Usually we use culinary herbs as useful tastings. They complete flavor profiles, add complexity to basic dishes merge with other herbs to form flavor compounds that cannot be replicated with any other combination. It is used with a subtle expert hand, simply gives an incredible taste to the taste. Food like most of the seemingly inconsequential things we have been adding to food for thousands of years, it also happens to have some important health benefits.

Common Herbs

Rosemary goes well with dishes of potatoes and poultry. What is good about rosemary, besides flavor? Rosemary infused olive oil has the highest resistance to oxidative damage and rancidity, overcoming herbs like thyme, lemon and basil (though both thyme and lemon improves stability). In healthy volunteers, oral extract of rosemary improves endothelial dysfunction. Rosemary extract also improved the oxidative stability of butter, and inhibits the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines (a potential carcinogen) in fried meats.

Thyme could prevent oxidative damage to corn oil when fried. Sure, you should not use corn oil, but that same lipid stabilizer probably works great for butter, for example. For those who enjoy the classic flavor of rosemary with thyme and garlic in their lamb, they benefit from increased oxidative stability, lower bacterial counts and, better color and flavor.

Sage is not appreciated enough. Brits have always used it in their kitchen, and probably used it for stuffing chicken or turkey, but that is it. You only need a couple of sheets, which can mean that the bouquet you bought in the market ends up in the trash. One solution is to grow your own sage. Another is to grind it with a little oil and put it to freeze in ice molds or dry the bouquet in paper bags in a closet. Either way, it is worth its use for poultry dishes and fatty cuts of meat.

In one study, people who drank sage tea for several weeks were able to regulate endogenous antioxidant defenses and improve lipid profile. Perhaps most interestingly, sage extract improves memory and attention in healthy older subjects. It also seems to work on memory in younger, healthy subjects.

Everyone likes something about mint. They may hate the classic green mint, but love mint (a hybrid of peppermint and aqua mint). They may hate the taste, but I love the smell (or vice versa). As for its health benefits, peppermint oil was more effective than placebo for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, and was as effective as pharmaceutical treatments.

Thai cooks sometimes fry it. It is one of those herbs with a taste so different that its use is very limited. That is you cannot simply add the basil to everything and expect the dish to taste good but when it works it is a thing of beauty. The good thing about the basil is that it freezes well so you do not have to worry about wasting it.

In hypertensive rats, basil lowers blood pressure. In diabetics, basil reduced postprandial and fasting blood glucose levels. In addition, as usual with herbs, basil has attributes of protection against oxidation of fatty acids.

Oregano is a strange herb in which its dry form imparts a more powerful flavor than fresh leaves. It works very well, and retains most of its antioxidant capacity, even when dry. It also has an impressive antioxidant capacity, which is its ability to reduce the formation of carcinogenic compounds when added to food. Levels were also reduced in plasma and urine samples taken from those who ate the meat with oregano.