Creating habits and patterns of Health & Wellness are closer than you think. You can literally participate in transforming your Well-being in your own kitchen. When my journey to wellness started, I thought it would be so hard to make changes because I had built up such an addiction to food. But once I looked at the basics that I consumed daily and learned about their individual benefits, it was easy to create a successful meal and menu plan of action. In this post, I’ll share with you those basics, my herbs of choice that I use in preparing most of not all of my meals daily, for myself and my family.
Ginger, Zingiber officinale, is a flowering plant whose root or rhizome as it is known is a kitchen herb that has a variety of uses and benefits. It can be used in beverages, soups, salads and even baked goods. It is great for reducing inflammation and what I call puffiness in the body. It can increase the body’s elimination process, supporting gut and digestion health. It’s also great for reducing feelings of nauseation and bloating. My favorite way to use it is in my daily teas. By just adding a 1/2 teaspoon of Ginger root powder to 8 ounces of water, it is transformed into a cup of healing goodness in maintaining physical wellness.
Bay Leaf or Bay laurel also called Laurus nobilis, has been used in many cultural dishes for generations. It has enhanced the flavor of hot cereals, stews and soups. It is not known for its efficacy in supporting a healthy lifestyle. But this leaf also supports the reduction of inflammation in the body. This is done primarily by increasing the body’s sweat function. Although it’s not a glamorous thing, sweating is used to rid the body of toxins and other unwanted visitors. It is used presently in my kitchen as an accompaniment in my tea blends, soups and stews. I add just 1 leaf to my cup and other dishes at least once a week.
Sage leaf also called Salvia officinalis is a member of the mint family. It’s more than a space cleansing tool. It can be used in soups, salads and stews. But it can also support hormonal balance for women experiencing menopause. It reduces bacteria in the mouth and freshens the breath when chewed. I add a few chopped leaves to my salads, stews and soups at least 2 times a week to support alertness and calm.
Rosemary known as Rosemarinus officinalis is also a member of the mint family. It has been used to increase the aromatic flavor of many foods, mostly Mediterranean. But it is a great benefit to the body as a mood stabilizer and digestive aid. It can be used in many dishes, but those with diabetic conditions should use caution with adding it to their menu planning routine. I use it in many salads, soups, stews and occasional oil diffusing to freshen the air of my dwelling space.
Thyme called Thymus vulgaris is another member of the mint family also traditionally used in many Mediterranean dishes. It can reduces inflammation in the body also. Its immune and mood boosting, internal disinfecting properties make it more appealing for everyday use. I add it to my soups, stews and sometimes even my teas.
Parsley leaf, Petroselinum crispum is another herb used in many Mediterranean dishes. It’s health benefits include reducing inflammation, oxidation and bone strength. And it contains the nutrient Vitamin C that the body also needs for overall health. It can be used in more than salads, stews and soups. I sometimes add it to my weekly baths supporting reduced oxidation on my skin.
Cilantro is another flowering leaf of the herb coriander, Coriandrum sativum, used in many traditional Mediterranean dishes. It is used similarly as parsley in salads, stews, soups and pasta meals. More recently used in condiments such as salsa and even chutney, it is an acquired taste. It is great for reducing joint inflammation and water retention in the body. I include it in combination with parsley, sage and basil in my salad dishes.
Basil also known as Ocimum basilicum. It is used in traditional Mediterranean dishes. It is also a member of the mint family. The most commonly available variety is called Sweet Basil. It reduces inflammation, gut health and supports a balanced mood in response to stress. I use it in most of my salads and stews weekly.
Garlic also called Allium sativum, is a member of the onion family used for its aromatic properties. Most of the plant is edible. It’s pungency enhances the flavor of many foods. Its health benefits are increased when consumed raw, chewed, crushed or chopped. Although it can be beneficial to many, use caution if you are allergic to garlic or have a bleeding condition. I add it at least once a week to my salads or soups and stews.
Onion is a flowering vegetable plant included in the Allium family of herbs. Most of the plant is edible. It is used in many traditional and cultural dishes worldwide. It can be eaten raw and cooked. It supports heart health, inflammation reduction and bone strength. Onions support good gut health and digestion. I add them to my salads, soups, stews and even my dehydrated dishes made in the dehydrator.
All of the herbs mentioned in this post support the body in combatting inflammation. They also can balance mood and well-being. They can be used in combination or individually. They also can be used try or fresh. Most if not all are packed full of nutrients that the body needs to stay healthy. I love to try new ways to include them in my menus and meals. How often have you used any of these herbs in your culinary creations? Are there herbs you currently use that help with your wellness routine? let me know some of your favorites that you use.