All plants are good for you. We know how good fruit and veg is for us but what about herbs? Aren’t they just for garnish? Actually no! Herbs truly deserve a place on our plate. Not only do they taste fabulous, but they also have unique health benefits. Lets find out a bit more about them.
Note- I’m going to keep adding to this blog. Every time I find new things out about herbs it will continue to grow. Much like my herb garden!
Thyme is native to the Mediterranean. It plays a huge part in the Mediterranean diet which, we all know, is very beneficial to health in general. It is a familiar plant in herb gardens and can be purchased from supermarkets and farm shops both as a growing plant and ready cut.
I’ve just planted 7 different varieties of thyme in my herb garden – mainly so I can say to people that I have ‘all the thyme in the world’ but there are actually thousands of different varieties so I’ve got a long way to go!
Thyme is very versatile to use. It can be used to flavour soups & stews and is great to use as a seasoning when roasting a chicken (stuff the chicken with half an onion, garlic cloves, a lemon and a big handful of thyme).
Thyme is quite a woody, aromatic herb with a really strong flavour, so it’s best cooked with food to infuse it with flavour.
You can also take thyme supplements in capsule form or make it into a tea as you’ll see below.
Health benefits of Thyme
Thyme is packed with vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, iron, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. These are all great immune boosters so they help to prevent colds, flus, and other illnesses.
Cough & Sore Throat Remedy
The essential oils in thyme can help coughs and sore throats caused by bronchitis, cold, and flu. The best way to use thyme as a cough and sore throat remedy is to brew it into a tea. Steep fresh or dried thyme leaves in boiling water for a few minutes, add some honey or maple syrup for extra soothing and sip it to soothe a scratchy throat or nagging cough.
Reduce Inflammation & Promote Healing
Thyme is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiseptic which is probably why it has long been used to help heal cuts, bruises, and scrapes. It’s also great for helping acne or spot prone skin. Products that contain thyme can be applied topically to help speed up the healing process, and consuming thyme helps reduce inflammation in the body.
Health benefits of parsley
* Gram for gram parsley has more vitamin C in than any fruit in the world.
* Chewing a sprig of parsley can eliminate bad breath – which is why garlic bread has flecks of parsley in it. It’s also why there’s sometimes a parsley garnish on food in restaurants so you can chew it after the meal – tho I’d rather have an after dinner mint myself!
* Parsley comes from the same family as the carrot and has a long taproot much like a very skinny carrot!
* There are two types of parsley, curly and flat leaved. The flat stuff is mainly used for cooking and the curly stuff is used for garnishes – although I tend to use both for food, I’m not much of a garnish person!
* Parsley is packed with vitamin K which is essential for blood clotting and bone health.
* It’s also high in vitamin B9 or Folate to give it its common name. High intakes of folate may reduce cardiac disease risks. The highest intake of folate was associated with a 38% reduced risk of heart disease.
* It’s rich in lutein and zeaxanthin which are nutrients that help protect your eyes. These nutrients can help to ward off the onset of Macular Degeneration.
* Parsley works as a powerful natural diuretic and can help reduce bloating and blood pressure.