9 Healing Herbs to Cook With

By Sara Novak, Planet Green

We’ve been told time and time again to eat our veggies but more often than not we tend to forget that herbs can be just as crucial for adding nutritional density to the foods we eat and even better, they add tons of flavor to all our favorite recipes.

If you’re a big fan of herbs then you know that they can be pricey so it’s best to grow your own whenever possible and it’s pretty simple.

Here are some of nature’s most healthy herbs. They make us feel good from the inside out from calming our nerves to settling our stomachs. If you’re not sure how to cook with them, we’ve got that covered too, with delicious recipes and techniques for putting your favorite herbs to good use.

9 Healing Herbs (Recipes Included)

1. Basil

Chefs the world over love basil and nutritionists agree. Basil is rich in flavonoids which prevent cell damage from both radiation and oxygen. Two of the main flavonoids are orientin and vicenin. Basil also provides vitamin K, iron, calcium, vitamin A, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C, and potassium.

Heirloom, Mozzarella, and Fresh Pesto Stacks

Homemade Spinach Fettuccini with Pesto and Goat Cheese

2. Ginger

Historically, ginger is known for being very effective for an upset stomach as well as nausea. Its antiviral components make it good for prevention and treatment of the common cold.

Tan Tan Noodles

Homemade Ginger Beer

3. Garlic

Studies have shown that garlic’s powerful antioxidants are great for preventing damaging free radicals as well as protecting against heart disease. It’s known to powerfully reduce high blood pressure as well.

Eggplant Bruschetta with Roasted Garlic

Garlic and Sage Spaghetti Squash

4. Flat Leaf Parsley

Parsley is rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. These components are good for controlling blood cholesterol levels and preventing constipation. It’s also rich in antioxidants, specifically apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin. In fact, it’s known for having some of the highest levels of antioxidants.

Crispy Chickpeas with Parsley

Green Lentil Salad

5. Cilantro

Cilantro is known for its ability to pull toxins from the body. Often times when you’re doing a fast, you use cilantro atop your kitchari to remove pesticides and insectides from your system consumed from the non-organic foods that you eat.


Chinese Five Spice Tofu Atop Seasonal Vegetables

6. Turmeric

A study reported on the BBC found that turmeric kills cancer cells. Tests released by a team at the Cork Cancer Research Centre show turmeric can destroy gullet cancer cells in the lab within 24 hours. That’s no small deal. Now the question is, are you getting your fill?

Rice Pilaf with Fresh Turmeric

Coconut Thai Rice Curry

7. Mint

The strong aroma of mint is very effective at providing relief in respiratory disorders resulting from asthma and colds. Mint is also good for promoting digestion so it’s ideal to eat before a meal.

Eggplant with Mint and Capers

Roasted Beets with Lemon, Mint, and Cilantro

8. Fenugreek

Fenugreek is an herb that is commonly used in the Mediterranean region of the world. It’s a good herb to reduce menstrual cramps, cholesterol, menopause symptoms, and help control diabetes.

Makhani Murgh (Butter Chicken)

Fenugreek Tea Recipe

9. Lavender

Lavender can calm your nerves and help with insomnia. It’s effective on bruises, insect bites, and is a disinfectant. The scent relaxes the body and mind so it’s great to enjoy if your nerves are frazzled or you’re having trouble getting to sleep.

Lavender Honey Infused Vodka

Homemade Lavender Sea Salt

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Mac C.
mac C.9 months ago

This is great information to have. I love to use herbs to cook with. Thank you.

Julia R.
Julia R.about a year ago

Great article! I love all of these herbs and the recipes look divine especially the Thai rice curry and the eggplant dishes with garlic and basil! Thank you!

Daniela Schneider
danny sch2 years ago

thanks for sharing

Lynn C.
Lynn C.2 years ago


Wendy G.
Wendy G.2 years ago

I love my herb garden, and would recommend everyone has a small pot or two of standard herbs in their home or apartment.

Harriet Brown
Harriet Brown2 years ago

thank you. great suggestions

Winn Adams
Winn Adams2 years ago


Mary T.
Mary T.2 years ago

thanks for the information