Did you know that herbs can do so much more than just enhance the aroma or flavor of your favorite recipes? They’re also loaded with nutrients. You can add herbs to your favorite salads, soups, and other dishes to reap the yummy benefits of fats, essential oils, fiber, sterols, minerals, and vitamins.
If you want to grow a successful herb garden but only have limited space, there are many options available to you. Herbs can easily be grown outdoors or indoors, and are well suited for growing in pots and other containers. You can also grow them in your garden to brighten your yard and lighten your wallet.
Wherever you choose to grow them, the following herbs are all inexpensive, wonderfully fragrant, beautiful, and simple to maintain.
Last year, I planted basil in my garden. I found this aromatic herb easy to grow, and I use it to sweeten tomato-based dishes, many Italian recipes, and beans. It’s also a great addition to pasta dishes, soups, and salads. Basil has various medicinal purposes, including the treatment of stomach upset, gas, bloating, and other digestive problems. When used to prepare tea, its antimicrobial properties can help heal injured gums and soothe sore throats.
Basil provides the following daily amount of nutrients:
- 30 percent vitamin A
- 145 percent vitamin K
- 16 percent manganese
- 4 mg omega-6 fatty acids
- 5 mg omega-3 fatty acids
For more details on the nutritional value of basil, click here.
Rosemary is a nutrient rich herb that’s easy to grow in almost all climates and conditions. It’s virtually indestructible, aromatic, and beneficial—and prized for both its aroma and taste. When used medicinally, rosemary can combat inflammation and ease cramps.
Fresh rosemary offers the following daily amount of nutrients (per 100 g):
- 58 percent vitamin A
- 36 percent vitamin C
- 56 percent dietary fiber
- 31 percent calcium
- 116 mg omega-3 fatty acids
- 125 mg omega-6 fatty acids
For more details on the nutritional value of rosemary, click here.
Mint is a powerful medicinal herb that’s commonly used to ease stomach upset and calm queasiness. It can also help improve the immune system, among its many health benefits. Mint leaves make a wonderful addition to smoothies and other beverages.
Mint provides the following daily amount of nutrients (per 100 g):
- 84 percent vitamin A
- 52 percent vitamin C
- 32 percent dietary fiber
- 24 percent calcium
- 28 percent iron
For more details on the nutritional value of mint, click here.
Thyme is a savory herb used in many tomato and meat dishes. You can also add thyme leaves to salads, roasts, gravies, sauces, and soups. When used medicinally, thyme acts as a strong antiseptic and anti-fungal agent. You can add crushed thyme leaves to boiling water for a soothing tea that will ease a cough.
Thyme leaves offer the following daily amount of nutrients (per 100 g):
- 75 percent vitamin C
- 27 percent vitamin A
- 27 percent iron
- 11 percent calcium
- 32 percent dietary fiber
- 20 percent magnesium
- Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
For more details on the nutritional value of thyme, click here.
This powerhouse of nutrition is my favorite herb. Easy to grow and maintain, I use parsley to garnish salads, soups, and many other dishes.
Parsley offers the following daily amount of nutrients (per 1 oz.):
- 168 percent vitamin A
- 221 percent vitamin C
- 5 percent vitamin B6
- 12 percent magnesium
- 34 percent iron
- 13 percent dietary fiber
For more details on the nutritional value of parsley, click here.
I use this savory herb in vegetable dishes, soups, meats, and gravies. Sage is an effective antiseptic and antibiotic that’s used in breath fresheners and commercial mouthwashes. Sage tea can ease menopausal hot flashes and help improve your immune system.
Sage offers the following daily amount of nutrients (per 1 oz.):
- 117 percent vitamin A
- 54 percent vitamin C
- 135 percent vitamin B6
- 165 percent calcium
- 156 percent iron
- 107 percent magnesium
- 30 percent potassium
- 160 percent dietary fiber
For more details on the nutritional value of sage, click here.
It’s easy to grow beneficial herbs at home. Some can help improve the immune system, and others are used to restore adrenal health. All of the useful, healthy herbs I mention in this guide will easily grow right in your kitchen or garden. Please leave me a comment if you have any questions.
Images from iStock/ariwasabi (main image), nevarpp (herbs).
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