The acid-base balance in balance – how you can increase your well-being with alkaline herbs.
Base-rich herbs are beneficial for the diet [Photo: Okrasiuk / Shutterstock]
Anyone who deals a lot with nutrition and the choice of the right food will sooner or later come across the keyword acid-base balance. Diet guides, in particular, often use half-truths to warn against over-acidification of the body through improper nutrition and acidic foods. These are said to lead to tiredness, headaches and the accumulation of “waste products” in the body. In fact, acidification of the body without a previous illness (for example with chronic kidney diseases) is extremely rare, because the body has a sophisticated buffer system to regulate its pH value. However, scientific findings suggest that a diet rich in alkaline has a positive effect on the body in the long term and can lower the risk of various diseases such as kidney stones, high blood pressure or gout. While short-term “base cures” therefore have little effect on well-being, the consumption of base herbal teas and other base-rich foods can actually have a positive effect on health in the long term.
Tip: A balanced diet with plenty of water and vegetables, but few animal products, can generally be viewed as basic-oriented. A healthy diet is therefore the most effective way to support your body.
Dill is easy to grow and very healthy [Photo: bigacis / Shutterstock.com]
What are basic herbs and how do they work?
Basic herbs or general basic foods are those foods that are characterized by a high proportion of base-forming components. This has nothing to do with the taste of the plants: alkaline spices can also taste sour or spicy and still have a positive effect on the acid-base balance.
Decisive for whether herbs are classified as basic or acidic is the distribution of cations and anions in the food, which is also indicated as PRAL (Potential Renal Acid Load). Basic herbs have a high proportion of cations, which include sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. They also contain a low PRAL, which helps the body neutralize acids and restore its natural buffering capacity.
Ideally, two-thirds of the diet should consist of basic food (mainly plant-based foods) and one-third of acidic foods (mainly animal-based foods). Since this is not always possible, this is where basic herbal teas come into play: Due to their high base formation capacity, they help to balance acid-forming foods and thus contribute to a healthy diet.
Alkaline tea is a good addition to a balanced diet [Photo: Sambulov Yevgeniy / Shutterstock]
Tip: If you want to brew fresh alkaline herbal tea, you should always pay attention to the organic quality of your herbs in order to exclude pollution with pesticides or mineral fertilizers. It is even better to grow your herbs in your own garden. So you know exactly what means the plants were treated with. Growing herbs at home is child’s play: With our Plantura herb growing kit, even beginners can, for example, grow their own alkaline herbs on the windowsill or in the garden.
Basic herbs at a glance
Those who want to eat particularly healthily can cover their basic food requirements with an herbal tea, because the use of herbs as basic spices has a positive effect on the body. We have put together the best basic wild and household herbs for you here:
1. Nettle ( Urtica ): With a PRAL of -12.6, the nettle is one of the top of the range of alkaline herbs. It can be drunk as a tea or consumed fresh, and it also stimulates kidney activity.
Nettle is particularly rich in bases [Photo: Lunov Mykola / Shutterstock.com]
2. Parsley ( Petroselinum crispum ): Parsley is also one of the basic herbs. With a PRAL of -12.5, the herb can have an excellent alkaline effect as a spice. But tea made from parsley is also suitable for a healthy diet.
3. Dill ( Anethum graveolens ): Dill is not only known for its appetite-stimulating and anti-inflammatory effects, but also has a positive effect on the acid-base balance – with a PRAL of -12.3, the spice has an alkaline effect.
4. Oregano ( Origanum vulgare ): Oregano is not only inspiring as a Mediterranean herb, the plant is also popular as a basic spice with a PRAL of -9.8. What many do not know: oregano can also be used excellently as an alkaline herbal tea.
5. Dandelion ( Taraxacum officinale ): Whether as a tea or fresh in a salad – as an alkaline weed with a PRAL of -9.7, dandelion is an enrichment for every menu. In addition, the basic weeds are characterized by positive effects on digestion.
Dandelions are good for an alkaline diet [Photo: Kostiantyn Ablazov / Shutterstock]
6. Sage ( Salvia officinalis ): As a base herbal tea, the effect of sage is undisputed: With a PRAL of -7.5, sage relieves the acid-base balance and also has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract. The plant can also be perfectly combined as a basic spice.
7. Basil ( Ocimum basilicum ): Basil lovers can look forward to it: with a PRAL of -7.3, the plant is a perfect addition to the diet and can be beneficial to health both as a spice and as an alkaline herbal tea.
8. Rosemary ( Salvia rosmarinus ): Rosemary has long been known as a spice for hearty dishes. But not only its beneficial effect on the gastrointestinal tract, but also its PRAL of -6.1 make the alkaline herb a welcome guest on the table.
9. Thyme ( Thymus vulgaris ): Fresh thyme tea helps with colds and can also be beneficial for the acid-base balance. Whether as a basic herbal tea or as a spice – thyme is one of the basic herbs with a PRAL of -5.8.
10. Chives ( Allium schoenoprasum ): With its fresh taste, chives are a popular accompaniment to numerous dishes. Thanks to its PRAL of -5.3, it is also a good basic spice.
Tip: If you are following a healthy diet with alkaline herbs, it is best to leave them as untreated as possible. In addition to not using pesticides and mineral fertilizers, this also includes the use of organic soil. Our Plantura organic herb and seed soil impresses with 100% natural raw materials, for example, and is therefore ideal for growing herbs.
Alkaline herbs can be a real treat for our bodies. If you want to find out more about the healthy power of herbs, you can find out more about herbs that strengthen the immune system.