There are so many different herbs you can use for cooking and medicinally. When you begin to cook with herbs, your creations will taste better, and you may even look forward to eating your veggies!
Here are a few to start with:
Turmeric is one of the most popular in Asian cooking. It has a unique deep yellow color. Medicinally, it is regarded as a liver tonic and helps provide relief from digestive problems.
It can help with circulation due to its anti-inflammatory effects. I love it on my steamed veggies with some curry too! It makes your veggies look a deep yellow color which is nice to look at on your plate. Plus it smells and tastes delicious.
Wild Turmeric is known in traditional Chinese medicine as yu jin. This improves the digestion when taken medicinally, but not used in cooking.
Pepper- one of the most valuable spices of all! This is universally used in cooking. Medicinally , pepper is featured in Western medicine, Ayurvedic practice and in Chinese medicine.
Black and white peppercorns give flavor to a large range of dishes, meats, sauces, dressings and food coating.
Chinese practitioners and in Ayuvedic medicine, it used it to deal with stomach chills and food poisoning.
Mustard is a pungent, warming spice. Medicinally it is said to stimulate both the digestive and circulatory systems. Commercially, American mustard is made from ground white seeds. English (hot) mustard is made from black and white seeds. French mustard is based on brown seeds. Mustard leaves and flowers can be used for cooking.
Agave- Mustard Dressing: I make a simple dressing from prepared mustard:
2 teapooons prepared yellow mustard ( you can use just about any kind, I like spicy mustard!)
I add 1 tespoon Agave, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar.
Shake it up, and you have a great dressing for your salads. If you like it thicker, add more mustard.
Thyme- there are many varieties. Lemon thyme is rich in essential oils and a powerful antiseptic.
Lemon thyme has a strong lemon scent. All varieties are rich in essential oils, consisting of thymol. Thyme is an essential ingredient of bouquet garni, and is featured in the recipes of many classic French dishes.
Medicinally, Thyme is used to relieve indigestion, gastritis and diarrhea. The thymol that is extracted from the herb is used in mouthwashes and toothpaste.
Mint- The mint family includes many species such as spearmint, gingermint, peppermint which can be used fresh in fruit salads. The most popular mints are spearmint and peppermint. Medicinally, this herb is thought to ease many complaints. It can relieve indigestion, gas, hiccups and colic. I love mint tea. It is great in the morning or late afternoon when you need a pick me up!
Taken in part from:Dries, J & Dries, I ( 2004) The Food Combining Bible. The Complete Guide to Using the Hay Diet for Digestive Health and a Balanced Approach to Weight Loss. Hammersmith, London. Thorson.