Have ever wondered why sashimi is always served with wasabi? It's not just because they go well together. Wasabi is a powerful sterilizer and reduces the risk of food poisoning.

Just like wasabi, other herbs used as seasonings in the kitchen also have medicinal effects. In ancient times, herbs were mainly used to treat or prevent ill health and for religious purposes, rather than to satisfy the taste buds.

That doesn't mean the more herbs you ingest, the better. The medicinal properties of some herbs may work negatively on your body if they are eaten inappropriately or in great quantities in one sitting, warns Haruko Kirihara, an herb expert who has authored many books on the subject.