Herbs are usually considered as plant with aromatic properties and are mainly used spice foods and for preparation of herbal teas. Herbs also contain many phytochemicals including antioxidants
. The aim of this study was to determine the daily intake of antioxidants present in culinary and medicinal herbs. To determine the level of antioxidants in herbs use was made of the FRAP (Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma) method. The results show that there are large differences in antioxidant levels: the herb with the highest level of antioxidants contains 1000 times more antioxidants than the herb with the lowest level. The herbs with the highest levels of antioxidants are oregano, sage, peppermint, lemon balm, clove, cinnamon, Cinnamomi cortex and Scutellariae radix.
The levels of antioxidants found in culinary herbs were influenced by crop year and season of harvesting. These are some levels of antioxidants in common culinary herbs grown and harvested in Norway, (expressed as mmol/100g):
|Purple Coneflower, flowers||23|
|Angelica, leaves and stem||15|
|Roseroot, root and leaves||6|
These are antioxidants levels found in dried commercial herbs (expressed as mmol/100g):
The researchers also tested some medicinal herbs, mainly Chinese and Japanese herbs. These were the levels of antioxidants found (expressed as mmol/100g):
The researchers concluded that the intake of herbs contribute significant to the overall daily intake of antioxidants. Intake of 1 g of culinary herbs may contain 1 mmol antioxidants. Culinary herbs are even a better source of antioxidants than other foods such as fruit, vegetables and cereals.
Source: Dragland S, Senoo H, Wake K, Holte K, Blomhoff R. Several culinary and medicinal herbs are important sources of dietary antioxidants.. Journal of Nutrition. 2003 May;133(5):1286-90