Medicinal properties of kitchen herbs

In addition to salt and pepper, which are absolutely standard equipment in every kitchen, many kitchens also contain spices such as chives,  dill , rosemary, basil or  thyme . With the help of the herbs, sauces and salads, but also meat and fish dishes can be deliciously refined. However, many of the herbs are not only suitable for use in the kitchen, but can also provide relief for health problems. We will introduce you to various kitchen herbs and provide you with a delicious recipe for each one.


Rosemary  is good for seasoning fried fish and meat and for refining  potatoes , vegetables and salad. With warm dishes, it is advisable to use rosemary sparingly, because the herb only develops its full aroma when it is hot. Since rosemary can be harvested all year round, it should always be used fresh due to its more intense taste.

Rosemary is said to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antispasmodic effects. For example, rosemary helps with gastrointestinal problems such as  flatulence . Applied externally, rosemary is used to strengthen the cardiovascular system. Since the herb also has a blood circulation-promoting effect, it can also be found in some massage oils.

Recipe: Rosemary Potatoes

In a bowl, toss together ½ cup olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and the leaves of 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary. Wash eight potatoes thoroughly and cut into wedges. Mix the potatoes with the oil, place on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes.


Dill is also known as cucumber herb because it is often used to flavor cucumbers. In addition to cucumbers, the culinary herb is also suitable for refining sauces and fish dishes. Both the leaves and the fruit can be used for seasoning. Dill has a slightly sweet taste, with the dried fruit tasting less sweet than the dried herb.

Above all, the essential oils contained in dill make the herb a valuable spice. For example, dill is said to help with insomnia and loss of appetite as well as with stomach problems. While a cup of dill tea can relieve the pain of stomach problems, if you have trouble  falling asleep  , a glass of dill wine, i.e. white wine flavored with dill seeds, is recommended in addition to tea as a non-alcoholic version. Dill is also ideal for breastfeeding mothers, as the spice has a milk-promoting effect.

Recipe: Honey Mustard Dill Sauce

Heat 125 milliliters of olive oil in a saucepan and add three tablespoons of hot mustard, two tablespoons of  honey  and 20 milliliters of cream. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and add the finely chopped dill. Bring the sauce to a boil and serve it warm with baguette and smoked salmon.


Chives are extremely popular in many German kitchens: the herb comes from the leek family and has an onion-like taste. It is often used to refine dips and herb butter as well as salads and sauces. But chives are also ideal for seasoning meat, poultry and egg dishes. Since the green herb is rich in vitamins C, E and K as well as the  mineral  potassium  , chives also have a positive effect on health.

In addition to its valuable vitamins and minerals, chives are also recommended because their essential oils have a diuretic, expectorant and antibacterial effect. In addition, regular consumption of chives is said to be able to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Seasoning with chives should also help to alleviate the symptoms of gastrointestinal problems such as stomach inflammation or flatulence. So chives do not cause flatulence, despite their onion-like taste.

Recipe: Potato Chive Soup

Boil 500 grams of potatoes and then mash them finely. Add 100 grams of butter and 500 milliliters  of milk  and stir to create a creamy mass. Cut a bunch of chives into fine rings, add to the soup and let it boil again briefly. Then season with salt and pepper.


Thyme is used in the kitchen either fresh or dried to refine dishes. Thyme is indispensable, especially in Spanish, French and Mexican cuisine. The herb goes well with vegetables and fish as well as with various meat and poultry dishes. Thyme is also ideal for flavoring soups. So that thyme can unfold its typical aroma, the thyme sprig should be cooked for some time together with the other ingredients. The branch should then be removed before serving.

In medicine, thyme is found in many herbal preparations used to treat colds and  bronchitis  . Thyme can also relieve the symptoms of whooping and dry  cough  , because the essential oils contained in thyme have an expectorant effect. Read the package insert carefully before using any thyme supplement, as too much thyme can irritate the respiratory tract. For this reason, thyme oil should not be used on babies and small children.

Recipe: Apricot Thyme Jelly

Stone a kilogram of apricots, cut into pieces and place in a saucepan. Add the juice  and zest of two limes to the saucepan, add 500 grams of preserving sugar and let the mixture steep for three hours. Then add five sprigs of thyme to the apricot mixture and cook for five minutes while stirring. Then remove the sprigs of thyme, pour the apricot mixture into preserving jars that have been rinsed with hot water and close them tightly.


Parsley is one of the best-known German kitchen herbs. It is used to refine soups, salads and dips, but also gives a sandwich a special touch. Potatoes are also often served with parsley. Parsley is best used fresh as it loses flavor when dried and frozen.

Parsley contains a lot  of vitamin C  and thus strengthens the immune system. But vitamin A and the mineral potassium are also present in large quantities in parsley. To avoid nutrient loss, the herb should not be cooked. In naturopathy, parsley is said to have an invigorating effect, for example it is said to be   helpful in spring tiredness. In addition, the green herb has a positive influence on the digestive process and has a diuretic effect due to the essential oils it contains.

Recipe: Parsley Pesto

Blend 75 grams of parsley, two cloves of garlic, 40 grams of pine nuts, 40 grams of flaked almonds and 65 grams of parmesan in a blender and season with salt and pepper. Slowly pour in 100 milliliters of olive oil, stir and then chill the pesto.


Fresh  basil  goes well with fish, meat, eggs and potatoes in the kitchen. With its aromatic taste, the herb is also suitable for refining salads and vegetable soups. In addition, basil is also used for the production of various types of vinegar and herbal oils as well as pesto. As a rule, basil is only added to warm dishes just before serving, as the aroma of the herb is easily destroyed by heat.

Eating basil increases appetite and aids in fat digestion. In addition, the herb can relieve the pain of an upset stomach. In addition, basil is also said to have   a positive effect on migrainesdepression and anxiety. However, medicinal use is rejected due to its high estragol content. In animal experiments, estragole has been shown to be carcinogenic. However, the consumption of fresh basil in moderation is considered harmless.

Recipe: Garlic Basil Oil

Wash and dry 15 basil leaves. Put the leaves together with five peeled garlic cloves in a bottle and fill it with a tasteless oil. Store the bottle in the fridge for two weeks, then the oil can be filtered off and used to flavor salads and sauces.

wild garlic

Due to its aromatic taste, wild garlic  is particularly suitable for refining soups, sauces and salads. It is also used in many dishes as a milder alternative to  garlic  . Wild garlic tastes particularly good fresh, but can also be frozen.

Wild garlic not only tastes delicious, it is also extremely healthy because it contains large amounts of vitamin C as well as  iron  and magnesium. In addition to its role as a culinary herb, wild garlic is also used in medicine. Since the herb counteracts the fermentation processes in the intestine and thus prevents flatulence, it is primarily used to treat gastrointestinal complaints. Wild garlic is also said to have a cholesterol-lowering, vasodilating and appetite-stimulating effect.

Recipe: wild garlic cream

Mix 200 grams of cream cheese with a teaspoon of paprika powder and season with salt and pepper. Cut 100 grams of feta cheese into small pieces and then finely chop ½ bunch of wild garlic. Fold the cheese and wild garlic into the cream cheese mixture and mix well. Serve with baguette.

Lemon Balm (Balm)

With its fresh, minty-lemon taste, lemon balm can be used well in green salads and to refine soups, sauces and dips. In addition, the herb also goes well with mushroom, game and fish dishes, but is also used in desserts and drinks. Lemon balm should always be used fresh, as it loses its aroma when it dries. In order to prevent a loss of taste, it should not be boiled either.

In natural medicine, lemon balm is used for a variety of ailments. The herb is said to help with sleep disorders, headaches, restlessness and gastrointestinal complaints, among other things. Applied externally, lemon balm tea is also said to help  eliminate skin impurities  , while a steam bath with lemon  balm tea  is said to combat oily skin . The rosmarinic acid it contains is particularly responsible for the positive effect of lemon balm.

Recipe: Lemon Balm Sorbet

Put 400 milliliters of water with 150 grams of sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Then let the syrup cool down. Once cool, pour two handfuls of lemon balm leaves over the syrup and refrigerate for 24 hours. The next day, strain the liquid and add the juice of a squeezed  lemon  . Then let the mixture cool further in the freezer for six hours.


Marjoram scores with its intense taste. The leaves of this herb can be used fresh or dried. The white or pink flowers are also suitable for seasoning dishes. Marjoram goes particularly well with hearty dishes with meat or sausages, but also with vegetarian stews and soups. The herb goes particularly well with potatoes.

Marjoram has a high content of vitamin A as well as potassium and calcium. In addition, the leaves and flowers contain valuable secondary plant substances and essential oils. These are said to have a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract, which is why marjoram is used for flatulence,  nausea  or loss of appetite. Marjoram ointment is used for skin irritations.

Marjoram contains a low concentration of the plant substance arbutin, a precursor of hydroquinone. The latter is suspected of being carcinogenic. Therefore marjoram should be consumed in moderation and marjoram ointment should not be used on infants.

Recipe: Marjoram potatoes with chicken fillet

Heat 250 milliliters of vegetable stock with a teaspoon of chilli flakes and a teaspoon of dried marjoram. Cut 250 grams of potatoes into wedges and place in a casserole dish with the broth. Cover and simmer in the 200 degree oven for 20 minutes. Season 150 grams of chicken fillet with pepper and  salt  and sear on all sides in a pan. Then put the potatoes in the oven for another 10 minutes.


The flowers, stalks and leaves of borage are used in the kitchen. Young borage leaves taste mildly  like cucumber  and are most often used as an ingredient in salads, soups or herb sauces. Borage is also popular in the form of tea.

Borage has a high content of vitamin C, essential oils and phytochemicals. It is said to help with insomnia,  menstrual cramps , fever and skin problems. However, the leaves also contain toxic alkaloids. These plant substances can have a liver-damaging effect in large quantities. However, occasional consumption of small amounts of borage is considered harmless.

Recipe: Cucumber ships with cottage cheese

Halve 200 grams of cucumber and cut into manageable pieces. Remove the cores with a spoon. Mix 150 grams of quark with a little milk until creamy and season with salt, pepper and finely chopped borage leaves. Put the quark on the cucumber halves and serve with bread.


Oregano  is best known as a pasta or pizza spice, but there is much more to this herb. In addition to its unmistakable taste, oregano has an antibacterial effect thanks to the essential oils it contains (e.g. thymol and borneol) as well as tannins and bitter substances.

Oregano is therefore often used for inflammation in the mouth and throat. The herb is also said to have a calming effect on the gastrointestinal tract in the case of indigestion. Usually oregano tea or brew is used.

Recipe: Healthy Pizza Bread

Chop 250 grams of reduced-fat mozzarella, two spring onions and 6  olives  . Cut four tomatoes into slices and place on slices of mixed rye bread. Pour the cheese and vegetable mixture on top and garnish with oregano. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for about three minutes.


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