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Nutritional value of herbs?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 18, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Is there a good authoritative source for information on the vitamin/mineral content of herbs?

I can't find much on nutritiondata or fitday, but I may not be looking hard enough. There are a few specific ones, but not everything I want to know about.

Do you calculate the benefit of herbs (say, all the iron thyme has) into your nutritional intake when you're doing an analysis to uncover deficiencies?

I found this site, but I it doesn't list the source for these numbers or how they were obtained: http://www.theherbielady.com/page_44_44.html

I've got all kinds of questions about the nutrients available in herbs brewed as tea, so any pointers to things of that nature would be welcome, as well. People always say "X herb has lots of magnesium!" but never "By drinking a cup of tea brewed with x grams of x herb will give you x% of your daily value of magnesium."

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 19, 2011
at 10:41 AM

Herbs arent soo small. maybe essential small. they are small but full of nutrients and power.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on January 19, 2011
at 12:16 AM

@Shelly, just wanted to comment that I used to drink a LOT of herbal tea, too. In retro, prolly too much. I mean, granted this is just anecdote that i heard Sally Fallon saying once but, those ingredients can indeed have effects in the body. A bit broad i know, but just realize that all those herbs may indeed effect you. I still drink herbal tea, dont get me wrong, but its always with the consciousness that it may well be more akin to a food than simply heated water, yknow? Just food for thought.

82a8b7c6e7f67787c2b16bd595db510e

(253)

on January 18, 2011
at 10:40 PM

I'm not really looking to up my intake of anything specific, but I drink a LOT of herbal tea. It'd be cool to know actual quantities and rate of absorption, etc. Should I actually boost my magnesium, for instance, if I actually am getting a bunch of it from the tea I drink? If I can just do that, why would I seek out things that are harder to find?

82a8b7c6e7f67787c2b16bd595db510e

(253)

on January 18, 2011
at 10:38 PM

That's what I was thinking, but nutritiondata says you get 7% of the RDA for iron in a teaspoon of dried thyme. How much other stuff is out there like that that people don't pay a lot of attention to? (Assuming you care about RDAs, assuming you can actually absorb nutrients, etc.)

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 18, 2011
at 09:02 PM

Too small a load to count, and larger portions become FOOD instead :)

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8 Answers

3
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on January 18, 2011
at 07:51 PM

Shelly, I don't count on herbs for vitamins or minerals, as I use them to give my meals a bit of variety. The odd vitamin or mineral is nice, but could be unavailable for use due to phytotoxins.

Here is the website link for Horizon Herbs. The catalog gives short descriptions of the uses for various herbs, and their properties, which might be of interest.

http://www.horizonherbs.com

To me, it makes more sense to count on foods from animals for nourishment. I use one or two teaspoons of dried herbs per day. Even if that were one or two tablespoons, I don't count on something in any of the plants to boost the nutrient value of my food plan.

I grow herbs because I like to. I put them in my food because I like to. I find them much more appealing than other plant matter. Perhaps they provide something that gives me better health.

However, it is the food from animals I count on.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 19, 2011
at 09:39 AM

perhaps, you may be interested in a post on the "Primal Wisdom" blog about use of herbs by Masai:

http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2010/01/masai-use-of-herbs.html

one of the points of which is that - aside from a sheer nutritional value - herbs / spices may play some important roles on hormonal level

0
24eb8bc2a2dc911e2e4081bd9aa300e7

on March 07, 2013
at 11:36 AM

Nice question,Herbs are typically derived from the leaves of plants. Spices will come back from the buds of the plant, like cloves; the seeds, like cumin; the berries, like peppercorn; the bark, like cinnamon; or the roots, like ginger. Sometimes, identical plant will give each herbs and spices, like recent coriander leaves as an herb and ground coriander seeds as a spice.

The only issue higher than a colon cleanse is associate [herbal colon cleanse][1]; it frees your body of its toxins in a very natural method.

0
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on January 19, 2011
at 08:22 AM

Interesting question! I use a lot of herbs and spices in cooking, in part because I am convinced they will add a lot of micronutrients as well as flavour. For instance, parsley for vit C, turmeric for curcumen (or whatever it is called); I am sure that sage, basil, bay etc have lots of things in them too. SOMETHING gives them those intense aromas, and I'm sure those somethings aren't in lettuce, turnip etc.

Also, herbs have been used medicinally for centuries - thousands of years, in some cases- and I am sure they wouldn't have been if they didn't work.

0
Medium avatar

on January 18, 2011
at 09:30 PM

Seems like the amounts would be negligible unless you, for example, use kelp flakes to boost your iodine intake or something highly concentrated that you then use in substantial quantities. Maybe just start steaming 2 cups of spinach every day? This is what I do and it reduces in size dramatically and is thus very easy to consume, plus the oxalates are at least slightly minimized. If you specifically have an iron deficiency, I would recommend using a cast iron pan and consuming vitamin C with foods cooked on it.

82a8b7c6e7f67787c2b16bd595db510e

(253)

on January 18, 2011
at 10:40 PM

I'm not really looking to up my intake of anything specific, but I drink a LOT of herbal tea. It'd be cool to know actual quantities and rate of absorption, etc. Should I actually boost my magnesium, for instance, if I actually am getting a bunch of it from the tea I drink? If I can just do that, why would I seek out things that are harder to find?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on January 19, 2011
at 12:16 AM

@Shelly, just wanted to comment that I used to drink a LOT of herbal tea, too. In retro, prolly too much. I mean, granted this is just anecdote that i heard Sally Fallon saying once but, those ingredients can indeed have effects in the body. A bit broad i know, but just realize that all those herbs may indeed effect you. I still drink herbal tea, dont get me wrong, but its always with the consciousness that it may well be more akin to a food than simply heated water, yknow? Just food for thought.

0
8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on January 18, 2011
at 08:46 PM

Parsley is high in Vitamin C.

0
902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on January 18, 2011
at 08:11 PM

Nutritiondata.com has the more common herbs, but I'm not sure what their source is.

0
0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on January 18, 2011
at 07:41 PM

Hmm, I was also wondering about this, because I recently realized that dried dill and basil have a lot of calcium, and I have never added them to food journal. I just wonder how absorbale they are and whether or not we should be taking into account the minerals and vitamins we get from herbs and spices.

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