The 9 Healthiest Herbs & Spices You Can Eat


Turmeric has been used medicinally since 500 BCE, but golden lattes have popularized it. Curcumin, turmeric's major active ingredient, reduces inflammation and lowers the risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes.


Spicy food stimulates metabolism and may help you lose weight. The study isn't definitive, but capsaicin may help lose fat. Its kick and health benefits come from cayenne's principal active ingredient, capsaicin.

Holy Basil

Holy basil is peppery and spicy, unlike sugary basil, which goes well with mozzarella and tomato in Caprese salads. It appears in many Asian recipes.


Ginger adds zest to smoothies and soups as well as stomach-calming tea. "Ginger contains a wide variety of potent compounds like gingerol that can stimulate gastric emptying and promote normal movement of stool through the bowel," Snyder adds.


Cinnamon's advantages will make you want to use it year-round, not just around the holidays. Along with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, cinnamon helps manage blood sugar.


You may be harming your health if you just use oregano on pizza night. Carvacrol and thymol in oregano oil can prevent viruses from infecting cells, supporting the immune system, Snyder said, citing a 2020 Journal of Virology research.

Black Pepper

Black pepper helps your body absorb antioxidants like curcumin in turmeric and holds its own. A 2023 Aging and Disease analysis found that piperine in black pepper may alleviate age-related neurological diseases and brain aging.


Sear steak or chicken with a few rosemary sprigs to provide a delicious herb taste. Rosemary enhances sautéed vegetables and tofu on a plant-based diet.


A breath of peppermint energizes you. A 2020 Clinical and Translational Science meta-review of randomized clinical studies found that peppermint oil relieves IBS symptoms after 12 weeks.