Nutritive Herbs Overview

Nutritive herbs are a category of herbs that contain a significant amount of nutrients and vitamins that help the body to function optimally.  Supplementing with nutrient-rich herbs can help to …

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Written by: Siobhan Mendicino
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Medical Review by: Daniel Powers, MS
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Nutritive herbs are a category of herbs that contain a significant amount of nutrients and vitamins that help the body to function optimally. 

Supplementing with nutrient-rich herbs can help to increase overall health and vitality.

In this article, we’ll discuss the nature of nutritive herbs and give some examples of nutrient-dense herbs.

nutritive herbs overveiw

What are Nutritive Herbs?

Nutritive herbs are a category of plants that are rich in various nutrients and vitamins, including potassium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, C, and E. 

Nutrients and vitamins in herbs may benefit the body by supporting the immune system, reducing inflammation, providing antioxidant effects, and encouraging relaxation. 

Nutrient content in soil and water varies based on environmental factors and geographical location.

The 6 Best Nutritive Herbs: 

Below is a list of minerals and vitamins in herbs that may improve overall health and wellness if added to a daily regimen. 

nutritive herb nettle
Nettle (Urtica dioica

1. Nettle (Urtica dioica

Nettle is a popular herb commonly known as stinging nettle due to the plant’s tiny hairs that can sting you and cause redness and irritation.   

Stinging nettle is a highly nutritious herb rich in numerous minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamins C, A, and K, and several B vitamins. 

Research shows that nettle may help with seasonal allergies and reduce inflammation through anti-inflammatory activity.

Nettle can be easily harvested with gloves and consumed in tea or various dishes after being blanched to de-string the leaves. 


Nettle is a nutritive herb that has been commonly thought to relieve seasonal allergy symptoms and possess anti-inflammatory effects.
nutritive herb dandelion
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale

2. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale

Dandelion’s sunny, yellow florets can be seen thriving in fields, yards, and roadsides. The flowers and leaves are often consumed for therapeutic and culinary purposes, while the roots have numerous health-supporting properties.    

The dandelion plant is rich in potassium, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, B, and C. 

Dandelion’s bitter leaves may support digestion and the liver health and can be included in various culinary dishes, like salads, sandwiches, and sautéed with butter and garlic.


Besides being rich in many nutrients, dandelion leaves are thought to be helpful for digestion support and liver health.
nutritive herb basil
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

3. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Aromatic, sweet basil belongs to the Lamiaceae, or mint, family and is famously known for its essential role in Italian cuisine. While basil is most commonly used as a kitchen spice, it contains various health benefits that have been used for millennia.  

Basil is rich in copper, potassium, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin K.

Research shows that basil may help reduce inflammation, support digestion, and improve cardiovascular health. You can enjoy basil in pasta, on pizza, and in pesto sauce. 


Kitchen herb basil is rich in many nutrients and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties while working to benefit digestion and heart health.
nutritive herb cilantro
Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum

4. Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum

Cilantro consists of the leaves of the coriander plant – it’s used in cooking and as a health-supporting herb. Additionally, coriander seeds are known for their various therapeutic effects.  

Cilantro leaf is rich in copper, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K, while the seed is rich in magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A and C. 

Cilantro may help liver functions, and coriander seeds may reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The leaves are often used in cooking as a flavoring or garnish, while the seeds are used as a spice. 


Cilantro, an herb high in nutrients, is considered a beneficial herb for liver function, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
nutritive herb oats
Oats (Avena sativa

5. Oats (Avena sativa

The entire oat plant is highly nutritious. The unripe seed pods, called milky oats, contain numerous minerals responsible for nurturing the oat seed (often eaten as cereal).

Both the milky oats and oat straw, the ground-up leaves and stems of the oat plant, are known to contain medicinal properties.  

Milky oats are rich in magnesium, calcium, iron, vitamin B complex, and vitamins A and C, and oat straw is rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, most B vitamins (except B12), and vitamins A, C, E, and K. 

Clinical studies have shown that milky oats may improve cognitive functioning, and oat straw may soothe mental health conditions. It is best to consume milky oats and oat straw as a nutritive tea or an extract to receive its many health benefits. 


Nutrient-rich oats have been thought to improve brain function, cognition, and mental health.
nutritive herb mint family
Mint family (Lamiaceae)

6. Mint family (Lamiaceae

Many plants in the Lamiaceae family are nutrient-rich. Some include:

nutritive herb oregano
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

1. Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

A popular Mediterranean herb, oregano is another admired culinary herb frequently found in kitchen spice cabinets. It has both culinary and therapeutic properties. 

Oregano leaves are rich in quercetin, antioxidants, and zinc and may help the body fight off bacteria. Additionally, research shows that oregano may reduce inflammation. 

The leaves can be enjoyed fresh or dried in salad dressing and sauces, while oregano oil can be used to create salves. 


Oregano, an herb high in many nutrients, has also been shown to possess anti-inflammatory effects.
nutritive herb spearmint
Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

 2. Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

Spearmint is a popular flavoring for products like gum, mouthwash, and toothpaste. It also contains various medicinal properties that support the gastrointestinal tract. 

The leaves are rich in magnesium, potassium, and copper. It also contains volatile oils in the form of flavonoids.  

Numerous studies show that spearmint may support the digestive system and ease indigestion and nausea. Apart from its product popularity, spearmint can also be consumed as tea or in culinary dishes, like smoothies, refreshing beverages, and ice cream.  


The leaves of nutrient-rich spearmint is commonly used to support digestion and benefit nausea.
nutritive herb peppermint
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

 3. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Another popular mint, peppermint, is known for its simultaneous warming and cooling effects. It is often enjoyed in tea or various desserts. 

The peppermint leaves are rich in antioxidants and potassium. Clinical studies show that peppermint may improve cognition and concentration and support the digestive system. 

Peppermint leaves are popularly used to flavor candy, chocolate, and festive beverages but are also excellent as a nutritive tea after a heavy meal. 


Highly nutritious peppermint has been shown to promote cognitive function, improve concentration, and support digestion.
nutrient rich sage
Sage (Salvia officinalis)

4. Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Sage has a rich history of therapeutic use and is considered sacred in some cultures. It is also used as a kitchen herb. 

The sage leaf is rich in vitamin B3 (niacin) and potassium. Research shows that sage may support digestion and have brain-supportive and antibacterial effects.

Sage is frequently used dry or fresh and is often coupled with heavier ingredients, like meat, to encourage digestion. You can also enjoy sage as a nutritive tea or extract. 


Sage, another nutrient-rich kitchen herb, is thought to aid digestion, improve brain function, and possess antibacterial properties.


Adding nutrient-rich herbs to your diet is a great way to support optimal body functions, boost health, and avoid health complications. 

If you’re interested in supplementing with nutritive herbs, consult a healthcare practitioner before incorporating these herbs into your daily routine. 

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About Siobhan Mendicino

Siobhan is a herbal researcher and writer. She has a bachelor of science in communications as well as having completed a post-baccalaureate certificate in herbal studies.