10 herbs to help your health

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Basil

Rich in rosmarinic acid, an antioxidant that helps to prevent cell damage. Basil also contains eugenol, which can relieve conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Use it: Make your own pesto.

Chives

They supply quercetin, (good for vascular health) and are rich in compounds associated with a reduced risk of stomach cancer.

Use it: Sprinkle over potato salad dressed with vinaigrette.

Coriander

A potent source of compounds that inhibit damage to blood vessels. Studies have also shown it has antihistamine properties, easing the symptoms of allergies.

Use it: Add to fresh salsa or guacamole.

Dill

Packed with more antioxidant nutrients than many so-called superfoods, such as kale. Good for the intestine, too; dill can prevent bacterial overgrowth.

Use it: Sprinkle it on poached salmon.

Mint

Research shows that consuming mint regularly may ward off age-related cognitive impairment, which can be a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. It also eases the stomach.

Use it: Brew it to make tea.

Oregano

It has been shown to block the effect of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Gram for gram, it has also has more antioxidant power than apples or oranges.

Use it: Simmer in stew to release its compounds.

Parsley

A study from Malaysia found that compounds in the herb inhibit cancer cell growth. It’s also a source of vitamin K, vital for healthy bones.

Use it: Ideal in tabbouleh, where its fresh flavour shines.

Rosemary

Rich in a compound called rosmanol that has been shown to inhibit inflammation. It can also aid digestion.

Use it: Spike meat, poultry and game with sprigs before cooking.

Sage

Supplies a wealth of substances called terpenes, one of which is carosol, which offers protection from cancer-causing agents. Sage can also boost memory.

Use it: Bake it into savoury scones.

Thyme

Contains thymol, an antimicrobial compound that blocks LDL particles from inflaming artery walls, helping ward off vascular diseases.

Use it: Add to olive tapenade.