Webster describes spices and herbs as : “any of various aromatic vegetable production as pepper , cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, ginger, cloves, and so forth; pickles ;a vegetable dressing or to add flavour with, normally inside the shape of a powder; also as condiments collectively”

Herbs and Spices not only make the food taste better but they have also been used throughout the centuries for their healing properties. They aid in food preservation, weight reduction, and controlling diabetes, enhancing functioning of the brain, decreasing nausea, and boosting immunity. They also assist in enhancing heart fitness, inducing sweating, retaining the pores and skin fresh, regulating the metabolism, and detoxifying the frame. Spices defend the body by means of preventing contamination, decreasing irritation, and in fact according to recent research; they also have been proven to help reducing cancer epithelial cancer and other conditions such as arthritis and asthma.

How do we know if it’s an Herb or Spice? Since, they both are used to add flavor in food and contain high natural healing properties? Rookies like me, mostly cannot differentiate between Spices and Herbs but let’s find out in this article along with their healing properties.

Herbs:

Basil, Dill, Chives, parsley, rosemary, chervil, tarragon, sage, coriander etc.

Not like spices, herbs tend to be green, tender and are much more likely to be chopped. In addition they are not that spicy and tend to have a greater subtle flavor. Unlike many spices, they can often be eaten uncooked or only very lightly cooked.

Spices:

Bay leaves, Black Pepper, kokum, Chilli Peppers, cardamom, cinnamon, Ajwain, Anise seed, nutmeg, beetroot powder, coriander, cumin, caraway, turmeric, paprika, allspice, and many others

Spices are fragrant seeds, culmination, roots and so forth. Which can be in particular used when dried, often ground and generally tend to have long shelf lifestyles. Spices need to be cooked; they cannot be eaten without being cooked. Spices antioxidant activity also helps to preserve foods from oxidative deterioration.

How to find out if your Herbs and Spices are organic or not

These Herbs and Spices do wonders but it’s kind of difficult to find quality herbs and spices. How do we differentiate between quality herbs and spices? Things you need to keep in mind before shopping for Organic herbs and spices.

  • Freshness– use fresh herbs and spices. Avoid buying them in bulk because herbs and spices are sensitive to light and bacteria and storing them for too long can turn them stale.
  • Aroma– before buying spices and herbs make sure to check their strong aroma.
  • Storage– Store them properly in cool and hygienic place. Keep them away from dust. Herbs should not be stored in any space that is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit as it damages the constituents in the plant.
  • Taste– Try tasting your herb and spices before buying them.
  • Harvesting– Another way to find out the originality of the product is through it’s harvesting methods.

Also, you can try growing them at your home in your garden. To be honest, it’s the best and safest way to use them.

10 Delicious Herbs and Spices with their health Benefits

Spices

Top five delicious Spices with great health benefits and are being largely used in food for flavor.

Bay Leaf (Spice)- They belong to a family of Lauraceae. It contains characteristics of

  • antimicrobial and antifungal
  • hypoglycaemic properties (in the control of diabetes)
  • antiulcerogenic properties

Black Pepper (Spice)- It is a part of Piperaceae group and it’s characteristics are;

  • anti-inflammatory
  • carminative
  • anti-flatulent properties.
  • analgesic and antipyretic properties
  • antioxidant effects
  • antimicrobial properties

Chilli Peppers (Spice)- Chilli Peppers belong to a family of Capsicum. Scientific studies on experimental mammals suggest that capsaicin has

  • anti-bacterial
  • anti-carcinogenic
  • tinctures
  • astringent
  • counter-irritant
  • analgesic properties.
  • analgesic and anti-diabetic properties.

Cardamom (Spice)- It belongs to a family of Zingiberaceae. It has two categories; large and small Cardamon. It has following properties;

  • antiseptic and local anesthetic
  •  antioxidant
  • Antiseptic
  •  Antispasmodic
  •  Carminative
  •  Digestive
  • Diuretic
  • Expectorant
  • Stimulant
  • stomachic and tonic.

Cinnamon (Spice)- Belongs to a family of Lauraceae. It has the following chemical properties;

  • anti-oxidant
  • anti-diabetic
  • antiseptic
  • local anesthetic
  • anti-inflammatory
  • rubefacient (warming and soothing)
  • carminative and anti-flatulent properties.

Herb

Top five Herbs that are used in food and have been used for the treatment of a number of disease throughout ancient times.

Basil (Herb)- Basil belongs to the family of Lamiaceae. Basil herb contains many

  • Polyphenolic  flavonoids
  • orientin and vicenin.
  • anti-inflammatory

Dill (Herb) – Dill belongs to a family of Umbelliferae.

  • anti-oxidant
  • disease preventing
  • vitamins like niacin
  • pyridoxine
  • dietary fibers
  • Health promoting properties.

Parsley (Herb)- It is a biennial plant belonging to the Apiaceae family. Its properties contain;

  • antioxidants
  • vitamins
  • minerals
  • dietary fiber
  • diuretic effects
  • Antiseptic and carminative properties.

Rosemary (Herb)- Rosemary belongs to the family of Lamiaceae. It is one of the recognized herbs for its noteworthy health benefiting

  • Phytonutrients
  • Phytochemical
  • anti-allergic
  • anti-fungal
  • antiseptic properties.
  • Antioxidants and essential oils.

Coriander (Herb)- Coriander is a Hollow-stemmed plant in the Apiaceae family. It contains following properties of;

  • Antioxidant
  • Dietary fiber
  •  Disease preventing and health promoting properties.

Herbs and Spices contain impressive amount of health benefits. They have been in use since ancient times for their anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-flatulent properties so along with adding taste to the culinary they are quite beneficial for our health. 

Spices chiefly compose of essential-oils, phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and phyto-sterols. They should be consumed in minute quantities in the diet.

Herbs carry unique anti-oxidants, essential-oils, vitamins, phyto-sterols and many other plants derived nutrient substances, which help equip our body to fight against germs, toxins and to boost immunity level. Herbs are, in fact, natural medicines in smaller dosages.