Culinary Herbs & Their Benefits

Posted on Jul 5 2013 - 4:08pm by Ave

The most important thing about food is its flavour. Different and interesting flavours are created when using a variety of culinary herbs and spices.

I try to use fresh herbs in my food as much as possible. There are a lot of different options when adding flavour to our food. Culinary herbs let us reduce the daily salt intake. Even in small quantities, some of the herbs enrich the food with useful vitamins like and mineral salts.

Let’s get to know some of the most famous herbs, their benefits and where to use them.

Culinary Herbs & Their Benefits #herbs #recipes #garden


Mostly used in Italian cuisine. It’s used for different sauces like pesto and it goes very well with tomato sauce. It’s commonly used fresh and added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavor. Basil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Leaves are an excellent source of iron.

Basil recipes


It’s used widely in different Mediterranean recipes. Laurel is perfect for marinades, meat, fish and vegetables. Bay leaves should be removed from the food before serving as they may cause different injures. It has diuretic and appetite stimulant properties. Laurel can also be used as antiseptic.  Pregnant women should avoid eating in excess as it may cause abortion.

Laurel recipes


It’s the staple herb of Italian-American cuisine. Oregano is one of the few culinary herbs that is stronger when dried than when fresh. Goes well with meat, fish, cheese, eggplant and tomato. Gives flavour to pizzas. Oregano is high in antioxidants, it’s anti bacterial, good source of fiber, natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids and stimulates digestion.

Oregano recipes


 It is widely used in European, American and Middle Eastern cooking. Gives flavour to fish, meats, vegetables and soups. Parsley is a source of antioxidant nutrients, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A and folic acid. It should not be consumed in excess by pregnant women. Parsley is a culinary herb that might help stimulate the appetite, improve digestion and reduce spasms. Parsley recipes


It’s used in traditional Mediterranean cuisine. The leaves are used to flavor stuffings, lamb and chicken dishes, roast meats and tomato sauces. Rosemary has a very old reputation for improving memory. It’s high in iron, calcium and vitamin B6. Rosemary is used to stimulate hair growth, and support the circulatory and nervous systems. It is also believed to cause miscarriage.

Rosemary recipes


It is widely used in Italian and French cooking. Goes well with sauces, stews, stuffings and marinades. It is a common component of the bouquet garni. Thyme is significant anti-oxidant and its oil is an antiseptic. It stimulates appetite, protects throat and  may be beneficial in treating acne.

Thyme recipes

Who knew that culinary herbs are useful in so many ways!

Do you have any favorite herbs and how do you use them?

Unedited image by Suzette Pauwels / CC BY

WordPress Author Box

Estonian living in Canary Islands. A science teacher turned to stay at home mom.

Like us on Facebook
on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter
Follow @homelifeabroad on Twitter
Add me on Google+
on Google+

  • Thanks for this, Ave! I always wondered what each herb was and their benefits. This is very handy!

  • Great list! I have never heard of Laurel but I will be on the outlook for it now on my next trip to the spice store!

  • I knew about a couple of them …. thanks so much for more info on the others!

  • This is a good post. And fresh always tastes so much more flavorful! I did not know Rosemary could help with hair growing, that’s a huge plus and a good reason to increase our use of it (my hair grows soooo sloooooow!).

  • I LOVE cooking with herbs, especially basil. I’m growing a big Basil plant right now (I just posted about it:, and I can’t wait to make a fresh pesto out of it. I never knew there were anti-inflammatory benefits! Thanks 🙂

  • What a useful list! I’m adding it to my favorites right now so can visit it again when I need some tips at supper time 🙂 Thanks for the awesome info!

  • Thank-you! I have been looking for a helpful reference like this! I have grown my own herbs and realized I’m not quite sure the best way to use them! This is very helpful!

  • Save dried thyme for when you are sick. Steep one teaspoon in water for 15mins. Add honey and lemon and fight that cold.

    • Ave T

      Thanks for a great tip Michele!

  • Pingback: Pizza Braids - perfect treat for any occasion | Home Life Abroad()

  • Pingback: Balcony Gardening | Home Life Abroad()

  • Nena Sinclair

    Nothing makes food taste better than using fresh herbs! I love experimenting with different herbs in my cooking. I’ve had some great results…and some not so good! Lol

  • rebeccabasset

    Wow I didn’t know half of these facts, especially the ones about being Pregnant and not eating them.

    Thanks for the awesome post!

  • Angela

    Thanks for the guide. I would love to use more fresh herbs!

  • Saving Common Cents

    I love using fresh herbs in my cooking. Dried herbs from the store (that are who knows how old) is just not the same. We are moving in March and I can’t wait to see how and where I’ll be putting in my herb garden at the new house.