The mint leaves in your tea, the parsley sprig on your plate, and the rosemary in your drink provide more than just color and pizzaz—they’re actually chock-full of vitamins and nutrients that benefit your health. Fresh herbs contain a variety of antioxidants and many of them show promise for fighting disease. That’s why we recommend adding them to your dishes to boost flavor and taste (plus, then you can eliminate excess sugar and salt). Bonus: You can grown many of these at home, in a small pot on your balcony, on a window sill in the sun, or in your backyard. Here are five herbs we love for your health.
Peppermint is a well-known digestive aid—that’s part of the reason it’s a flavor included in gum and mints (along with its fresh-breath increasing capabilities). Taking it internally via tea or mints with actual peppermint extract can break down excess gas and provide relief (check out more tips on digestive relief here).
Rosemary is known as a circulatory stimulant, particularly for brain circulation. This can help relieve brain fog and even help you retain information better. Eat it as a circulatory stimulant or, if you want the brain boost/memory retention, dab some of the essential oil on the inside of your wrists and smell it often (I used to do this before big tests in medical school!).
A gentle detoxifier, adding parsley to your meals could help to provide mild liver detoxification on a daily basis. Parsley has also been studied to weakly bind to heavy metals, which is another detox support that can have beneficial health results. The vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties are bonuses.
Lemongrass is often found in tea blends, as it can be a helpful antioxidant and inflammation reducer, especially as it relates to assisting with skin issues. Topically, it’s used for acne and cleansing pores—create your own face steam by placing some lemongrass in a bowl of just boiled water and giving your face a chance to absorb the steam.
A lesser known herb, this powerhouse is known for its sleep benefits. Sipping valerian root tea or taking the extract may help you both fall asleep more quickly, and improve your overall sleep quality. It promotes relaxation of your muscles, and it can help you get in the mindset to get ready for sleep.
Dr. Cassie Wilder is a registered Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD) and founder of MIMC. Her passion is empowering her patients through education, understanding, and support through their healing journey. After graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology and Health, Dr. Wilder earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, a fully accredited and nationally recognized institution in Phoenix, AZ. During her clinical training, she received extensive hands-on training with many leading experts in the field of functional medicine and developed a passion for treating hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular concerns, and adrenal fatigue.