Updated: Jan 16
Cullinary herbs and some of their medicinal uses.
This post will answer some important questions you may have about culinary and medicinal herbs that you can benefit from that are straight from your kitchen. I began my journey to clinical herbalism from my home kitchen; I learned a little bit of herbal medicine from my grandmother and I started with what I knew about food and the herbs that she used to make us feel better when we were ailing. Sometimes we get intimidated by where to start on our herbal wellness journey, this blog post will help you feel empowered right from your kitchen pantry.
Here's my go to medicinal herbs straight from the kitchen and how you will use them.
All of the herbs on my list are herbs you can use in recipes for yourself and loved ones. Each herb can be found dried if you are unable to handle fresh in your local market, even herb no.2 can be found in pollen form in the spice aisle.
Short History of Medicinal Herb Use.
The use of plants as medicine goes back to the Paleolithic age. The Sumerians had well documented lists of herbs and plants and how they used them to treat certain illnesses. Check out my list of 7 Medicinal Herbs straight from your very now kitchen:
So we all love a good basil pesto or basil lemonade but there is so much more to basil than simply taste. The depth of the medicinal powers of basil is often understated because it is such a commonly used culinary herb. There are a few different varieties of basil; there’s sweet
basil, holy basil, lemon basil, cinnamon basil and each variety has anti-inflammatory properties, while being rich in macronutrients, calcium, and vitamin K.
High Blood Pressure Support
High Cholesterol Support
There is science pointing towards basil's ability to reduce oxidative stress, meaning it can help to eliminate free radicals in the body that can cause cell damage and disease. Basil can be stored fresh in the fridge, wrapped in a damp paper towel, for up to five(5) days or chopped and frozen.
Cinnamon is most popular for baking holiday pies and making oatmeal really good, however this antibacterial spice tones the kidneys and can play a role in lowering blood pressure and regulating blood sugar. There is research that suggests that cinnamon can support neurological disorders and could protect against heart disease. I am really amazed at cinnamon and its asthma supporting properties as well.
Urinary Tract Infection
Lowers Insulin Resistance
One of my favorite ways to use cinnamon as a medicinal herb is as an accompaniment to my tea blends in order to promote good blood flow. I enjoy using whole cinnamon sticks to flavor my tea during the day and the aesthetic of these moments is just everything to me. Cinnamon has been proven to reduce blood pressure when consumed consistently for at least 8 weeks.
All varieties of rosemary have the same medicinal properties and some various types of rosemary are the Tuscan Blue and the Mountain Mist. I remember the first time I had rosemary tea. I was amazed by its flavor and the refreshing energy that it brought with it. People who live with hair loss, depression, or anxiety can just go ahead and add this herb as an ally.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Stimulates hair growth
Joint Pain Relief
I love to see rosemary growing in my garden and the wonderful aromatherapy that it naturally provides on challenging days is a boon to my spirit. The volatile oil that it produces makes for a great addition to your cleaning routine, try adding some rosemary essential oil to a damp microfiber towel and wipe down kitchen counters after cleaning for an extra layer of disinfection. The smell alone will have you adding rosemary to everything you clean.
Yes, onions. We eat onions all the time in all kinds of savory recipes and we really should! Onions are a great source of vitamin C. Onions and garlic go together like the band Peaches and Herb–however these medicinal herbs are distant cousins. This culinary herb can help fight inflammation which is at the root of many of todays illness’ and disease. Onions can also bring high cholesterol down and lower your risk for heart disease. Ancient civilizations have used the onion to do many things like draw toxins from the body, treat headaches, and mouth sores.
Helps with iron absorption
Onions have a lot of nutrients and those same nutrients like vitamin C are key in regulating our immune systems.
#3 Garden Sage
Let’s just start with the fact that sage is a natural cleansing agent. I love to boil some fresh sage from my garden and add the tea to my mop water or dishwater along with soap. If you don’t have the fresh plant the essential oil works as well and you get the same aroma and antibacterial support. You can meet your daily vitamin k needs by simply adding small amounts of sage to your meals.
Loaded with antioxidants, sage can be beneficial not just for dietary support but to also help prevent chronic illness. I suggest to my clients who are transitioning thru menopause to adopt sage as their ally because of its ability to shorten and lessen hot flashes as well as reduce irritability.
Now if you have honey in your kitchen and any of the herbs listed above then you have a powerful medicine cabinet for sure. I talk a lot about the medicinal properties of honey especially using local honey whenever possible. Eating local honey is a wonderful way to help with seasonal allergy support while boosting your antioxidative powers. I encourage honey to be used medicinally and paired with herbs like ginger, clove, cinnamon, lemons, and even garlic to help combat cold and flu season.
Try creating an easy oxymel concoction by adding honey, lemon, clove, ginger, and cinnamon to a jar and refrigerate. The honey, fruit juices, and herbs create a runny sweetener for tea that can help someone experiencing symptoms of cold and flu feel better faster especially with cough or sore throats.
Granny was rarely ill and I attribute quite a bit of her good health to the way she used her garden as medicine–and garlic was one she grew and was in everything she cooked. Research shows that preventive use of garlic can help keep the common cold and other illnesses at bay.
Rich in Selenium
Great for Earaches
Lowers Blood Pressure
Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
There is so much natural medicine already in our gardens and kitchen pantries. From cold and flu elixirs to herbal hot toddy’s, you can support the healing of many common ailments with these culinary and medicinal herbs. What’s even cooler about my list of herbs is that you can grow your own medicine cabinet or find these items at your local farmers market or local grocer. Happy healing friends!