Herbs & Spices
 
 

Allspice

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Culinary Uses

Berries, ground. Similar to cloves and cinnamon combo, more complex. Cakes, cookies, relishes, tomato sauce, stew, chicken, lamb. Steep to make tea.

Healing Benefits

Antibacterial and anti-fungal. Treats indigestion, flatulence, bruises, soothes joints and muscles.

Basil

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Culinary Uses

Sweet, sunny flavor, versatile. Use with green beans, peas potatoes, chicken dishes, tomato sauces, salads. Only add at end of cooking time or on prepared dish.

Healing Benefits

Anti-inflammatory, respiratory disorders & allergies. Antibacterial, antispasmodic.

High in: vitamins and minerals.

Bay Leaf

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Culinary Uses

Pungent, mint like; dried leaves. Used in sauces, stews, soups, gumbos; fish and potatoes. Leaves used whole and removed before serving.

Healing Benefits

Antibacterial, antispasmodic. Herbicide (place by books and in corners to repel silverfish).

Chili Pepper

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Culinary Uses

Ground, dried whole, fresh or frozen. Mild to blistering hot. Soups, stews, beans, sauces, poultry, greens; add to most foods i.e. eggs, burgers, for that extra kick.

Healing Benefits

Anti-inflammatory, improves circulation, relief from colds. Hangover remedy & digestive relief. Too many benefits to list for chili/cayenne.

High in: vitamin C.

Cinnamon

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Culinary Uses

Sticks/bark, ground. Pungent, sweet, hot. Pastries, breads, cakes, cookies, pies, sauces, apples, pumpkin and squash recipes, beverages. Try on pork, lamb, meat.

Healing Benefits

Anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic antimicrobial. Alleviates indigestion, stomach cramps, intestinal spasms, nausea. Normalizes blood sugar levels.

Cloves

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Culinary Uses

Whole or ground. Aromatic, sweet. Fruits, desserts, Cakes, candies, pickles. Use to flavor meats, curry, soups, beans, pork and ham. Steep to make tea.

Healing Benefits

Topical analgesic, anti-viral, expectorant, digestive aid. Useful in teas for nausea and toothache. Make an air freshener with cloves stuck into orange.

Coriander

Image by Tomasz Olszewski
Culinary Uses

Leaves also called Cilantro. Slight Lemony flavor. Use in salads, garnish, chili, salsa. Seeds called coriander – pickling spice, curries, soups, meat dishes.

Healing Benefits

Anti-spasmodic, digestive aid in tea. Anti- inflammatory. Treat various types of pain when used regularly. Reduces high cholesterol.

High in vitamin C.

Cumin

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Culinary Uses

Seeds, ground. Bold, distinctive; can overpower. Chili, tacos, stews, cabbage, beans. Add to curries, meats, cheeses, sausages, seafood, pickles, rice dishes.

Healing Benefits

Good for indigestion, diarrhea, nausea, morning sickness. Relaxes muscles. Prevent muscle cramps. Great for insommnia.

Good source of iron.

Dill

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Culinary Uses

Pungent, tangy; dominate. Use alone or with parsley. Salmon, peas, eggplant, cabbage, cucumber yogurt sauces, salads, pickling; predominate in Mediterranean cooking.

Healing Benefits

Anti-spasmodic, aids digestion. Use in teas for insomnia, colds, flu, and colic. Sweetens the breath as well taken after meals. Calms Hiccups.

Garlic

Image by Mike Kenneally
Culinary Uses

Raw cloves or powder. Baked and eaten, rubbed on bread for garlic bread, stir fries, salad and salad dressings, sauces, soups, rubbed over meats, marinades.

Healing Benefits

Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-septic, decongestant, immune boosting. Reduces blood pressure & cholesterol. A powerful antioxidant. Nature's own antibiotic.

High in: calcium, phosphorus, potassium & vitamin C.

Ginger

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Culinary Uses

Fresh or dried, whole, or ground. Use in Oriental dishes, meat, poultry, seafood; also in squash, pumpkin recipes, biscuits, sweets, cakes, and breads. Steep for teas.

Healing Benefits

Anti-bacterial, anti-spasmodic, anti-viral, immune boosting, improves circulation, prevents nausea. Relieves arthritis pain, headaches, fevers, menstrual cramps. Digestive problems relieved by tea. Promotes bone health.

High in: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus & potassium.

Licorice

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Culinary Uses

Extract, powder or leaves. Commonly used as a sweetener in sweets, to flavour fruit juices, syrups and for flavouring drinks like sambuca and beers like Guinness. It is also drunk as a tea.

Healing Benefits

Good for adrenal function. Diuretic, laxative. Cleanses mouth and teeth. May counteract some viruses such as herpes. Assists digestion and supports the liver. Helpful in treating eczema and acne.

High in: Magnesium, iron, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, vitamin B3 & vitamin C.

Marjoram

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Culinary Uses

Leaves, whole or ground. Use as a seasoning for lamb, soups, stews, fish, poultry stuffing, sausages, beans and other vegetables; also in beverages and jellies.

Healing Benefits

Good for hay fever, sinus congestion, indigestion, asthma, stomach pain, headache, dizziness, colds, coughs, & nervous disorders. Good tea for sleeping.

Molasses

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Culinary Uses

Try adding it to fruitcake recipes, muffins and other biscuit recipes for that warm and rich flavor. Molasses can transform marinades and sauces and is often used as a glaze on hams etc. Can drink as a tea and other beverages.

Healing Benefits

Contain more calcium than milk. Use in moderation. Good for anemia, bone health, to ease muscle cramps.

High in: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, B vitamins.

Netmeg

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Culinary Uses

Whole, ground or seeds. Sweet, spicy, fragrant. Use in cakes, fruit, beans, sauces, cabbage, spinach. Also in breads, biscuits, custard, pies, puddings and vegetables.

Healing Benefits

Anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, relaxes muscles. Treat anxiety and depression, improve memory. Digestive aid.

Nettles

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Culinary Uses

Dried/freeze-dried leaves, capsules, tinctures and creams. Use in quiches, curries, soups and fish pies.

Healing Benefits

Diuretic, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying. Good for gout, hay fever and arthritis. Reduces blood pressure.

High in: potassium, iron, vitamin A, B C & K, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium & beta-carotene.

Oregano

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Culinary Uses

Leaves fresh or dry or crushed. Italian & Mexican dishes, tomato sauces, soups, sauces, stews, meats, salads, and marinades. Steep to make tea.

Healing Benefits

Anti-inflammatory, analgesic pain reliever, toothaches, digestive aid, mouthwash. Relieves nervousness and depression.

Paprika

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Culinary Uses

Mild red spice, always used ground. Use as a garnish for potatoes, potato salad, eggs, deviled eggs, beef, poultry, salads, and salad dressings. Useful for its red colour.

Healing Benefits

Anti-bacterial, antioxidant, anti inflammatory. Energizer. Digestive aid.

High in: vitamins A, C, E & K and minerals.

Parsley

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Culinary Uses

Chop or shred the flat or curly leaves. Parsley can be used in almost any savoury dish, often found in fresh salads or in soups and tomato sauces or as a garnish.

Healing Benefits

Cleanser, tonic, breath freshener. Alkaline. Cleanses blood, reduces coagulants in veins. Clears kidney stones.

High in: vitamin C, iron, calcium & sodium.

Rosemary

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Culinary Uses

Small needle-like leaves used dried or fresh. Meat dishes, herb butters, combined with other herbs in salad dressings, potatoes and in breads. Steep to make tea.

Healing Benefits

Anti-spasmodic, anti-bacterial, analgesic, digestive aid. Tea treats depression, headaches. Relieves colds. Stimulates hair growth, good for scalp.

Sage

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Culinary Uses

Leaves, used as rubbed or ground. Strong woody flavor. Use to season sausage, poultry stuffings, veal, pork, meat loaf, stews, salads and grains. Steep to make tea.

Healing Benefits

Anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, antiseptic, diuretic. Relieves sore throats, stress & depression. Good hair rinse. Chinese cure all.

Tarragon

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Culinary Uses

Leaves fresh or dried, whole or ground. Strong spicy smell & taste. Season veal, lamb, beef, poultry, seafood, eggs, salads, dressings, mushrooms, asparagus. Steep for tea.

Healing Benefits

Anesthetic useful to numb toothaches. Relieves discomforts of travel. Diuretic, appetite stimulant, digestive aid. Promotes circulatory health.

Thyme

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Culinary Uses

Fresh and dried, whole or ground. Earthy, subtle, versatile; use whole sprigs in soups, stews. Especially seafood, poultry, pork, veal, tomato, vegetables and breads.

Healing Benefits

Antiseptic, anti-microbial, expectorant. Crush fresh leaves into wounds. Settles stomachaches, soothes coughs and muscles. Use sparingly.

Tumeric

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Culinary Uses

Orange-yellow powder, mild flavor. Use in curries, poultry, relishes, pickles, eggs and rice. Add to stews, soups and casseroles. Warm with milk and honey for healing drink.

Healing Benefits

Anti-inflammatory, reduces pain. Anti-bacterial & anti-carcinogenic. Immune boosting. Aids digestion. Natural detoxifier.

Disclaimer: the preceding is intended as educational material and not as individual treatment recommendations. Always remember to consult your doctor before using herbs as any information you find online should not be a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other medical professional.