Benefits of Juicing Herbs and Spices

While most people think of juicing fruits and vegetables, juicing various herbs and spices can really open a new world of both flavor and nutrients in juicing.

A number of herbs and hard spices have key compounds in them that a masticating juicer can help break down and extract into healthy juice.

 

Top herbs and spices for juicing

Ginger

Ginger root has been used from ancient times for its medicinal value, and has a number of helpful compounds within. As a review posted to Nutrients notes, the potential benefits of ginger include:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Relieving digestive symptoms such as nausea and vomiting
  • Improving digestion
  • Reducing pain
  • Easing metabolic symptoms
  • Reducing the risk of colorectal cancer
  • Reducing risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Improving cholesterol

With this said, more large-scale and long term research needs to explore these uses before making any broad claims.

 

Turmeric

A cousin to ginger, turmeric is the vibrant yellowish-orange herb commonly known for its use in dishes such as curry. Turmeric has gained popularity recently due to the potent effects of the compound curcumin within the herb itself. 

As a review posted to Foods notes, turmeric may have many uses, including:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Reducing oxidative stress
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Decreasing muscle soreness after workouts
  • Restoring blood fat levels
  • Relieving gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Helping prevent heart disease
  • Reducing signs of arthritis
  • Reducing markers for Alzheimer’s disease

 

Garlic

Garlic provides a zesty flavor to many dishes and may make a potent ingredient in its raw form in juices.

As a study posted to Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine notes, garlic contains helpful antioxidants and other compounds that have helpful properties such as:

  • Eliminating bacteria and other germs
  • Reducing blood sugar
  • Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reducing some markers for cancer
  • Protecting the liver
  • Enhancing body detoxification

 

Basil

Basil provides a bright, herbaceous flavor to juices, and is packed with helpful antioxidants.

As a review posted to Nutrition Today notes, basil may be helpful for a number of issues, including:

  • Improving the immune system
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Enhancing memory
  • Promoting oral health

 

Mint

Mint is a familiar flavor that makes a great addition to many juices. As a study posted to World Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Research notes, antioxidant compounds in mint have a number of benefits and may be useful for:

  • Soothing digestive pains
  • Killing harmful germs
  • Reducing pain
  • Easing respiratory symptoms
  • Digestive issues such as acid reflux, kidney stones, or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

 

Cilantro

Cilantro or coriander is an aromatic herb that has a number of potential uses in the body. It contains potent antioxidants that may have use for a number of disorders. 

Importantly, cilantro contains compounds that cross the blood/brain barrier, meaning they may help with mental health disorders as well.As a study posted to Nutrition Today notes, cilantro may have use for:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Relieving oxidative stress
  • Eliminating harmful germs
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Boosting mood
  • Reducing pain
  • Reducing markers for neurological disease

With this said, this is early evidence in many cases, and more research can help give backing to these claims.

 

Parsley

Parsley adds a green flavor to many juices, and may have a number of benefits in the body. A review posted to the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine notes many potential uses for parsley, such as:

  • Reducing gas
  • Relieving digestive upset
  • Cleaning the urinary tract
  • Reducing painful cramps
  • Reducing oxidative damage
  • Fighting off harmful germs
  • Protecting the brain and liver

 

Dill

Dill is a familiar flavor in many salads and preserves such as pickles. Adding the herb to a juice blend helps increase the overall nutrient profile. As a study posted to Pharmacognosy Review notes, extracts from both the seed and plant help relieve digestive upset and aid in digestion. 

The plant is a natural antibacterial, and contains potent antioxidants to help the body eliminate waste.

 

Oregano & Thyme

Oregano and thyme both contain a potent active ingredient called carvacrol. Carvacrol gives both these plants their strong herbaceous flavor and may have a number of potential uses, including:

  • Eliminating harmful bacteria, fungi, and viral strains
  • Eliminating food-borne pathogens that cause illness
  • Adding a large amount of antioxidants to the diet
  • Reducing markers of some cancers

Keep in mind that the flavor of both oregano and thyme is very strong. It may help to add other sweeter flavors to the juice as well.

 

Can you add dried spices to a juice?

Another way to get some benefit of the spices into a juice is to add a bit of the ground herb into the juice at the end of the process. This works very well for dry herbs that will not extract much juice, but still contain helpful compounds.

For example, black pepper is a helpful spice that stimulates the digestive system and helps increase the uptake of other compounds, such as the curcumin in turmeric.

However, juicing a dry peppercorn will not be very fruitful. Instead, add just a dash of finely ground pepper to the juice at the end of the process.

Other dried spices that may help improve a juice include:

  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cinnamon 
  • Chili powder
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  • turmeric

 

Bottom line

There are many benefits to juicing herbs and spices, especially in a slow juicer that helps thoroughly break down all the plant matter and extract nutrients.

Adding these spices to a juice can increase the health properties, but may take some time to get used to, as the flavors are potent! Luckily, there are many flavor combinations to experiment with.

 

References

Anh, N. H., et al.  (2020). Ginger on human health: A comprehensive systematic review of 109 randomized controlled trials. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7019938/ 

Bayan, L., et al.(2014). Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103721/

Farzaei, M. H., et al. (2013). Parsley: A review of ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry and biological activities. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24660617/ 

Hewlings, S. J., & Kalman, D. S. (2017). Curcumin: A review of its’ effects on human health.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/ 

Jana, S., & Shekhawat, G. S. (2010). Anethum graveolens: An Indian traditional medicinal herb and spice. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249919/ 

Sharifi‐Rad, M., et al. (2018). Carvacrol and human health: A comprehensive review.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29744941/ 

Singletary, K. (2016). Coriander: Overview of potential health benefits.  https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/fulltext/2016/05000/coriander__overview_of_potential_health_benefits.8.aspx 

Singletary, K. W. (2018). Basil: A brief summary of potential health benefits.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324085682_Basil_A_Brief_Summary_of_Potential_Health_Benefits 

Trevisan, S. C. C., et al. (2017). Properties of mentha piperita: A brief review.  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sandra_Barbalho/publication/317290799_PROPERTIES_OF_MENTHA_PIPERITA_A_BRIEF_REVIEW/links/5930af11a6fdcc89e7845f37/PROPERTIES-OF-MENTHA-PIPERITA-A-BRIEF-REVIEW.pdf

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