products and other herbal combinations.

Teas, such as chamomile and mint can also do wonders for your health. If you would like to “naturalize” your beauty routine, you should not only look for organic beauty products containing healing herbs, but also use herbs in their fresh form to make face masks (e.g. cinnamon + honey), face washes (e.g. basil leaves + distilled water), and other nourishing products.

  • Great post. We use a lot of herbs in cooking and try to grow some in our garden for best results!

  • Robin Rue

    We cook with herbs a lot, but I had no idea about any health benefits. Now I will use them even more.

  • I use herbs quite a bit. I have found that tea baths work wonders for my and my back when combined with epson salt. I get good results from lavender leaves as well.

  • Jessica Taylor

    I’ve heard a lot about the benefits of using herbal teas, but never had the chance to try it. I wonder if I can find a flavor that isn’t so bitter?

  • Interesting! I’m trying to eat and be a little healthier so this is perfect for me RN

  • Joanna

    Interesting we use herbs alot in cooking however didn’t realise they had many benefits. I even use chamomile tea to make my own spray for homemade nappy wipes.

  • hal

    This was so helpful to me – I’m not into herbs at all really but I want to be!

  • Candy Kage

    We grow many different herbs and love to use them fresh and dehydrated. Fresh tea is always a winner.

  • I love herbs but always forget to use them. They are multi beneficial and I really should make more effort to remember why I love them!

  • xclusivefashionmeets

    I have some ideas of herbs but you have given a brief list of it, it will help us. Thanks for sharing 😊

  • Nicola @ Happy Healthy Motivat

    I use herbs in every meal but I never knew how many health benefits they had!

  • Neely

    We use a lot of herbs and Im so glad I read this! Sending to my hubs!

  • Allison Lancaster

    This is awesome! I have started using more natural products lately so this is great.

  • tara pittman

    It is so amazing the power of herbs. My ten year old was just talking about how people use to use herbs for medicine long ago.

  • Brandi Crawford

    I love these benefits. I need to use herbs especially for anti-inflammatory.

  • This is so cool. I’ve always enjoyed herbs. I drink a lot of tea and I LOVE mint.

  • Tiara Wilson

    I’ve always been told that herbs are absolutely amazing for our health. I am not a big person in knowing the different spices/herbs though. I need to start learning how to benefit my body better, without medicines though.

  • AdventureDawgs

    I love this post. I’m really into historical things and this is definitely along those lines. I think they had the right idea to use natural healing substances. They were just off on the lack of hand washing and the leaches lol. Thanks for sharing. I love herbs and can’t wait to experiment.

  • Ashvin Nankoo

    I love my Aloe vera. I suffer with breakout something and the aloe soothes it and keep my skin clear. It is better than these drugs to keep the spots at bay.

  • Betty Boiron

    I absolutely love using herbs in cooking. We grow a bunch of them right in our backyard!

  • Pooja Krishna

    Totally agree with you. Fresh herbs in food and where possible, taken medicinally are awesome!

  • i love learning about all kinds of herbs and spices. it is really fun to grow them too!

  • Ophelia Tang

    I love herbs and spices and I love growing them as well! This is awesome!

    XOXO //

  • I had no idea herbs can have such great benefits. I use so many of them I guess I should learn more about them all.

  • Kisa ‘Yuki’ Johnson

    I had no idea about so many of these! I’ve got to say I do love using Turmeric to help with swelling and pain. I don’t like drinking most teas, is there a way to use teas without drinking them? Or a way to make them not taste like warm grass water? 😛

  • Maro Akamatra

    I am fortunate because I am Greek and our mountains have every herb you can think of! I know a little bit about using them too and it comes handy since I am on a fasting diet.

  • This is a helpful guide. I love learning about herbs and spices. xx

  • Anosa Malanga VA

    So many informations and I learned a lot from it. Thanks for sharing this. So glad I came over this post.

  • Maria Criselda Maquiling

    I use turmeric a lot! I use the powder as mask and to spot treat acne by mixing it with honey. Acne away! My other friend used it on her loose belly skin while wrapping it with cling wrap to tighten loose post partum skin. It actually worked! I’ve tried drinking the fresh version by adding it to my green smoothies. Totally failed on this one because fresh turmeric tastes like soil.

  • David Elliott

    I know those herbs can be amazing and have all sorts of amazing properties. I really need to use them more in my cooking. They season things naturally.

  • I didn’t know there were so many benefits of herbs. I’m going to try the sage today and see how it works on my pearly whites.

  • mark and kate

    Great post! will try those when I cook 🙂

  • I LOVE my herb garden- it keeps me sane in the summer. I also make it work real hard because my kitchen is always in need of its goodies!

  • D Silva

    I didn’t realise there were so many benefits to using these herbs. Thanks for the article.

  • I’ve always been into trying anything that will help these curls. It’s not easy… My mom used to apply jojoba oil to my hair and it worked wonders on it!

  • Ave T

    I love herbs! We even have a tiny balcony garden so we can grow our own herbs! I did not know that they had so many health benefits, though!

  • I’ve been wanting to learn more about herbs. I used mint to help me with my morning sickness and it really worked out well.

  • erin fesperman

    I am kicked myself for not starting a seed garden last year but you best believe I did one this year! There is nothing better than having fresh herbs for both culinary and medicinal purposes!

  • Such great info! I like to incorporate herbs and spices in my everyday cooking. I didn’t know that basil leaves can be used as facial wash. I’m intrigued to try it. Thanks!

  • kioandlew

    this is just great. I love experimenting with what I cook and most of the times, herbs and spices can just do the trick. They have saved my cooking a million times already. Thank you for sharing this great post.

  • Alison Rost

    Great post! Especially with summer when so many of us will have fresh herbs in our gardens. I didn’t realize using chamomile tea would lighten my hair. That one I’m excited to try!

  • Megan

    I love natural remedies and herbs are so vital to that. So much junk in our products and people wonder why we are so sick.

  • Enricoh Alfonzo Naidu

    WOW! what an insightful and helpful post. I love natural remedies and herbs are so vital to that.

  • Annemarie LeBlanc

    My husband can attest to the power of turmeric. It helps relieve him of his pain. We grate about an inch of the root and boil it with water. We drink it as a tea, add a little honey to offset the earthy taste.

  • Leigh Anne Borders

    I never really realized all the benefits associated with these herbs. This is very useful.

  • Kimberly @ Berly’s Kitchen

    Love learning about herbs. Mint is wonderful, as well as turmeric. 🙂

  • Such a great read. Thanks so much for sharing all this information, a lot of it I already knew but some was new.

  • Marceline Dementori

    There are so much that herbs can do when it comes to improving our health. I think it’s amazing to be able to use it as much as we can. This is definitely an awesome guide!

  • I’ve heard so many things about different herbs and their uses and I think it would be nice to finally be able to distinguish which ones to use for an ailment. This is definitely the guide that people need!

  • Missy Nolan

    Herbs are amazing. We use them often.

  • Leo T. Ly

    When it comes to herb, I usually think of spices and tea. I rarely thought of the medicinal properties. Now it’s time to fine some cholesterol lowering herbs.

  • Great list with lots of stuff I wasn’t sure about… Thanks for the info!

  • Great stuff!! This is very useful and informative! Helpful guide 😉 This is awesome!!

  • Crystal Gareau

    This is an interesting and informative read.

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