Herbs aren't just for pesto and sauces—use them as a natural mosquito repellent, a digestive aid, and more.

By Nicole Papantoniou
Photo by Ryan Liebe

Next-level cooking 

Fats like oil and butter deepen the flavor of herbs. Acids like vinegar and citrus brighten them. 


Blend a small handful of parsley leaves and stems into green juices for a powerful dose of antioxidants and immune-boosting vitamin C. 

Compound butter

Fold chopped herbs like thyme, rosemary and chives into softened butter, form into logs, wrap in plastic and refrigerate. Use for cooking or serve with bread. 

Stomach soother 

Mint adds a refreshing boost to smoothies—and aids in digestion. 

Detox and cool down

Blend water, frozen blueberries, cucumber and mint for a frosty detoxifying drink. Or try watermelon, frozen strawberries and basil.

Buzz off 

Basil, mint, lemon balm, rosemary and lavender naturally repel mosquitoes. Place in pretty planters on outdoor dining tables or windowsills.

Tip: Mince, don’t mash

When chopping herbs, always use a sharp knife. The less you bruise them, the greener and more flavorful they’ll be. 



Rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme

  • Stir in at beginning of recipes.
  • Store, unwashed, in a slightly opened baggie.
  • Chop and freeze in oil.


Parsley, cilantro, basil, chives, mint 

  • Add to food before serving.
  • Roughly chop and freeze in water.
  • Clean by plunging into water, then dry and wrap in damp paper towel; store in opened baggie.


Megan Huylo, chef, cooking instructor and consultant; and The Science of Cooking by Dr. Stuart Farrimond