Quercetin is a plant chemical that acts as an antioxidant in the body, reducing stress and protecting tissue from damage.
While this flavonoid isn’t an essential mineral, daily quercetin intake can help to support overall health and wellness.
In this article, we’ll review a list of herbs high in quercetin as well as the many health benefits of quercetin.
Table of Contents
Quercetin is an antioxidant flavonol found in plants, specifically fruits and vegetables. It is highly beneficial to human health.
As an antioxidant, it’s important for neutralizing free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable cells that can cause damage to other molecules and speed up aging.
Quercetin also plays a role in reducing stress and inflammation and improving immune function. Along with these properties, quercetin also has significant antimicrobial activity.
Since the body is only able to absorb small amounts of quercetin at a time, it’s essential to ingest fruits, vegetables, and herbs rich in quercetin to receive its many health benefits.
Herbs High in Quercetin:
Below is a list of herbs high in quercetin. Add these to your diet to improve your daily quercetin intake.
1. Dill (Anethum graveolens)
Dill is a popular kitchen herb famous for its use in Scandinavian and Greek cuisine. It has been used therapeutically in traditional medicine systems, like Ayurveda, for millennia.
Both dill leaves and seeds are used for culinary and medicinal purposes. The dill plant has feathery leaves, similar to fennel, and the seeds are often used for their aromatic and beneficial oil.
Research demonstrates that dill may aid digestion, improve appetite, stimulate milk flow for breastfeeding mothers, decrease pain, and support mental health. Dill is also a rich source of B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
Some popular dill dishes include cucumber salad, tzatziki sauce, perogies, salmon preparations, and pickles. For therapeutic applications, dill seed can be taken as a tea or chewed, and dill oil is most effective when diluted in water.
It is estimated that 1g of dill contains .79 mg of quercetin. You would need to ingest approximately 6.5 cups of dill to receive your recommended daily quercetin intake. Given this information, it’s best to consume a well-rounded diet of quercetin rich herbs and foods to satisfy sufficient quercetin levels.
Summary:In addition to having high quercetin content, dill may also benefit digestion, appetite, lactation, pain, and mental health.
2. Fennel Leaves (Foeniculum vulgare)
Fennel is a highly-revered herb in the Apiaceae or carrot family. The fennel plant has a long history of therapeutic use, and the seeds, or fruits, are a popular kitchen herb.
Although “fennel” often refers to fennel seeds, the leaves also contain valuable health benefits.
Fennel leaves are known to reduce stress (due to their antioxidant activity), support the heart, and reduce inflammation. Consuming the leaves may also improve anemia symptoms because of their high vitamin C content.
It is estimated that 1g of fennel leaves contains .46 mg of quercetin.
Fennel leaves are usually eaten in culinary dishes; however, they can be consumed as tea.
Summary:Fennel, a quercetin rich food, may show evidence of being able to lower stress, benefit cardiovascular health, and decrease inflammation.
3. Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
This aromatic herb can be eaten fresh or dried and has a distinct peppery flavor. Since antiquity, oregano has been used in the kitchen and therapeutically for stomach discomfort, inflammation, and pain relief.
Oregano oil is also popular in herbal salves due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity.
1g of oregano is estimated to contain .42 mg of quercetin.
Oregano can be sprinkled in sauces, marinades, bread crumbs, and salad dressings. It can also be used therapeutically as a topical oil or taken as a capsule supplement.
Summary:A quercetin-rich kitchen herb, oregano may also work to inhibit stomach discomfort, inflammation, and pain.
4. Chili Pepper (Capsicum frutescens)
Chili pepper is a spicy herb that belongs to the Solanaceae, or nightshade, family. This herb is famous for its high vitamin C and antioxidant content.
The chili pepper fruits range from yellow to red, and love tropical climates. While chili peppers can be enjoyed in various cuisines, they are highly-revered for their anti-inflammatory effects.
It’s estimated that 1g of chili pepper contains .32 mg of quercetin.
Chili peppers are commonly consumed as a kitchen spice. It can also be ingested as an oil.
Summary:Chili pepper’s high levels of quercetin, vitamin c, and antioxidants make this an effective herb for weight management, circulation, and lowering blood pressure.
5. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
Elderberry has a long history of therapeutic use and is most commonly used to reduce fevers, support the immune system, protect the heart, and reduce inflammation.
It’s estimated that 1g of elderberry contains .29 mg of quercetin.
Elderberry syrup is a popular therapeutic preparation, but elderberries can also be enjoyed as a tea, tincture, or as gummies.
It’s important to note that raw elderberries contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can be potentially toxic. Elderberries should always be cooked or dried before consumption.
Summary:Quercetin rich elderberry is commonly though to benefit fevers, promote immune health, support heart health, and lower inflammation.
6. Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
Cranberries are one of the herbs high in quercetin and are popularly known for their ability to support the bladder.
The cranberry plant is a low-growing vine that is picky about its growing conditions. Cranberries are high in vitamin C and also have a high antioxidant content.
Therapeutically, cranberries are known to prevent and mitigate bladder complications, reduce stress and inflammation, improve heart health, and cleanse the liver.
1g of cranberries is estimated to contain .25 mg of quercetin.
Cranberries can be enjoyed in various culinary dishes, mulled wine, and taken as a tea, extract, or capsule supplement.
Summary:Beyond having a high quercetin content, cranberry appears to support the bladder, lower stress, decrease inflammation, and benefit cardiovascular health.
Health Benefits of Quercetin:
Quercetin is a naturally occurring plant chemical known as an antioxidant flavonol. It supports vital plant processes. When we consume plants rich in quercetin, we are able to absorb the quercetin into our bodies.
One of the primary benefits of quercetin is it’s antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are vital in neutralizing free radicals which are known for speeding up the aging process.
Quercetin is one of the most abundant flavonoids found in fruits and vegetables.
Food sources of quercetin include:
- Citrus fruits
- Grapes, cherries, apples
- Chinese cabbage
- Nuts, seeds, and bark also have a significant amount of quercetin.
Research shows that quercetin may have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, wound-healing, anti-Alzheimer’s, antimicrobial, anti-diabetic, and heart-supporting effects on the body.
Due to quercetin’s low water solubility, the small intestine only absorbs around 10% of ingested quercetin. Quercetin is poorly soluble in water, however, it is very soluble in alcohol, so herbal tinctures are an excellent way to consume quercetin.
Since only 10% of quercetin can be absorbed and used by the body, consuming a steady supply of quercetin is crucial for managing oxidative stress and supporting the body.
There is no daily quercetin requirement per day; however, it’s essential to ingest quercetin-rich spices and herbs to counter oxidation in the body.
Below is a helpful chart.
|Age Group||Dosing Guidelines (mg/day)|
|Men (2,500 calories/day)||500 – 1,000 mg|
|Women (1,800 calories/day)||500 – 1,000 mg|
It is important to note that these are the dosing guidelines, which are the recommended amount of a nutrient a person should consume to receive health benefits. Some individuals may need more or less depending on their needs and health conditions.
Supplementing with herbs high in quercetin may prevent damage by free radicals and support certain body functions, like the immune and cardiovascular systems.
Since the body absorbs a low amount of ingested quercetin, consuming quercetin rich plants, fruits, and vegetables is vital. While quercetin supplements are available and sufficient, it’s best to receive your daily intake from natural sources to receive a full spectrum benefits.
Do you have a favorite quercetin herb? Let us know!
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