Basil has a lovely floral anise and clove-like flavour and aroma. It is most commonly associated with Mediterranean dishes likes pesto and tomato sauce. It pairs very well with tomato but can be used with any meat and seafood. Asian basil has a more distinct anise flavour and is often used in stews, soups, curry pastes and stir-fries.
Health Benefit: Chew fresh basil leaves for relief from colds and flu.
A Bay leaf is a broad, flat leaf which is greenish-brown in appearance. The aromatic leaves are most commonly used as flavouring agents when preparing food and used in most Mediterranean cuisines.
Health Benefit: Bay leaves are good for promoting digestion and can treat digestive disorders such as heartburn.
Celery is known for its long fibrous stalks, tapering into leaves. Celery is mainly used as a flavouring agent in various soup dishes and as garnish on salads. The stalks are usually paired with lovely dips as a party snack or simple on the go snack.
Health Benefit: Celery reduces inflammation. If you are suffering from joint pains, lung infections, asthma, or acne, eating more celery will bring much-needed relief.
Chervil is like the finer feathery version of flatleaf parsley, with a mild and sweet aniseed flavour and best when added at the end of the cooking process. It pairs well with vegetables, casseroles, butter sauces, soup, chicken and fish.
Health Benefit: A rich source of vitamin A, which aids in the enhancement of vision.
Chives are long, green, grass-like and tubular in appearance. One of the most common herbs found in home gardens and grocery stores. Chives have a variety of culinary uses with its delicate onion flavour and hint of garlic. Perfect for garnishing salad and soup dishes.
Health Benefit: Chives contain Choline, which is an important nutrient that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.
Coriander is a light green, leafy herb with a fresh aroma and a pungent flavour. This herb can be found in a dried form as well. It adds a lovely aroma and flavour to dishes like salads, soup, dressings, curries and often used as garnish on most savoury dishes.
Health Benefit: Coriander has a wealth of bioactive compounds and is increasingly popular as a means of preventing nausea, vomiting, and other stomach disorders.
Curry leaves have a warm,musky aroma and best used fresh than dried. It highly valued as a seasoning in Indian Cuisine and usually fried with the onion in the initial stages of food preparation. Although it is primarily used in curry dishes, it is often used to add flavour to many other dishes and cuisines.
Health Benefit: Curry leaves are a rich source of iron and folic acid.
Dill leaves are fine fern-like with thin hollow stems. The fern-like leaves has a lovely aroma which adds great flavour to fish dishes soups Dill is best when used fresh as it loses much of its flavour when dried. Dill is often paired with parsley and chives when cooking as well as used for garnishing.
Health Benefit: The calcium content of dill means that it is an important element in protecting you from bone loss and the loss of bone mineral density.
Fennel has a warm and liquorice-like taste that is slightly sweet. It’s often compared to the flavour of dill, though the seed is often considered less pungent. The bulb is a crisp vegetable that can be sauted, stewed, grilled or even eaten raw. The fine fern-like leaves are mainly used as garnish and as an added flavour to salads and sauces.
Health Benefit: Simply chewing a teaspoon of fennel seeds after meals aids digestion and relieves stomach pains and bloating.
Lavender is a very versatile herb that is well-suited with sweet and savoury dishes. It pairs very well with dairy dishes, creams, butter, ice cream and frostings. It also works well as a garnish for salads, roast vegetables and dressings as it adds a lovely sweet and floral flavour and aroma to most dishes.
Health Benefit: When applied to the skin, lavender oils have shown positive results in helping with eczema, acne, sunburns, and diaper rash.
Lemon Grass is ribbon-like in appearance with leafy lemony fragrant stalks. The lemon flavour of the leaves add a lovely zest to teas and marinades. It pairs well with curries, fish dishes, marinades, chicken and Asian dishes. It also infuses really well to be served as a refreshing tea.
Health Benefit: Lemon grass tea promotes a healthy digestive tract, if drank regularly. However, it is not recommended for small children.
Marjoram is a small bushy herb which produces oval leaves covered in fine hairs, which can be used as a substitute for Oregano. It has a very unique aroma that is sweet and floral with a hint of thyme. It pairs very well with tomato sauces, Italian dishes, marinades, meat, chicken & fish dishes. It blends well with garlic & chillies.
Health Benefit: Diffuse Marjoram blended with Chamomile to encourage a restful night’s sleep.
Mint leaves have a warm, fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste, and are used in teas, beverages, jellies, syrups, candies, and ice creams. Mint leaves are an all time favourite in lamb dishes in the Middle East and it always pairs well with lemon or lime.
Health Benefit: Chew on a few leaves of mint regularly to keep dental diseases at bay.
Oregano is used for the flavour of its leaves, which can be more flavourful when dried than fresh. It has an aromatic, warm, and slightly bitter taste, which can vary in intensity. It pairs well with many dishes because of its sweet and spicy tones.
Health Benefit: Oregano is known for its pain relieving properties and is very effective during the menstrual cycle. Simply chew fresh oregano leaves three times a day to relieve the pain.
Parsley is a fresh herb, which can be found in two variations, flat leaf parsley and curly parsley. Flat leaf parsley is more commonly used in food dishes as it has a stronger flavour and the curly leaf parsley is mainly used for garnishing or to add colour to sauces and dips.
Heath Benefit: Parsley is filled with chlorophyll, which has anti-bacterial properties that cut down on the development of bad bacteria.
Rosemary is a woody herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region. It must be used very sparingly in food as it has a very potent and distinctive flavour. The flavour lends well with lamb, roasts, vegetables, herby cheeses and chicken.
Health Benefit: It has a rich source of minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium.
The long, grayish-green leaves take on a velvety, cotton-like texture when rubbed and has a savory, slightly peppery flavor. It appears in many European cuisines, Italian, Balkan and Middle Eastern cookery. Sage enhances lamb, meats, and sausages. Chopped leaves flavor salads, pickles and cheese.
Health Benefit: Sage can soothe indigestion and dyspepsia when ingested as an herbal tea.
The taste varies from refreshing and tangy to sharp, sour and bitter. Its flavour can be quite acidic so it is best used sparingly or used in combination with sweet flavoured foods. It pairs well with creamy sauces, chicken, salad, eggs and fish. Its flavour has sometimes been compared to that of kiwifruit or wild strawberries.
Health Benefit: Sorrel tea is often used for detoxification of the body. It also relieves bloating.
Tarragon is a small shrubby herb with a strong flavour and aroma, similar to that of anise and liquorice. It pairs well with chicken, fish and egg dishes. Tarragon marries well with basil, bay leaves, chervil, chives, dill, parsley and can be used with other herbs to make a delicious green salad.
Health Benefit: Residue obtained from the distilled, steamed tarragon leaves is a great antioxidant and cleans impurities from the skin.
Thyme is a tiny green-brownish leaf with a pungent aroma. It can be used in fresh, dried , crushed or grounded form. It can be paired with most meats, poultry, vegetables or fish dishes. Fresh thyme can last for almost a week if wrapped in damp paper towel in a plastic bag and stored in the fridge.
Health Benefit: Thyme oil is one of the strongest, natural anti-microbials, which is a great defense against sore throats.
Watercress is a lush, leafy, plant which is most commonly used as a salad herb. The leaves have a fresh, peppery, rich and slightly bitter taste and can be eaten both fresh or dried. It combines well with chicken, cucumber, fish, onion, oranges, potatoes and salmon and pairs nicely with fennel, ginger, parsley, sorrel and other salad herbs.
Health Benefit: Watercress contains antioxidants which has shown to lower glucose levels.