Loose leaf tea is brewed without the tea bag. For steeping loose leaf tea you use a tea infuser. This to ensure the leaves don’t roam freely in your cup when drinking the loose leaf tea.
It is said that the advantages of making loose leaf tea versus tea bags is the taste. Loose tea infuses the tea more where tea bags aren’t able to do so.
Get your favorite tea pot and boil the water. Add the amount of loose leaves to the tea infuser needed for your type of tea. Place the tea infuser in your teapot. You can also directly place the tea infuser into your mug. However be sure to change the amount of loose leaf tea to your liking.
When the hot water reaches the desired temperature, pour the hot water over the tea infuser into your teapot or mug.
Tip: In general you can use 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea per 1 cup of water.
To get more into the specifics of how to make loose leaf tea. Steep your tea for 1.5 to 2 minutes. This gives it a full taste of loose leaves and spring teas. If you increase the time of steeping you will add more body, fuller notes and more bitterness to it’s taste.
Water temperature for white and green teas in general should be 170 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit (70 celcius). For oolong tea it should be brewed around 180 to 190 degrees (85 celsius). Black and herbal teas are generally brewed in temperatures between 208 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 celcius).
Tip: Do not reboil your water. The water gets concentrated when boiled. When you reboil your water you also again concentrate the water. You do not want this reboiled water into your body as it isn’t healthy for you.
Also do not leave the water for too long in the kettle. There is a process that will speed up the forming of limescale.
Another reason for drinking loose leaves is the benefits of drinking it as tea. There is even research done on drinking fresh tea leaves. Tea has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. The highest concentration of healthy antioxidants are found in fresh tea leaves.
Loose leaf teas are available online at our webshop. The Seasoning Pantry specializes in finding the best loose leaf teas for you to enjoy.
Jasmine tea is usually drunk with green tea scented with the aroma of jasmine blossoms. Although green tea is used commonly with jasmine other teas like white tea, black or oolong tea are used as well.
Flavour of jasmine tea is a subtle sweetness, strong floral taste and is highly fragrant. However it also depends on where jasmine is grown and what tea is used for the base of the jasmine tea.
how jasmine tea is made with milk
There are various ways how jasmine tea is made. You can make it even without any other tea. You can add various other ingredients to it like vanilla, chocolate and other sweeteners. For starters we will make a common jasmine tea based on green tea.
Water, preferably filtered
Yes, it’s that simple to create a basic and amazing drink based on jasmine flowers. Start boiling the water and if you have an electric kettle set it to 175°F. If you boil jasmine tea for too long in very hot water you’ll get a more bitter taste.
In general it’s best to keep the teapot at a stable temperature. When you have boiled the water, throw some of it’s boiled water in the teapot. Swirl it around to heat up the tea pot. When done throw out the water and add the jasmine tea in the teapot. Finally add the hot water.
Close the tea pot and steep the water for another 3 minutes. This will make sure the green tea with jasmine flowers is distributed all throughout the water. Creating that lovely delicious taste with every cup of tea. Don’t let it steep for too long as the tea will start to get a more bitter taste.
Now strain the leaves and pour in your nice cup of hot jasmine tea!
Adding milk to our jasmine tea recipe
1 tablespoon of brown sugar (or brown sugar)
your prefered creamer. We use whole milk in this recipe.
To add milk to our recipe, fill your cup of jasmine tea at ¾ of it’s maximum. First we will add our sweetener. Then we follow up with our creamer. Pour in the creamer you wish to add (in our case the whole milk). Enjoy your cup of jasmine milk green tea!
How does jasmine milk tea taste like
The tea isn’t as trendy as it could be. The taste is very delicate, sweet and has a smoothness over it due to the addition of milk. The tea is also known as jasmine bubble tea or jasmine boba tea. It’s taste is very similar to oolong tea but has a bit more delicate taste to it. Also has a bit more sweetness to it.
jasmine tea benefits
As with a lot of other teas, jasmine tea contains lots of antioxidants that are healthy for your body. This has mainly to do with the addition of the green, white or black teas added as a base for the tea.
The jasmine flowers themselves are used for various medicinal reasons. One of the common uses is the sedative effect. It has a calming effect on humans and in some cases used as an aphrodisiac. In earlier years jasmin has also been used as a herbal remedy for various abdominal diseases and pains.
In the current days research on jasmine has shown some positive effect on various diseases and pain. These include helping with skin problems, cancer, liver issues and healing mouth / sore mouth / cold sore problems.
does jasmine does contain caffeine
Jasmine flowers do not contain any caffeine naturally. However the blossoms are used in tea blends where the base of the jasmine tea is used with a caffeine based tea. To make sure if your jasmine tea contains any caffeine please check your product details.
where to buy jasmine tea
At The Seasoning Pantry we sell various jasmine teas. Please see our wide variety of teas and buy your favorite tea online.
Are you sensitive to caffeine or do you like to enjoy a nice cup of tea before bedtime? Decaf tea or in other words caffeine free tea is what you might be looking for.
In general coffee does contain more caffeine. However did you know that the leaves of tea contain even more caffeine? The process of making coffee uses hotter water. Therefore extracting more caffeine from the beanes. Nonetheless tea still contains a fair amount of caffeine. We created a list for you of teas without caffeine.
Before we start we wish to answer some of the most common questions around caffeine free tea. This might clear some things up for you.
Is green tea caffeine free?
Green tea is a well known tea and commonly considered with a lot of health benefits from drinking. However green tea does naturally contain caffeine. Although not caffeine free it has considerably less caffeine then a cup of coffee.
The tea is a great replacement for coffee as a morning beverage. Green tea contains L-theanine which combined with caffeine creates a more sustained energy boost throughout the day.
Is chamomile tea caffeine free?
This tea comes from the daisy-like flowers of the Asteraceae plant family. A well known tea before bedtime and for caffeine sensitive tea drinkers. Does that mean it’s a decaf tea? Yes, naturally this tea does not come with caffeine.
Does herbal tea contain no caffeine at all?
Yes, nearly all herbal tea like chamomile, ginger, peppermint and sage tea is caffeine free.
So let’s get to the caffeine free tea list. All teas in this list contain no caffeine and can be called decaf tea. Perfect for a late night beverage just before bedtime. A healthy choice for a caffeine free drink.
1. Natural Herbal Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea, also known as red tea or red bush tea is an amazing herb for decaf tea. Not only does it contain many benefits for your health. The herb can only only be found in the cape district of south africa. Rooibos tea is decaffeinated naturally making it a perfect beverage for any time of the day.
2. Welsh Moonlight Tea
This tea is a blend of peppermint & liquorice based herbal tea. Not only is it a decaffeinated tea it also has great taste and a calming effect. This is also vegan friendly.
3. Greek Mountain Tea
This tea is made from a self-grown herb. It has many healthy benefits such as anti-inflammatory effects and could have a mild effect on pain relief. However this is not why it's in this list. Greek Mountain Tea is not only great for your body but also contains no amount of caffeine.
4. Peppermint Willamette
Of course peppermint is the most appreciated in the mint family. The mint has a great refreshing taste and also can aid digestion by consuming before or after lunch or diner. The mint is naturally free from caffeine making it a perfect drink before bedtime or any of the day.
5. Rose petal tea (Rosa Damascena)
The Rosa Damascena, a variety in the Rose petal category, has a large amount of beneficial ingredients for the body and soul. Called the ‘queen’ of Rose petals due to it’s high amount of quality oil of all. Rich in various amounts of minerals. Therefore chosen by us in combination with its natural caffeine free property as a perfect decaf tea.
6. Ginger Tea
This tea is added for giving any tea a natural unique flavour. It also can be boiled into its own tea by only using ginger leaves. These leaves contain no caffeine naturally. Also interesting to mention is that ginger tea hydrates unlike other traditional teas who act like a diuretic.
7. Sage Tea
Made from the sage plant its leaves can be used to boil tea. However the leaves are also used to extract culinary herbs and essential oils. Sage tea has a sweet flavour and gives a warm feeling. Making a perfect drink for in between meals.
Many herbs are caffeine free or have very low doses of it. However, always consult your doctor before deciding to choose one of our many herbs and teas from our list and online shop. Some herbs can cause serious side-effects in combination with certain medicine.
Every day the conclusion of the health benefits from drinking rooibos tea grows stronger. Rooibos tea, also known as red tea or redbush tea contains high levels of several antioxidants. Unlike real tea, rooibos does not contain caffeine. The species have been researched since the 1930’s. Since then we came to understand a lot about this plant.
Table of contents
What is the history of rooibos tea?
The tea is used for thousands of years in southern Africa for skin problems. The Khoisan people started using the leaves from the Aspalathus Linearis plant for various ailments. The tea is also loved due to this it’s great aromatic taste.
Fast forward to 1904 Benjamin Ginsberg commercialized the then so called mountain tea. The tea became even more popular and started to gain traction in europe. However it was still being farmed at a small scale.
Later, around the 1930's, the tea was being researched for the first time for it’s agricultural potential. The research created a new method of cultivating the seeds of rooibos.
The real commercial breakthrough came later. Starting in 1968 when a story of a african mother struggling with an allergic infant became big news. The rooibos did wonders to the infant and the mother wrote a book with her story. Studies on rooibos were done in big numbers and the popularity of the tea exploded, especially in south africa.
In the 1990’s the production of green rooibos tea started. Which is an unfermented form of the plant.
What are the health benefits of rooibos tea, redbush tea, red tea?
Rooibos tea is a herbal tea and therefore has no caffeine. It also contains no tannins like green or black tea which gives it a less bitter taste. Rooibos has little no nutritional value. One cup of rooibos tea contains:
There are some amounts of minerals found in the herbal tea. However the most important factor of rooibos is having antioxidants. Which gives it the health benefits when drinking.
The herbal tea is abundant in flavonoids, however unlike other teas the main flavonoids are Aspalathin and Nothofagin. These have a stronger anti-oxidative effect than other flavonoids. Oxidative stress can induce the effect of inflammation and therefore the anti-inflammation effect of rooibos tea where researched.
The ant-oxidational effect on the body by consuming the herbal tea creates an anti-inflammatory effect. Even more evidence was found in the research of the rooibos tea in combination with palm oil.
It is shown to have a great potential in cardiac-protection and anti-inflammatory.
Due to the lack of caffeine and calories in the beverage it is a good option if you are trying to lose weight. With increasing leptin by drinking rooibos you may benefit from the effects which manage your weight. Especially for Keto or Paleo lifestyle choices.
Rooibos has an amazing taste. Because the herbal tea has a less bitter taste than others you could find yourself enjoying a cup of rooibos tea while losing weight.
It is shown in research that inflammatory creation dysfunctional fat. Which causes the body to have harder problems losing weight.
Improves and maintains the health of your skin
Research conducted over the years introduced the anti-aging effects the rooibos possesses. The herbal tea has a positive effect on your aging cells by both fermented and green rooibos. The antioxidants have a protective property that prevent damage to the cells by severe oxidative stress.
Aging processes affect the way fat is distributed in your body. For example the fat in around your eyes becomes less which creates the wrinkles. Research has shown that protecting the cells from stress slows this proces down.
In other words drinking rooibos may have a strong positive effect on your aging process.
Boost your immune system
Study has shown that on healthy volunteers ACE activity levels dropped. ACE (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) is the central component of a system that controls blood pressure. With a high level ACE activity symptoms may show up causing all kinds of health problems. Rooibos may introduce inhibition of ACE activity levels. Creating a healthy effect on your body.
Reduces heart problems, strokes and cancer
Rooibos is a great resource for ant-antioxidants. This led to many years of research on the effect of rooibos on cancer. It has already proven itself with the prevention of skin, liver and oesophagus cancers in animals.
It’s amazing antioxidants fight free radicals that contribute to heart disease. Include the positive effect on blood pressure making the herbal tea possibly have a great impact on the reduction of heart problems.
Having summarized all these health benefits of rooibos tea it all concludes towards an implication of beneficial effects on fighting strokes.
Effective on preventing or managing diabetes
Various types of studies conclude the positive effects on type 2 diabetes. It may delay and even prevent the onset and progression of type 2 diabetes (T2D). The positive effects of rooibos in combination with a healthy lifestyle are undeniable.
Redbush tea benefits help control diabetes by drinking the tea. Here is a list how red tea (rooibos) may help:
Positive effect on blood pressure
Drinking tea has the antioxidants and properties to decrease levels of ACE activity. These levels are central to controlling blood pressure in your body. Having too high levels has a negative effect on your body.
Benefits of red tea for hair
Rooibos has been researched with positive results on hair loss. The regular consumption of red tea would increase the growth of hair and strengthen its roots. The tea is enriched with minerals like zinc, calcium and copper that promote health for your hair, scalp and even fight dandruff.
Positive effect on kidneys
One of the prominent functions of your kidneys is detoxification. Removing acids that aren’t created by your cells and create a good balance within your body. When not in balance could implicate problems. Rooibos tea has diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties making it a stimulant to extract toxic acids from your body.
Rooibos as a supplement for fitness
Rooibos as a supplement in sports and fitness is not far fetched. The tea, just like black tea and green tea, have positive cardiovascular effects on your blood pressure and blood circulation. It is even suggested to be used in pre-workouts to decrease stress levels.
Stress reliever and anti hypertension
Redbush tea as a stress reliever and to fight hypertension has been researched with positive results. As with many other health benefits from rooibos most of it comes from increased reactive oxygen species (ROS).
The body produces free radicals and other reactive oxygen species. Studies showed that long term exposure to physiological or psychological stress is associated with the production of these species. Rooibos has a positive effect on cortisol which is related to stress. This makes the herbal tea a great stress reliever and has a soothing effect on humans.
Helps in regulating allergies
Rooibos is not proven to reduce or prevent allergies with humans. However research has shown positive results regarding the boosting the production of Cytochrome P450. This is an enzyme which is very important in fighting metabolic allergens.
Rooibos tea also contains antispasmodics which can relieve stomach pain. So in conclusion the tea has a very soothing effect on the stomach.
May improve bone health
The consumption of rooibos supplements the recommended daily allowance of calcium, manganese and especially fluoride, essential for the development of strong teeth and bones.
A better alternative for regular tea
Rooibos tea is in many ways a better option than regular tea. With many benefits for health and mind the tea is also caffeine free. Making it a better option before bed-time. Also having a possible effect on fitness it can be consumed pre-workout.
The tea lacks properties that make regular tea have a bitter taste. This makes the consumption of rooibos tea a nicer experience for people who are trying to lose weight otherwise do not like to drink regular tea without sugar due to its bitter taste.
Seasonings, spices or tea products are extremely popular and in-demand food items with a rapidly expanding global audience. From the US to Asia, these indigenous food items have become an important part of every household kitchen. As the gourmet food trend grows among millennials, it is the right time to invest and become an online seller.
With a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 4.8%, the seasoning and spices market grew from $12.7 billion in 2012 to $16.6 billion in 2019, according to Statista.
These numbers convey how important and profitable this market is. To become an online seller of herbs and seasonings, the following things must be considered:
Requirements and regulations - Government regulations for in-home bottling of herbs, spices, and seasonings are different around the globe. For instance, some regions strictly require a kitchen to be compliant with local regulations, in order to store bottled spices in-house. If your area has similar requirements, we recommend renting a kitchen from a cooking school or restaurant. Check with your local authorities for complete requirements.
Food-handling permit and license - Before you start selling spices and herbs online, register for a food-handling permit and a business license with the local board. Be prepared for an authorized inspection of the bottling location.
Design a label - Next, design an authentic business label for your bottled spices. The label must include your business logo and other essential information, like the name of the seasoning and spices included or a food recipe that matches your product.
Find a reliable marketplace to sell - The most important part of becoming a successful online seller is finding the right marketplace. While retail giants like Amazon charge a hefty commission fee for selling on their platforms, new but promising marketplaces charge a lot less and provide more exposure to your business.
The Seasoning Pantry, for instance, is one such promising and versatile marketplace for sellers to experience unhindered business growth. Launched on 25th July 2020, the new marketplace for seasonings, spices and tea products presents special offerings like:
Register on the marketplace to grow quickly as a seller and cater to a wider audience as the business expands. https://theseasoningpantry.com/all-vendors/
Chimichurri is a traditional Latin American sauce, based on fresh herbs. It is a perfect seasoning mix for grilled meat, as it can be used in several ways: you can marinade the meat with it (best flavors with chicken breast or pork chops), baste the meat (steak, pork) while it is grilling/barbequing, or serve it as a side-dish or dipping sauce for your meats. The fresh herb and garlic flavor will definitely elevate your dishes.
There are two types of chimichurri, with a similar composition:
- Green chimichurri: finely chopped parsley and oregano, garlic, chili, olive oil, white wine vinegar
- Red chimichurri: chopped herbs, tomato, red bell pepper, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar
We recommend using fresh herbs, that you can easily grow yourself (blog6 link); this will help your sauce to really infuse packs of flavor to your meat and help it stand out.
For a typical Argentinian Chimichurri, you will need:
· Fresh Italian parsley: 1.5 cups
· Fresh oregano: 0.5 cups
· Fresh garlic: 2 cloves
· Olive oil: 1 cup
· Salt: 1 pinch
· Red chili: 1 tsp (chili flakes can be used instead)
· White wine vinegar: 1 tbsp (juice from half a lemon can be used instead)
In only 10 minutes, you will have yourself a perfect mix to add a burst of flavor to your meat.
How to prepare:
1. Wash the fresh parsley and remove all dirt. Pat it dry and remove all water.
2. Chop the parsley leaves, without the stems, into medium size. Repeat with oregano leaves.
3. Mince the garlic.
4. Combine all ingredients together.
5. Rest the chimichurri for 30 min in the fridge, to allow the flavors to infuse into the oil.
6. Ready to use!
The ready-made chimichurri will last 3-4 days in the fridge and, although the acid in the vinegar may change the color of the herbs, the flavor in the oil will still be pungent and the taste will still be delivered.
The Asian cuisine is a blend of unique and tasty recipes, with bold flavours and colourful looks. It has become more and more popular in the past decades, because people can more easily travel to the area and fall in love with the local dishes. Although they are collected under the name of “Asian cuisine”, there are quite large differences between Vietnamese and Lebanese cuisines, between Chinese and Indian cuisines, between Korean and Iranian cuisines.
Here is a non-exhaustive asian herbs and spices list, commonly used in Asian cuisine:
1. Chilies: Large, medium or small, chilies can definitely spice up your dishes! For a milder flavor of the chilies, you should remove the seeds and inner tissue from the chili, before cooking it.
2. Curry leaves: Very common in Indian food, they can be used both fresh and dried. definatly a must in this asian spices list.
3. Ginger: Can be found in almost all Asian cuisines, due to its flavor and aroma - sweet or savory dishes.
4. Lemongrass: Particularly used in Thai cooking, lemongrass gives a citrus taste to Thai dishes.
5. Turmeric: A spice and a medicinal herb, is very commonly found in Indian dishes, with a strong yellow color and a distinctive flavor.
6. Cumin: Asian cuisines often use cumin, either roasted, grounded or in curry paste. Two types of cumin are available: white (mostly in Southeast Asian cuisine) and black (preferred in Indian cuisine).
7. Coriander: Most parts of this plant are used in Asian dishes. The fresh leaves – cilantro – together with roots and stalks are used in Thai cuisine for making green curry paste. Indian and Chinese cuisine prefer only the leaves. Also, the coriander seeds are used in Asian cuisines: dry roast it and grind it before adding it to your dish.
8. Chives: Fresh Chinese chives have a very fragrant taste. Chop them before adding them to stir fry dishes or spring rolls.
9. Cinnamon: Cinnamon is obtained from the inner bark of several trees. It can be found either as grinded powder or as a rolled-up stick, the latter being more flavorsome and aromatic (remove from the dish before serving). Cinnamon can be used in a variety of dishes, sweet or savory, snacks or teas.
10. Galangal: Very similar in appearance with ginger, galangal actually has very well-defined circles around it. Galangal is often used in Thai dishes for its bitter aroma.
11. Kaffir lime leaves: Alongside lemongrass and galangal, kaffir lime leaves are an essential ingredient in Thai cuisine. They belong to the citrus family, giving dishes a distinctive citrus fragrance with floral accents.
12. Fenugreek leaves and seeds: It is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine. The seeds are quite popular for making curry paste.
13. Star anise: It is a versatile spice with a licorice flavor, used in Asian cuisine in a variety of soups, stews, but also desserts and in beverages.
To Buy Spices & Herbs at Discounted Rates, please visit here: https://theseasoningpantry.com/spices/
We are going through strange times now, with many of us restructuring our professional and personal lives, adapting to lockdown measures and practicing physical distancing. On top of that, gym trainings or outdoor football games may have been cancelled for the rest of 2020.
That is why we need to focus our attention on other means to maintain or improve our health status. While training in the living room may be possible, it is more likely that that bag of chips or that soda can are just more appealing, more comforting and more tempting.
Thus, a healthy lifestyle starts with what we eat. How do you start eating healthy, you ask? Begin with collecting pertinent information from licensed nutritionists or doctors specializing in nutrition; organize your meals in terms of content (based on any medical conditions you may suffer from) and schedule (at home, at work, in the city); buy smart when at the supermarket; supplement your food-related efforts with appropriate water intake; begin/continue/increase physical exercise, after consulting your personal physician.
A healthy lifestyle means balancing all the aspects mentioned before. However, do not mistake healthy eating with dieting: diversified meals in reasonable quantities sum up to healthy eating; dieting, on the other hand, implies restricting calories amounts, often to the detriment of diversified meals. The food you consume will ultimately cover not only your nutritional needs, but also your emotional needs; food doesn’t only nourish you, it also provides joy, calm and a state of wellbeing. Start browsing our website and look for the spices and seasoning blends that will enrich your culinary experiences.
In general, there are 2 main food groups: foods that can be eaten on a daily basis (even several times a day), and foods that should be eaten 2-3 times a week.
The basic foods include potatoes, rice, pasta, dairy products (milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese; not fermented cheeses), vegetables (raw or steamed, without any restrictions).
Poultry, beef, pork, fish and sea fruit should be eaten 2-3 times a week, with portions no bigger than one’s own palm. Beans, lentils, chickpeas and soy should be eaten 2 times a week. Other food groups that should be consumed in moderation (2-3 times a week) include fermented cheeses, eggs, deserts, fruits (even raw fruits should be eaten in moderation; and they should not be consumed as juices), dry nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachio, pumpkin seeds or sun flower seeds). With us, you can find the right sauces or herbs for your meat or veggies, chilies that will take your sea fruits to the next level, as well as salts and sugars to finish off your dish.
What does smart shopping entail? Again, it all starts with planning: a week’s worth of shopping will ensure your finances’ stability, as well as your nutritional balance. Complement your current pantry items and fridge contents with your new shopping, remember to check the expiry date of all products, and most importantly, try to use a shopping list, rather than buying on a whim whatever is on display, appealing to your palate.
Scheduling your meals will also help prevent unwanted food intake: aim to include 3-5 meals in your day, both main meals and snacks. A balanced distribution of the different types of foods across meals in a day and across the span of a week will also ensure that your calorie intake doesn’t surpass the daily recommendations. There are several tools available for calorie counting: phone apps are the digital option, another would be simply checking the foods’ wrappings, as producers are bound to report these numbers broken down for all nutritional groups.
When it comes to preparing the food, oven cooking is easier to digest, can be stored for a longer time, and last but not least, is more flavoursome and aromatic. The Seasoning Pantry has everything and anything you need, so take your time to navigate our carefully selected products and begin your culinary adventures with us.
And, if you are already doing most of these things, remember to tell your workmates, your friends or family to do so, as well. Eat healthy, stay healthy!
For centuries, herbs and spices have been used for culinary purposes, to enhance our savoring experiences through taste, aroma and color, as well as to preserve foods; in addition, traditional medicine has been using herbs, spices, & seasoning blends for medicinal purposes, both preventively and therapeutically.
Modern technologies used in research have confirmed what our ancestors already knew about spices and herbs: they are rich in natural compounds with therapeutic effects, from antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, to anticarcinogenic and cholesterol-lowering properties.
Tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids and vitamins are some of the bioactive compounds that confer medicinal benefits to herbs and spices, such as clove, rosemary, sage, oregano and cinnamon.
Long term consumption of fresh herbs spices may protect us even against the development of acute, chronic diseases, helping us to maintain our heart health and reducing pain.
Although the potential benefits of seasoning spices and herbs in protecting us against infectious, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases cannot be negated, it is only in recent years that the Western world has taken a keen interest in studying them extensively.
Culinary herbs and spices possess antioxidative, they reduce inflammation, are anti-tumorigenic, anti-carcinogenic and glucose- and cholesterol-lowering activities. Meaning it has a positive effect on controlling blood sugar levels which helps
Indeed, spices may affect cognition and mood, as well as the gut microbiota, relating to risks of diabetes, heart disease, alzheimers disease and other chronic conditions.
On average, up to 10% of Americans, surveyed in a US National and Health Nutrition Examination Survey, declare using spices such as ginger and chili pepper for health benefits (1), reasons for this being the lack of side effects of spices, the increased availability compared to traditional medicines, as well as the known health benefits of spices.
When surveyed about their predicted use of spices and herbs, about half of the participants in another study were interested in learning more about the health benefits of spices and admitted to currently using one or more spices, such as ginger, garlic or cinnamon, on a daily basis to promote their health and wellbeing (2).
Surely enough, in a long term study of health benefits of spices in a Chinese cohort, eating spicy foods almost every day decreased the risk of death by 14%, compared to consuming spicy foods less than once a week (3).
Interestingly, the consumption of spicy flavors reduced the salt intake and the blood pressure of participants in a randomized controlled trial (4), presumably by modifying the brain’s processing of the salty taste.
Given the close association of several metabolic diseases and age-related neurodegenerative diseases with oxidative processes in the human body, further research should focus on the use of herbs and spices (potential herbal medicine) as sources of antioxidants and the effects they have on specific markers of oxidation, upon consumption. And with time, we hope to see an even greater increase in the scientific evidence indicating the benefits of spices and culinary herbs in the overall maintenance of health and disease prevention.
1. Barnes PM, Bloom B, Nahin RL. Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults and children: United States, 2007. Natl Health Stat Report. 2008(12):1-23.
2. Isbill J, Kandiah J, Khubchandani J. Use of ethnic spices by adults in the United States: An exploratory study. Health Promot Perspect. 2018;8(1):33-40.
3. Lv J, Qi L, Yu C, Yang L, Guo Y, Chen Y, et al. Consumption of spicy foods and total and cause specific mortality: population based cohort study. Bmj. 2015;351:h3942.
4. Li Q, Cui Y, Jin R, Lang H, Yu H, Sun F, et al. Enjoyment of Spicy Flavor Enhances Central Salty-Taste Perception and Reduces Salt Intake and Blood Pressure. Hypertension. 2017;70(6):1291-9.
It is no secret that the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea boast with having some of the oldest citizens in the world, and not the least, some of the healthiest citizens in the world. The life expectancy on the Greek island of Ikaria is around 90 years, however their oldest easily pass the three-digit landmark. This may be due to several factors: good physical condition, the midday nap and the Mediterranean diet, topped with optimism and a relaxed pace of living.
The Mediterranean diet consists of local fruits, vegetables and protein sources, particularly whole, single-ingredient foods. When it comes to the herbs and spices used in this type of cuisine, the list is long and the benefits are plenty (Table 1; adapted from (1)). This collection of spices and herbs has been used since ancient times in the local cuisines, but recent studies have actually proven that cooking them, either by boiling, steaming, stewing or simmering, enhances the content of antioxidant polyphenols and the subsequent properties that stem from using them; on the other hand, stir-frying and grilling seem to decrease the antioxidant amounts in these herbs (2).
Table 1. Total polyphenol content (in dry spices: mg/100g) of herbs and spices included in the Mediterranean diet
The basil herb is a particular element of the Mediterranean diet. It can be used in salads, tomato dishes and pasta sauces, the most famous of them being the Italian pesto. The French collection of herbs known as “herbes de Provence” also contains basil. And its medicinal utilities derive from anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Bay leaf is quite common in Southern Europe and often cooked in sweet and savory dishes; it is also one of the components of the “bouquet garni”, a bundle of herbs, tied with string, used to prepare soups, broths and various stews. Bay leaf has been shown to have anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as lowering cholesterol levels.
Coriander leaves (known as cilantro) and coriander seeds are both extensively used for cooking, as well as pickling and flavoring sausages. And coriander seed extract seems to reduce serum glucose and cholesterol, while increasing renal function and urine elimination.
Cumin is a wild growing plant in the Mediterranean region, used widely in cuisines around the world. The grounded seeds are often used for meat dishes, to flavor sauces, pickles and bread. The cumin seeds have anti-diabetic effects and reduce cholesterol levels.
Dill often accompanies seafood and is commonly used for pickling. Dill extracts have anti-diabetic and hypolipidemic effects.
Fennel is a very versatile plant, as most parts of it (the bulb, the leaves, the flowers and the seeds) are edible and often used in Mediterranean dishes. Raw in salads, flavoring sausages and bread or herbal tea, these are the most common uses of this plant. Fennel has anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory potential, as well as lowering cholesterol and triglycerides.
Oregano, as a species, is comprised of several subspecies and is often used as a dried herb, and another ingredient in the herbal French collection known as “bouquet garni”. Oregano possesses anti-diabetic, hypolipidemic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Flat leaf or curly leaf parsley are often used as garnish, as well as sauces and savory dishes. The Italian gremolata and the French persillade both contain butter-sautéed parsley; it can also be found in the herbal collections “bouquet garni” and “fines herbes”. Parsley has anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory properties.
Rosemary is particularly present in the French cuisine, in “bouquet garni”, as well as a wide variety of meat dishes, soups and stews. It has anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory properties.
The sage plant is native to the Mediterranean basin, used particularly to flavor pork dishes, stuffings, stews and sausages, and is one of the components of “bouquet garni”. Sage also possesses anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory properties.
Another typical French herb, tarragon is widely used in bernaise and bechamel sauces, as well as flavoring chicken meat. While it is a component of “bouquet garni”, tarragon can also be steeped in oils and vinegar to prepare dressings. It mostly possesses anti-diabetic properties.
Thyme is another plant divided in multiple subspecies, used in a wide variety of savory dishes. It is a component of both “herbes de Provence” and “bouquet garni”. Thyme extract has been shown anti-inflammatory and hypolipidemic properties.
1. A. Bower, S. Marquez, E. G. de Mejia, The Health Benefits of Selected Culinary Herbs and Spices Found in the Traditional Mediterranean Diet. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 56, 2728-2746 (2016).
2. M. Chohan, G. Forster-Wilkins, E. I. Opara, Determination of the antioxidant capacity of culinary herbs subjected to various cooking and storage processes using the ABTS(*+) radical cation assay. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 63, 47-52 (2008).