A sprinkle of this and a pinch of that! Herbs can jazz up any dish or drink you make. Not only do these herbs have strong curative properties, but they also can be used for cooking; a double whammy!

Use them fresh or dried, and add them at the last step since they’re delicately flavored. Be careful not to add too much, though, or the herbs will overpower your masterpiece. When cooking with herbs, be adventurous! Sometimes it might take a little trial and error until you find the herbal mix you like with different types of dishes.

Here’s a guide to some prominent, widely used herbs.


Turmeric provides strong health benefits, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This herb works to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and throughout the body. Add turmeric to eggs, soups, rice, use it to make tea and much more. Even incorporating just a pinch of turmeric will give your dish beautiful color, rich taste and incredible health benefits.

Ginger Root

If you’ve ever reached for ginger ale when you were feeling nauseous, you know that ginger is one of the best herbs for soothing an upset stomach and nausea. Make a carrot ginger soup or an herbal tea to add a nice flavor of “coziness” to your food. Plus, ginger is an excellent compliment to many Asian and Indian dishes!


Basil leaves have antibacterial and antioxidant advantages, helping you maintain healthy skin, boost digestion and speed up detoxification. Make basil pesto or use its leaves as a garnish for pizzas, pastas and more. Or chop it up and throw it on top of your favorite salad or side dish for a more robust flavor profile.


If you’re looking for an herb that can reduce your risk of heart disease, seizures and diabetes, look no further than cilantro! Cilantro has high antimicrobial benefits and pairs with practically any dish. It’s simple to top off a meal with some fresh cilantro for a nice citrus flavor, as long as your taste buds agree! Many Hispanic dishes and Indian dishes are enhanced with cilantro, and it’s perfect to freshen up a salad, too!


Like many other herbs, rosemary has been used in traditional medicine for centuries and can promote hair growth as well as relieve stress, anxiety, inflammation and respiratory problems. With a strong scent of lemon and pine, rosemary is commonly paired with meats, tomato sauces, potatoes and soups. This is because the herb brings a strong flavor but relaxing aroma.


A good source of antioxidants and Vitamin A, mint is beneficial for eye health. Plus, with its dynamic flavor, mint can be added to recipes in small amounts to add a cooling sensation in foods and beverages. Try using mint in your tea, salad dressings and desserts.


Sage belongs to the mint family and packs a hearty punch of Vitamin K, magnesium, zinc, copper and more essential nutrients. Research has also shown that sage may help lower blood sugar levels and support brain health. Try this aromatic, earthy flavor in meat marinades, compound butters, pastries and breads.

These are just a few of the many herbs that carry a variety of health benefits. Try incorporating herbs into your next meal to make it extra fresh and healthy!

Not a member?
Join for FREE!

Enjoy encouraging, motivating, uplifting content created just for women like you, all from the health care name you trust: Franciscan Health.