SEARCH

Metroplus » Food

Updated: September 10, 2009 20:41 IST

Know your herbs

print   ·   T  T  
Namita Jain
Namita Jain

Herbs can help remedy a range of ailments from cold to rheumatism. They also lend a special flavour and aroma to food.

Herbs are leaves of aromatic plants, rich in nutrients and minerals. They are also used for medicinal purposes and sold over-the-counter as remedies for colds, flu, coughs, throat infections, rheumatic ailments and pain.

Adding flavour to food

Herbs are the perfect way to add flavour to food. Often used as seasonings, they can reduce reliance on salt. Use them to give subtle or strong accents to soups, sauces, raitas, stews, casseroles, vegetables and cereals.

Aroma is a good indicator of quality in both fresh and dried herbs. Crumbling a few leaves can test the scent of herbs. A weak or stale aroma indicates old, less potent herbs.

BASIL

Key nutrients: vitamin A and C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium.

Benefits

Basil helps treat headaches, dizziness, vertigo, stomach cramps, nausea and constipation. Basil oil is used to treat insect bites and minor cuts.

Did you know?

Basil has wonderful medicinal properties. An infusion of the leaves is a quick home remedy for bronchitis and colds.

BAY LEAF

Key nutrients: calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin A, B, C and E.

Benefits

Bay leaves are used to treat migraines, stress and anxiety. They also improve digestion and help detoxify the system.

Interesting fact

Bay leaf oil is antibacterial. To repel household pests naturally, spread some crushed leaves in the kitchen cupboards.

CORRIANDER LEAVES

Key nutrients: vitamin A, B and C, iron, calcium, zinc

Benefits

Coriander leaves are diuretic, and help detoxify the system. They also help improve quality of blood, lower cholesterol levels and improve the eyesight.

MINT

Key nutrients: Calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin A, C and E.

Benefits

Mint is used as a treatment for indigestion, colic, heartburn and flatulence. It also can stimulate the appetite and cure nausea and headaches. Peppermint tea can help soothe a dry throat.

Interesting fact

Mint oil is used in throat lozenges and ointments for headaches.

Mint is also used to flavor mouthwash and toothpaste.

DILL

Key nutrients: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium vitamin A, C and E

Benefits

Dill is used to treat colic, flatulence and indigestion. It is an effective appetite stimulant and helps stimulate milk in nursing mothers.

PARSLEY

Key nutrients: vitamin C, chlorophyll, calcium, sodium, and magnesium, iron.

Benefits

Parsley improves digestion, blood quality and lowers blood pressure. It is also a treatment for anemia.

OREGANO

Key nutrients: calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, manganese vitamin A and C.

Benefits

Oregano has powerful antioxidant and anticancer properties. It aids digestion, helps to get rid of intestinal parasites, treats nausea and diarrhea.

Note: If you are ill or under medication, consult your doctor for your nutritional requirements.

More In: Food | Metroplus | Health | Sci-Tech

The versatile poha adapts itself to a South Indian favourite- vadai »

The seeds and leaves of this Mediterranean native are part of our cuisine for good reason. »

Six simple steps to a crunchy, yet chewy, rich cookie. »

A sour and spicy affair from the stable of South Indian cuisine »

Latest in this section

O
P
E
N

close

Recent Article in Food

Pritha Sen and her dishes served at the recently Goalondo Steamer food festival in Gurgaon

Gaining steam, moving ahead

We live in interesting times. If you are a good cook and want to showcase your food, you don’t have to run or own a restaurant or a cater... »