Cilantro – Did you know that cilantro has incredible nutritional components? One-fourth cup of cilantro contains 2% daily value of vitamin C and 5% daily value of vitamin A. It also contains vitamin K and small amounts of folate, potassium, manganese and choline, as well as the antioxidants beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin. Cilantro is full of an unusual array of healing phytonutrients and anti-oxidants. Its leaves and seeds contain some amount of various essential oils that makes this herb useful for use in traditional medicines. It is anti-septic, analgesic, aphrodisiac, helps with digestion, fungicidal and a natural stimulant.
Basil – A study by researchers at Purdue University revealed that basil “contains a wide range of essential oils rich in phenolic compounds and a wide array of other natural products including polyphenols such as flavonoids and anthocyanins.” The herb contains high quantitites of (E)-beta-caryophyllene (BCP), which may be useful in treating arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases. And basil contains anti-aging properties. According to research presented at the British Pharmaceutical Conference, basil has properties that can help prevent the harmful effects of aging.
Parsley – The flavonoids in parsley — especially luteolin — have been shown to function as antioxidants that combine with highly reactive oxygen-containing molecules (called oxygen radicals) and help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells. In addition, extracts from parsley have been used in animal studies to help increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood. The activity of parsley’s volatile oils qualifies it as a “chemoprotective” food, and in particular, a food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke). In addition to its volatile oils and flavonoids, parsley is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A.
Oregano – Oregano is an important culinary and medicinal herb that has been used in medicine and cooking for thousands of years – with a number of potential health benefits. It is a species of Origanum, belonging to the mint family. The herb is used to treat respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, menstrual cramps, and urinary tract disorders. Oregano is also applied topically to help treat a number of skin conditions, such as acne and dandruff. Oregano contains fiber, iron, manganese, vitamin E, iron, calcium, omega fatty acids, and manganese. It is also a rich source of Vitamin K — an important vitamin which promotes bone growth, the maintenance of bone density, and the production of blood clotting proteins. A report published in the Journal of Nutrition revealed that oregano contains very high concentrations of antioxidants. Scientists at Bonn University, Germany, and the ETH Zurich, Switzerland, identified an active ingredient in oregano — known as beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP) – which may possibly be of use against disorders such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis,