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The Most Underrated Herbs And Spices

Submitted by Eva Jean
Posted on 16 Oct, 2017

The Most Underrated Herbs And Spices
Herbs contain a wide array of chemical compounds. They have a distinct order to their perfection. Natural selection pressures push these plants to vary their molecular make up to survive. They have evolved for millions of years, and contain beneficial compounds that advance human health.

The following are the most under-rated herbs and spices you should be incorporating into your diet for better health.



This herb has been historically revered as a natural remedy for ailments of the eyes, even owing its name to the Greek word Argemone, meaning ‘plant that heals the eye.’

Agrimony has also been used for such things as healing of wounds and other skin conditions, treatment of cough and sore throat, to ease gastrointestinal discomfort, and as a sleep aid.

Buy Some
Agrimony is best enjoyed as a tea. You can try this Organic Dried Agrimony from Niyama Herbal Arts.

Grow Your Own
You can grow your own using seeds purchased Nuts 'n Cones.


Alfalfa is fodder for livestock for a reason: it’s incredibly rich in minerals and protein. Alfalfa originally grew in the Mediterranean and Middle East but has now spread to most of Europe and America Alfalfa is excellent for treatment of severe nausea such as that caused by morning sickness. It is a powerful diuretic, flushing toxins from the liver and gastrointestinal tracts. It is also known to help lower cholesterol.

Buy Some
Now Foods sells organic alfafa seeds inexpensively. You can get it here.

Grow Your Own
Handy Pantry sells organic alfalfa sprouting seeds.



Aniseed is known for its ability to help improve digestion and ease excess wind and nausea. It is beneficial for breastfeeding mums to help enhance milk supply, and can also help dampen nervousness. Aniseed is soothing for coughs and sore throats and can help clear up congestion.

Buy Some
You can purchase Organic Aniseed Powder from this page on Amazon.com.

Grow Your Own
Grow this lovely flowering herb in your garden. You can get seeds from All Good Things.


California Poppy

The brilliant blooms of the poppy make this opioid plant an iconic one. The plant is an effective nervine (anxiety reliever) and is safe for use on agitated children. Can be made into a a tea for quick relief of nervousness and tension. A stronger decoction will offer pain relief. (A decoction is made by “stewing” all safe plant parts, including stems and roots if possible, in water for several hours and, ideally, soaking overnight.)

Buy Some
Ecstatic Earth sells dried organic California Poppy. You can buy it here.

Grow Your Own
California Poppy is quite easy to grow. You can get seeds here.




Cardamom are a group of several species of flowering plants in the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. As an herbal remedy, cardamom helps to protect the gastrointestinal tract, cleanse the blood of bad cholesterol, improve circulation, and even prevent the development some forms of cancer.

Cardamom is antimicrobial, making it effective against periodontal disease and urinary tract infections. The herb is a natural anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic.

Aside from its many health benefits, cardamom also has an incredible floral aroma and taste which have earned it the title “Queen of Spices” throughout much of Asia.

Buy Some
Purchase this Organic Cardamom Powder to experience the amazing flavor and health benefits of this wonderful herb.

Grow Your Own
Cardamom is a tropical plant and can be difficult to grow. Still, experienced or adventurous gardeners may want to give it a go. You can buy cardamom seeds here and they are relatively inexpensive.




A close relative of peppermint, spearmint, and lemon balm, Catmint (Nepeta cataria, also commonly known as catnip) is best known for the stimulating effect which the herb has on felines. Famous for making cats deliriously crazy, catnip has health properties that are great for humans, too.

Catmint tea can help to relieve cold symptoms like sore throat, sinus pressure, and headache. It is also effective for reduction of fever, as the herb induces sweating. Drink catmint tea as a digestive aid to help to calm gastrointestinal upset, reduce flatulence, and ease stomach aches.

Catnip also helps stop excessive bleeding and swelling when applied rather than ingested. Catnip can stimulate uterine contractions, so it should not be consumed by pregnant women.

Buy Some
You can also order Dried Organic Catmint on Amazon.com.

Grow Your Own
Catmint is super easy to grow (as with most mints) from seed and produces beautiful purple flowers in the spring which will attract pollinating insects like bees and butterflies to your garden. You can purchase organic non-GMO catnip seeds from here.



Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is commonly used in cleansing and detox programs to help stimulate circulation and improve digestion by increasing stomach acids and enzyme secretion. Cayenne is beneficial for treating colds and flu too, as it helps clear mucus congestion, and eases sore throats and coughs.

Cayenne is beneficial for weight loss as it helps dampen appetite and it is a thermogenic spice, meaning it helps to boost metabolism. Cayenne has also been found to help normalize blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Buy Some
Cayenne pepper is consumed in many forms. One of the most common is in powder form. You can get organic cayenne pepper powder here from Starwest Botanicals.

Grow Your Own
You can purchase organic Non-GMO cayenne pepper seeds from PowerGrow Systems.




This lovely warming herb helps stimulate digestion and appetite. It can help sooth an upset stomach, relieve indigestion, excess wind, and nausea, and is beneficial for alleviating diarrhoea.

Cinnamon has been found to help keep blood sugar levels balanced, making it an ideal spice for diabetics. It is also very high in antioxidants, containing the super antioxidant glutathione, and helps improve circulation.

Buy Some
You can buy organic Fair Trade certified cinnamon sticks here from Frontier.




Cloves are useful for helping soothe an upset stomach and help aid digestion and excess wind. Cloves also have an antimicrobial action which helps rid the digestive tract of unwanted parasites and bacteria. Cloves are beneficial for easing coughs and expelling phlegm. They have been traditionally used topically to help relieve toothaches.

Buy Some
You can buy certified organic cloves online from Simply Organic.

Grow Your Own
You can try growing some from seeds. There are some sold by Seeds of India, but only few people have had success growing it.




Coriander seeds are known to stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin which results in more balanced blood-sugar. Coriander has also been found to have a cholesterol lowering effect, reducing ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol while increasing ‘good’ HDL’s. Coriander seeds are also naturally antibiotic against some food-borne pathogens – salmonella being one of them.

Coriander leaves – commonly known as Cilantro – are full of fiber and nutrients, most notably vitamins A and K. Cilantro is also high in anti-oxidants and minerals such as potassium, iron, and magnesium. Not bad for a tasty little herb!

Buy Some
You can purchase Organic Coriander Seeds and Organic Dried Cilantro from Amazon.com.

Grow Your Own
Grow your own coriander to enjoy the benefits of both seeds and fresh leaves. Available from Seeds and Things.




Cumin is high in iron and vitamin C so it will help support healthy immune function to fight colds and flu and other infections. Cumin is beneficial for improving digestion, and has anti-fungal properties. It also helps the liver detoxify and can help relieve insomnia. Studies have also shown that cumin may have cancer-fighting abilities.

Buy Some
You can buy whole organic cumin seeds from Frontier.

Grow Your Own
You can plant your own cumin using seeds sold by Seed Needs.




While the herb has a long history of use around the world and its health benefits are extremely well-documented, most people have never heard of it. Feverfew is a powerful anti-inflammatory, able to reduce pain and swelling associated with arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and headaches. It is one of only a small handful of effective natural remedies for migraine headaches. The herb is also useful for reducing general pain and body aches, as well as for calming tension and anxiety.

Buy Some
Feverfew is also available as a loose dried herb, herbal tea, and as a supplement.

Grow Your Own
You can purchase Tanacetum parthenium seeds here if you would like to grow your own.




Also called Navajo Tea, Plains Tea, or Coyote Plant; Greenthread are any of the flowering herbs of the genus Thelesperma (in the Asteraceae family.) This lovely daisy-like herb is a potent diuretic, as well as an anti-inflammatory which has been used by Native Americans for hundreds of years as a detoxifying herbal tea.

Greenthread is still one of the best natural remedies for infections of the urinary tract and for soothing gastrointestinal distress.

Buy Some
You can purchase Greenthread Herbal Tea on Amazon.com.

Grow Your Own
Greenthread grows very easily from seed. You can buy them online from Grocoseeds.




One of the oldest known medicinal herbs, Hyssop(Hyssopus officinalis) is closely related to marjoram and oregano. Much like its herbal cousins, Hyssop is a potent anti-microbial herb, great for cleansing the body of harmful bacteria such as those which cause respiratory infections and skin conditions like acne. Hyssop may also be used to combat strep, influenza, and many fungal infections.

Buy Some
You can also find Hyssop in dried loose form and as an herbal supplement.

Grow Your Own
Grow your own Hyssop and enjoy not only the herbs health benefits, but also its gorgeous purple blossoms. Seeds are available at Seed Needs.



Lady Ferns

Lady ferns are long light green plants native to the northern hemisphere and one of the oldest plants on Earth. They also heal a number of diseases in naturally. It is a recommended herb for fevers and coughs, prevention against worms and defending against asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis. They are also effective for cuts and sunburns.

Grow Your Own
You can buy them online from Garden Delights as a bare root plant in its dormant stage.




A member of the carrot family, Lovage (Levisticum officinale) is actually the sole species of its own genus. This herb has a wonderful flavor somewhere between celery, aniseed, and lemon, making it a joy to cook with. Additionally, lovage is a digestive aid which can help to reduce flatulence, sooth indigestion, as well as to cleanse the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts.

Lovage is known for its ability to soothe a sore throat and ease the pain of stomach ulcers. Adding lovage to your bath may help to reduce pain and discomfort from inflammatory skin conditions.

Buy Some
You can drink Lovage Root Tea to enjoy the health benefits of this wonderful herb.

Grow Your Own
With its thick dark foliage and Lovage makes a lush and beautiful addition to any garden. Purchase lovage seeds and grow your own. You can get some from Davids Garden Seeds.




Marigolds are intensely popular as ornamental flowering plants, but they’re also extremely useful herbs! Marigold is one of the more effective herbal remedies for many inflammatory skin conditions like acne, eczema, and allergic rashes. The herb may be used to safely and naturally lower fevers, reduce swelling of joints or other damaged tissue, ease headaches, and block histamines which cause allergy symptoms.

Marigold is also known to improve circulation and possibly to prevent the development of tumors. Many people also use an herbal hair rinse made from Calendula flowers to naturally cover premature greying and nourish the scalp.

Buy Some
You can try these dried Organic Calendula Flowers from Starwest Botanicals.

Grow Your Own
You can purchase marigold seeds from Seeds of Change and grow your own.




Oregano is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamin K, which is important for improving the body’s ability to fight off infections and for improving bone density and blood clotting. This herb has strong antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, and has been traditionally used to treat gastrointestinal and respiratory disorders, urinary tract problems and menstrual cramping. It can also be used topically to help clear dandruff and acne and is a good natural insect repellant.

Buy Some
You can get certified organic oregano leaves from Frontier.

Grow Your Own
You can buy oregano seeds inexpensively from Seed Kingdom.




Parsley may seem rather common to be found on our list, however this is one seriously under-rated herb. Parsley is so incredibly healthy that using it as nothing more than a pretty garnish then tossing it in the trash bin afterward is almost criminal!

Parsley is one of the riches sources of vitamin K which is great for improving skin health and promotes faster healing of skin ailments. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C and iron which strengthen the immune and circulatory systems. Parsley is powerfully antioxidant, helps to detoxify all of the body’s systems, and improves digestion and nutrient absorption.

As if all of that weren’t enough, parsley makes you smell good. While it is fairly common knowledge that eating parsley after a meal freshens the breath; less well-known is that consuming this herb on a regular basis actually causes the body to produce a cleaner and more alluring natural scent.

Buy Some
You can try this Certified Organic Parsley by Frontier Natural Products.

Grow Your Own
Growing parsley is easy and it’s also the best way to attract the beautiful Swallowtail butterfly to your garden! Purchase these Organic Parsley Seeds from Seeds of Change on Amazon.com.



Red Clover

While some consider this delightful little flower to be a weed and others use it only as fodder for livestock, red clover is also an extremely useful herb. Red clover blossom tea makes an effective herbal remedy for cold symptoms like cough and congestion. Red clover is also great for detoxifying the body and the blood.

Buy Some
You can try these whole Organic Red Clover Blossoms by Starwest Botanicals.

Grow Your Own
You can order Non-GMO Trifolium pratense seeds from Sprout House.




Rosemary has been traditionally used to boost memory and concentration, and to relieve stress, making it a great herb for students. This wonderful herb can also improve circulation, ease indigestion, heartburn and wind, and can be used topically to help stimulate hair growth. Rosemary contains high levels of antioxidants and has anti-microbial properties too.

Buy Some
Starwest Botanicals sells whole organic rosemary leaves online.

Grow Your Own
Seed Needs sells Rosemary herb seeds online for a good price.




Sage is an incredibly useful herb, widely considered to be perhaps the most valuable herb. It is anti-flammatory, antioxidative, and antifungal. In fact, according to a noted resource World’s Healthiest Foods, “Its reputation as a panacea is even represented in its scientific name, Salvia officinalis, derived from the Latin word, salvere, which means ‘to be saved’.” It was used as a preservative for meat before the advent of refrigeration (eminently useful: you never know when you’ll be forced to hunt in the wild).

Sage has many wonderful health benefits including being an excellent memory enhancer. Sage has also been shown to benefit mild Alzheimer’s sufferers with word recall.

Sage is rich in rosmarinic acid which helps reduce inflammation in the body and has a potent antioxidant action. This health-promoting herb can also help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and has been traditionally used by menopausal women to ease hot flushes.

Buy Some
Frontier sells organic sage leaf online.

Grow Your Own
You can purchase broadleaf sage seeds from Seed Needs.



Sweet Cicely

Sweet Cicely – also known as Garden Myrrh or Spanish Chervil – is edible from roots to flowers with a flavor much like anise and liquorice. Cicely may be used as a natural low-glycemic sweetener and the seeds are sweet enough to be enjoyed by themselves as an incredibly health dessert or treat.

Sweet cicely can also be used to treat hypertension and anxiety, ease coughing, calm the stomach, and detoxify the urinary tract.

Grow Your Own
Sweet cicely is a little hard to find at teh store, but it's easy to grow from seed (though it doesn’t do well in pots.) The plant is a hardy perennial and mature plants spread quickly, so you’ll have plenty of the herb to share with friends and family. >> Get some seeds from Nuts 'n Cones.



Sweet Marjoram

While closely related to Oregano, Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana) has its own set of unique health benefits. The Greeks called it the “Joy of the Mountain” and it was revered throughout the Mediterranean for its fragrance, flavor and medicinal value.

Delicious and delicate, sweet marjoram is the perfect complement to vegetable dishes and soups, as well as pork and chicken. It is also a powerfully anti-microbial herb and digestive aid.

As with many other leafy green herbs, sweet marjoram is packed with nutrients and anti-oxidants like vitamins A, C, and K, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium and manganese. It is also effective as an antifungal, antibacterial and disinfectant treatment in a pinch.

Buy Some
You may buy whole marjoram leaves online from Spicely Organics.

Grow Your Own
Sweet marjoram is very easy to grow from seed. You can buy them inexpensively online.



Sweet Violet

Sweet Violet (Viola odorata) is another herb which is better-known as an ornamental flowering plant, but these pretty purple flowers aren’t just for show. Sweet violet may be brewed into a syrup that is effective as a treatment for colds, flu and coughs or sore throat.

Sweet violet tea is also a powerful pain reliever for headaches, muscle soreness, and other body aches. It can be used as a relaxant and sleep aid. The herb also has a diuretic effect to help detoxify the body.

Finally, the beautiful flowers of the sweet violet plant may be sprinkled onto salads to add interest and a sweet aroma.

Buy Some
You can also purchase dried Viola odorata here.

Grow Your Own
Grow your own sweet violet with these seeds from Nuts n’ Cones and enjoy both the beauty and medicinal value of this lovely herb.

Also, be sure to check out this great recipe for Violet Leaf & Honey Cough Syrup, compliments of The Nerdy Farm Wife.




While Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) is considered an invasive weed in many parts of the world, when grown in in a controlled environment this pretty flowering herb makes a useful addition to the garden as live Tansy is a powerful organic repellant against pests like potato beetles, flies, ants, and mosquitoes. On a similar note, rubbing fresh tansy leaves on the skin is a more effective at repelling stinging and biting insects than most chemical bug sprays!

The herb is also useful for eliminating parasitic worms, though Tansy may be toxic in large enough quantities.

Buy Some
You may buy organic tansy herbs online from Starwest Botanicals.

Grow Your Own
Grow your own Tanacetum vulgare either in pots or direct-sown into the garden with these quality seeds from Outsidepride.




Thyme is widely used as an aromatic plant, as well as an edible one. It effectively prevents small insects and provides many many health benefits mainly for lung problems such as shortness in breath. It provides better prevention against food-borne bacterial infections than any medication and keeps blood pressure level.

Thyme also reduces the risk of colon cancer and is also a remedy for skin problems such as dryness, redness and swelling. It acts as a relaxing herb by calming down the nervous system.

Buy Some
Don't fancy going out to the store. Order a 1-pound bag of cut organic Thyme online.

Grow Your Own
Purchase 500 heirloom variety thyme herb seeds here.



Winter Savory

Winter Savory (Satureja montana) is not only edible and quite tasty, the herb is also effective for reducing pain and irritation from bug bites and bee stings. In fact, winter savory is one of the best herbs for the job as it is also antiseptic and will help to ward off infection of these and other wounds. Drink winter savory tea to help soothe a sore throat.

The herb is also useful for easing upset stomach and indigestion, reducing flatulence, and as a remedy for diarrhea.

Buy Some
You may buy Organic Winter Savory seasoning here.

Grow Your Own
You can purchase Satureja montana seeds inexpensively and grow this beautiful flowering herb in your garden. A pack of 150 goes for about $2.00 on Amazon.com.




Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is an ancient herbal remedy, its first recorded use dating back to Greece around 1000 BC. It is also one of the best herbs for boosting the immune system before and during cold and flu season. It is also great for soothing symptoms if you already have a cold.

Yarrow is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent. Drinking a tea made from the herb can aid digestion and soothe an upset stomach. The essential oil of Achillea millefolium may be applied to skin conditions like eczema to reduce pain, itching, and swelling. Add yarrow to boiling water and inhale the steam or enjoy a cup of yarrow tea to clear up congestion and help control coughing.

Buy Some
You may purchase certified organic cut and sifter Yarrow Herb from here.

Grow Your Own
Grow your own yarrow from seed or try out this dried Certified Organic Yarrow to reap all of the benefits of this incredible under-rated herb!

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