Cooking herbs can be more than tasty

Most herbs are weeds, which is the source of their power. They can survive in all soil and air temperatures. Some, like mint, can spread quickly, taking over your garden, so they’re best grown in a container. Most herbs are easy to grow, care-free, and will come back every spring. Many culinary herbs also have medicinal properties.

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I always encourage my patients to grow their own herbs for culinary purposes. Seasoning with fresh herbs is easy and makes food much tastier and healthier. You don’t have to make heavy sauces. Simply add fresh herbs to your dish as you cook. If you don’t have a yard, grow herbs in small pots on your windowsill. You just need to add sun and water.

As I mentioned before, they are very powerful and you don’t need a lot of them to make your favorite dish taste great. I use them all the time in my kitchen. I also put herbs in my smoothies. Some, such as rosemary, thyme, and parsley, grow year-round in the southern United States.

In today’s post, I want to draw the attention of my readers to two of my favorite herbs that are commonly used for culinary purposes but also have strong medicinal properties: rosemary and coriander.


Rosemary is a perennial bushy shrub from Lamiaceae family that is native to the Mediterranean region and is used in many of the dishes in that region and also around the world for its aromatic flavor. However, not everyone knows that it has powerful healing properties.

Source: Barbara Koltushka-Haskin

Rosemary has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and neuroprotective properties (Rahbardar, MG & Hosseinzadeh, H., 2020). Some research suggests that it may help improve cognitive deficits and may have some therapeutic potential for Alzheimer’s disease (Habtemariam, S., 2016). Rosemary is rich in manganese, a trace element that helps the body form connective tissue and is necessary for normal brain and nerve functions. Rosemary is also used in aromatherapy to improve concentration and memory (Young-Hae, Ch. & Jeong-Sook, K., 2006) and may be helpful in reducing stress.

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Rosemary contains pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, folate and riboflavin. Rosemary is also rich in phytochemicals, which are biologically active compounds produced by plants that strengthen our immune system and reduce inflammation.

I use rosemary on chicken, fish and lamb. Rosemary is also delicious when used in baked or sliced ​​and baked potatoes with yellow squash and a little butter. Simply cut fresh rosemary into very small pieces and sprinkle over your dish before baking or roasting.


One of my favorite herbs is cilantro, which comes from the leaves and stems of the coriander plant, which is related to cumin, dill, fennel, and anise. Easy to grow, it re-establishes itself in late fall and grows throughout the winter and into spring in the southern United States. I can pick fresh and fragrant leaves even in winter. However, it dies down during the hot summer days. It is great in salads and soups, in chicken and fish dishes.

Some studies show that coriander can speed up the removal of heavy metals from our bodies. New research also shows that it has a significant calming effect, and I agree. Just try to smell the fresh leaves and breathe for a while. Therefore, it can be a good candidate for natural anxiety treatment.

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High doses of coriander extract have been found to have similar effects to Valium, a drug used for anxiety, but without its side effects and risk of addiction (Mahendra, P. and Bisht, S., 2011). It also has some antibacterial properties and can lower blood sugar.

When your cilantro plants go to seed in the summer, don’t throw them away. These small round seeds in semi-circular clusters are coriander seeds. They are decorative as well as delicious. Collect the stems with the seeds and place them in your dried flower arrangements for the winter. Then pinch some seeds off the stems when cooking and add them to your favorite soups or meat dishes to enhance the flavor. Such a versatile plant!

There are many more herbs such as tarragon, bay leaves, chives and even lavender that you can use in your favorite dishes. Have fun experimenting with them. Try seasoning with herbs, preferably fresh herbs from your garden, from your herb pot in the kitchen or from the store, instead of heavy sauces that tend to have a lot of calories and unhealthy additives. Fresh herbs can add amazing flavor to your home-cooked meals and can help you stay healthy. Enjoy your food!


Rahbardar, MG & Hosseinzadeh, H. “Therapeutic Effects of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) and Its Active Constituents on Nervous System Disorders.” Iran J Basic Med Sci, 2020 Sep 23 (9) 1100–1112.

Habtemariam, S. “The Therapeutic Potential of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Diterpenes for Alzheimer’s Disease” Evidence-based supplement Alternat Med. 2016: 2680409.

Young-He, Ch. & Jeong-Sook, K. “The Effect of Rosemary Aromatherapy on Memory.” The Korean Journal of Herbology2006 Vol 21, Issue 4, 207–212.

Mahendra, Poonam and Shraddha Bisht. “Anti-anxiety activity of Coriandrum Sativum evaluated using different experimental models of anxiety.” Indian Journal of Pharmacology 43, no. 5 (September 2011) 574–577.

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