Valentine’s Herbs for Health and Healing
This sweet herb has a stimulating scent and delightful taste. It is also full of flavonoids, which “may have a protective effect against cancer,” according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). The herb is used in many of our popular dishes, including tomato-based and other sauces, salads, dressings, and marinades.
We love ginger at Meals 4 Health and Healing. This warming herb comes from the root of the ginger plant, and it imparts a spicy, slightly sweet flavor and scent. Like garlic, ginger increases blood flow, warms you up, and increases your energy. It is also high in potassium, magnesium, and copper. It is a great anti-nausea substance and has anti-inflammatory effects.
Don’t be afraid to indulge in garlic on Valentine’s Day! Garlic is great for your heart, and it has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. If you are concerned about garlicky breath on a Valentine’s date, read on for the benefits of parsley.
We love growing parsley in our garden! Much more than a natural breath mint, parsley contains apigenine, which is a flavonoid that may play a role in preventing cancer. We use Italian parsley in our yummy healing broth, soups, dressings, and vegetable dishes.
Rosemary is rich in carnosol, a phytochemical that can slow cancer cell growth, strengthen immune functions, limit the production of cancer-related hormones, and work as an antioxidant, according to the AICR. Rosemary has an interesting piney flavor and can be used in a wide variety of dishes including roasted potatoes, marinades, and dressings. It is also great when mixed with thyme, oregano, and basil and added to avocado, grapeseed, and olive oil for a healthy flavor boost. Have time? Check out thyme!
Thyme is a DELIGHTFULLY aromatic herb used in many of Meals 4 Health and Healing’s sauces, soups and stews, vegetable dishes, marinades, and main dishes. Thyme contains terpenoids, a group of phytochemicals that can work as antioxidants and may protect cells from cancer. We like it so much that we grow lemon thyme, orange thyme, and Italian oregano thyme in our Giving Garden!
Mint contains perillyl alcohol, which has been shown in lab studies to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, according to the AICR. Mint may also help to reduce digestive issues and nausea, something our clients may deal with during treatment. Try a little peppermint or spearmint in sparkling water on Valentine’s for EXTRA sparkle!
Now that your mouth is watering, try these tips for cooking with fresh and dried herbs. Don’t forget to volunteer at our Giving Garden to take home some of your own!
- Always add fresh herbs, such as basil, at the very end of the cooking process to get the most flavor. It’s the opposite with dried herbs — add them at the beginning.
- There’s a three-to-one ratio between fresh and dried herbs. So, if a recipe calls for one tablespoon of dried rosemary, use three tablespoons when it’s fresh.
- To store fresh thyme, and other herbs, wash and dry thoroughly, snip off the ends, put them in water-filled jars, and refrigerate, changing the water weekly.