These aromatic plants not only add flavor to almost any recipe but also help improve digestion. These natural digestive aids are easy to find fresh or to grow at home.
There are many different plants that not only taste great but also help us to digest our food and are known as digestive aids.
Natural digestive aids come from the foods we eat and help to support a healthy gut.
There also are many different medicinal plants that can be taken to aid in overall gut health, of which digestion is one component.
Turmeric is a root that is used all around the world to help with overall gut health.
With proper digestion comes many different benefits that you probably would not think of such as a better performing immune system.
Research has shown that 80% of our immune health is within our digestive system.
Our gastrointestinal tract produces 95% of the serotonin that we need, which is why is also referred to as our second brain.
Then there are the obvious benefits such as better absorption of the nutrients within the foods that we eat, regular and consistent bowel movements, an increase in energy, and mental clarity.
NATURAL DIGESTIVE AIDS
Digestive enzymes are required for the digestive process because they break down what we eat and drink into smaller molecules that are then absorbed into the body.
In the vegetables that we eat are three main digestive enzymes, Proteases, which break down the proteins into amino acids and peptides.
Lipases, break down fats into three fatty acids and a glycerol molecule. Amylases, break down carbohydrates into simple sugars.
There are also digestive enzymes that are made in our small intestine which include Sacrase, Lactase, and Maltase.
Coriander is native to southern Europe but can be found in southeast Asian as well as Latin American cooking.
At first glance, it looks like parsley, and its scent is only shown by chopping or rubbing it between your hands.
It gives a very refreshing touch to recipes and also stimulates the appetite.
- How to use: It is traditionally used in Latin American, Chinese, and Southeast Asian cuisine for salads, sauces, vegetables, and cold dishes. Remember that it quickly loses its flavor when heated, for example in marinades of foods that are later cooked. It is the special seasoning for guacamole and green mojo.
A relative of garlic, leeks, scallions, and shallots. Its slim, hollow, deep green stems and its pronounced, sulfurous, and pungent taste make it a highly desirable item in the kitchen, even if only for decoration.
- How to use it: It is usually used fresh at the last moment of cooking and as an ingredient in sauces, lightly cooked vegetables, salads, and soups. It can be purchased freeze-dried or the whole or cut stems can be frozen at home.
Basil is native to the tropical regions of central Africa and Southeast Asia.
In addition to protection against mosquitoes, a pleasant flavor reminiscent – depending on the variety. With flavors of lemon, lime, anise, or camphor, although floral notes already dominate.
The young leaves are more aromatic and floral.
- How to use: When crushed it preserves the aroma better if it is done in a mortar. It is used in pestos and pistes to accompany pasta, vegetables, and potatoes. It goes well with tomatoes and cheeses. Once cut, keep it in water like the stem of a plant, out of the fridge.
Tarragon is native to northern Europe and is also referred to as Estragon.
It can be used fresh but, like many other aromatic plants, it is also common to use dried tarragon, which is easier to obtain.
Its flavor is peculiar, similar to anise, although more marked, and it awakens the appetite.
- How to use it: It is used in classic French cuisine to make sauces such as béarnaise, which we can veganize by substituting the egg for tofu and black salt and the butter for tahini. It is also part of the traditional blend of fine herbs with which creamy recipes are flavored. Although it is widely used to flavor meat and fish, it can also give a great touch of flavor to vegetable cuisine and is delicious with potatoes. It is also used to flavor different kinds of vinegar, the chosen vinegar, if stored covered and in a dry place, is perfumed in a week.
Dill is native to western Asia and the eastern Mediterranean region.
Its seeds, its stems, and its leaves are used. The stems are tough, and the leaves are delicate and feathery.
It comes from Southeast Asia but became very popular in Northern Europe.
Where it is used with salmon and marinated fish, but also in cold sauces and pickles.
It has a sweet taste, with fresh, spicy, citrus, and green notes.
- How it is used: In oriental cooking, it is used almost as a vegetable in rice dishes and stews. It flavors creams, cheeses, and baked goods, and its seeds which are stronger in flavor are used for pickles and aromatic vinegar. Although fresh is better, dry or lyophilized is easily found.
Marjoram is native to western Asia and the eastern Mediterranean region.
It is related to oregano, but its flavor is milder, fresh green with a floral touch.
- How to use it: It is used in herbal mixtures, especially in the bouquet garni, an aromatic bouquet that perfumes stews, pasta, and dairy desserts. The branches of the bouquet are introduced at the beginning of the cooking; the leaves are chopped, at the end. It is best collected at the beginning of flowering when it has more volatile oils. Small amounts of outer leaves are collected, leaving the center to grow, or bunches are cut to hang in a cool, dry, airy place.
Savory is native to Europe and Asia. There are two varieties of savory – white, with a coarse and strong flavor, and hyssop, softer.
Both have a slightly warm and spicy flavor reminiscent of oregano and thyme, and sometimes mint.
- How to use it: Only the ripe leaves are used to flavor vegetables, legumes, and salads dressed with vinegar and olives. It should be used at the end of cooking well chopped to release its flavor. The plants must be chopped with a sharp knife so that the flavor, the fresh tone, and the color are maintained for a longer time.