Common Cooking Herbs Which Can Be Used as Medicine

If you look in your spice rack or kitchen cabinet, you can find some powerful medications. Many herbs and spices including garlic, parsley, thyme and others have many health benefits and healing properties. The best way to benefit from the herbs is to grow them in your garden and pick and cook them while they are fresh. However, if you do not have the time to grow your own herb garden, you can purchase them at your local grocery store, health food store or Farmer’s Market. You can purchase them as fresh or dried herbs or as spices.

Indian Spices such as curry, turmeric and cayenne pepper are excellent in lowering blood pressure and preventing heart disease. They are loaded with antioxidants which play a role in fighting off the free radicals in your body. These are unstable cells which bond with healthy cells. These damage your tissues which causes premature aging and a wide range of diseases. These antioxidants stop the free radicals from attacking your body.

Common Cooking Herbs Which Can Be Used as Medicine Image courtesy of artur84 at

Turmeric has been used in India and Asia for thousands of years to treat many health ailments and conditions. It is an excellent digestion aid and is effective in treating gall bladder and liver problems. Turmeric gets its yellow coloring from circumin. This ingredient contains both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a natural pain reliever and treats all sorts of pain and fights against infection. This spice is considered to be a natural blood thinner. It plays a role in making the platelets less sticky, thus keeping the arteries from getting clogged with fatty buildup. Since your heart does not have to work as hard to move the blood through the arteries, you will have safe blood pressure levels and have a reduced risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

Ginger is an excellent pain reliever. If you have an upset stomach or suffer from heartburn, this herb is soothing to your digestive system. These pain fighting properties also is effective in relieving headaches and arthritic pain. It is a natural blood thinner. This herb is excellent in promoting cardiovascular health by lowering your blood pressure.
Cinnamon has been in use since Biblical times. This herb includes many health benefits. This spice contains antiseptic properties which is effective for fighting bacteria in your mouth. That is why you can easily find toothpaste and mouthwash containing cinnamon. It is a natural pain reliever because it contains anti-inflammatory properties. It makes your mind more alert by improving brain function. This spice helps reduce cholesterol and is effective in reducing blood pressure and reducing the risk of getting heart disease.

Considered to be both a herb and a root vegetable, garlic has been used since the ancient Egyptian times. It was so healthy that the slaves were fed it so they would remain healthy. It is a powerful herb that can detoxify the entire body and has many healing properties that it can fight off many health ailments and diseases. Just because it has a strong odor and flavor, do not shy away from this herb. It can be your best friend when you are fighting cold and flu symptoms, when you want to fight headache, toothache and arthritic pain or when you have an upset stomach.

Many people like the sweet taste of Basil. Did you know that this herb is a natural pain reliever? Consider using basil the next time you have a headache. It also contains astringent properties which are effective in taking the sting out of bee stings and mosquito bites. This spice is also effective in relieving upset stomach, nausea and vomiting.

Marjoram is loaded with vitamins and minerals which help your immune system get stronger. It contains infection fighting properties which can fight gum, tooth and sinus infections. This herb contains expectorant properties which are effective in treating respiratory conditions including bronchitis and asthma. Adding just a pinch of this spice to many dishes helps increase the appetite. This herb helps if you have a decreased appetite when you are feeling under the weather.

Sage is a common culinary herb and is loaded with vitamins including A and C. These vitamins help give your immune system a major boost and helps your body fight against many illnesses. This herb is also loaded with minerals such as calcium and iron which helps make your bones stronger and prevents you from getting anemia or a low blood cell count. This herb helps improve your memory, relieves gas and bloating and is effective in treating indigestion. The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb are effective in sore throat pain.

Rosemary contains antiseptic and antibacterial and properties. This herb is excellent for skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema. By putting a salve that contains rosemary on cuts, scrapes, burns and sunburns, you are protecting the affected areas from getting infected, while speeding up the healing process. This herb has calming and relaxing properties which are effective in reducing stress and depression.

When you finish that jar of dill pickles, what do you do with the juice? Do you throw it away? It is better to drink it. Dill is effective in treating conditions of the digestive system including gas and indigestion.
Parsley is a very powerful diuretic. This herb is very effective in treating and preventing urinary tract infections, kidney infections and stones. The thyroid gland plays an important role in weight loss. While some food and oil slow down your thyroid, this herb increases the hormones in your thyroid. When your thyroid is working faster, your metabolism will speed up.

Mints such as peppermint and spearmint make delicious tasting teas. They are effective in treating heartburn and relieving upset stomachs. They are natural pain relievers and are effective in treating headache pain. Also containing calming and relaxing properties, mints are effective in reducing stress and insomnia.

In some of your recipes, one of the ingredients may be a bay leaf or two that is added to give an additional flavor. Since these leaves have a bitter taste, many people do not eat them but set them aside. However, think of of all the health benefits you are missing if you do this. They are loaded with vitamins such as A and C and minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium and manganese. With some many viruses flying around, you want to do anything to prevent yourself from getting sick. By including bay leaves in your daily diet, you are protecting yourself from many illnesses. These minerals also play an important role in lowering blood pressure and preventing heart disease.

The above are just a few of the many cooking herbs that have many health benefits. However, since some might interact with medications and supplements that you are already taking, talk to your doctor to see which ones are safe to use.


  1. Rex Trulove

    I can’t think of any culinary herb that doesn’t have medicinal value. I grow a lot of herbs and I’m an herbalist, so it fits together rather well. lol But then, there are a lot of flowerbed flowers and yard weeds that are both edible and have medicinal value, too.

  2. Lois Ryan Post author

    I submitted this post a couple of days ago but I accidentally deleted it. True there are so many plants and weeds that have benefits. Even dandelions

  3. Kyla Matton Osborne

    I’m glad you added the note about checking with your doctor. Several of the herbs and spices you list can be dangerous for pregnant women or people who have specific medical conditions, if consumed in medicinal quantities.

  4. Lois Ryan Post author

    I try to add cautions at the end of each post since as you say some “can be dangerous for pregnant women” plus if some people take blood thinners some herbs considered to be natural blood thinners may not be good to take.

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