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Four Herbs for a Healthier You

By Adam Dietrich

Herbs have been used since the beginning of human existence to help regulate our bodies and ward off illness. At some point along the way we learned how to cook with them, make them into tea and into medicine. 

The Voice of Nosara decided to take a look at four types of herbs you can usually find fresh in your local grocery store and are common in local cooking. While this will barely crack the surface of the herbal world, for those not familiar it may provide some insight into why these little leafy greens have been so important to humans over the years.

Parsley – Originally from the central Mediterranean, is an extremely high source of vitamin K, which is used to strengthen bones. Vitamin B9, also found in the herb, helps prevent cardiovascular disease. There’s also vitamin’s A and C, which help with the bodies’ immune system. Fresh parsley has a soft earthy smell and taste. In Costa Rican cooking it is used as a substitute in recipes that call for cilantro and is also an important herb for hearts of palm salad.


Oregano – A staple seasoning in Greek and Italian foods, oregano contains high levels of dietary fiber, which helps to control blood cholesterol. The oils derived from the herb help treat the cold or flu. It is also a high in magnesium, vitamin C and iron. The dried herb has a strong earthy smell and a soft taste. It’s used to make Costa Rican Tilapia.


Cilantro – A widely cultivated herb, grown from Africa, to Asia and even Costa Rica. The herb is high on iron and helps control anemia. It contains good cholesterol while helping to control bad cholesterol. Cilantro can also help to manage blood sugar and promote insulin secretion. Fresh cilantro has a soft leafy smell but a sharp taste, it is an herb widely used in Costa Rican cooking, locally it is a staple herb used in ceviche.


Basil – Originally from India, Iran and tropical Asia, it is high in vitamins and minerals.  Vitamin A helps with vision, while high levels of iron are good for the blood.  Basil also contains many essential oils, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Fresh basil has a strong leafy smell and a sharp almost minty taste. Basil is often used by Costa Rican’s by flavoring beans.



More health news

Break Up With Your Dessert & Try This Healthier Option

Sometimes we all yearn for an over the top sweet dessert and once in a while it’s ok to indulge. Luckily when we get that craving there are some great handmade options sold locally.

Pipa Fria: What in the World is this?

On one of our road trips in Costa Rica, we passed a roadside wooden “pipa fria” sign as our grown son exclaimed, “pull over!” He jumped out and returned with liquid filled plastic bags. As I asked “what in the world?” he replied, “Are you kidding? This is the best stuff around.” I now drink pipa fria daily – several times a day! I crave it.

Tips to Help you Prepare for a Successful Surgery

For most of us, the thought of undergoing surgery is overwhelming and brings up a lot of fear and anxiety. Taking time to prepare mentally and physically will ultimately enhance the outcome of surgery. Individuals who prepare in this way have quicker recoveries, less pain and fewer complications.

Costa Rican Scientists Develop New Test for Cervical Cancer

Recently a group of researchers and physicians of the Costa Rican company BioTD invented a new method to diagnose cervical cancer, CitoFem. This new technique is a quicker and improved alternative to the 85-year old Pap smear. 


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