Turmeric is outstanding as an anti-inflammatory and I need to use it more. I use fresh basil and cilantro whenever I can. Just smelling them makes me feel happy. I am a big lover of curries so have many different types that I use often (sometimes mix up my own) and we use a lot of dried red chili flakes to flavor.
Pretty much all of them! I have a herb garden with most herbs in. I also have some dried herbs. I have most of the main spices too in powdered form and seed form. I think when it comes to flavouring with herbs and spices it's more about learning what goes with what eg: Tarragon with chicken and mushrooms, cumin, rosemary and ginger with lamb, thyme with beef.. Try looking in cook books to see what chef's/cook's put with different ingridents. It's a big subject with lots of answers depending on what you want to cook. I was always taught that less is often more when it comes to herbs/spices.
I grow a bunch in my yard too. Nothing like fresh herbs when cooking :)
I also have a very large collection of herbs in my cupboard. I don't use specific ones for health reasons, I use them to flavor my food so it tastes good. No need to dump a bunch of salt on food when you give it flavor through herbs :)
Spices do something else too -- you can cut fat and salt if your food is tasty for other reasons. In fact, Indian food when cooked correctly hardly has any salt at all.
Cinnamon is remarkably versatile. Swampy usually puts it in his coffee (no sugar or milk with coffee, just a dash of cinnamon in the grounds). Its also good in tomato sauce.
Ginger is good for the stomach and adds such a nice flavor to almost any acid food.
Garlic has nice properties.
I am a collector. I have so many small canning jars filled. Like candy!
Big turmeric fan here. I highly recommend using fresh turmeric over powdered. It's obviously fresher, but the kicker is that it is much less bitter. More grocery stores are carrying it now, and anyone living in a warm-ish climate can easily grown their own. To substitute fresh for powdered, try doubling or tripling the quantity called for in the recipe.
Other personal favorites include garlic, basil (Italian, Thai, and lemon), rosemary, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper.
Quality is key with herbs and spices. Avoid cheaper pre-ground if you can. Penzey's seems to have the best quality. If that's out of your budget, buy whole spices from the bulk bins at a store with a lot of turnover. In all cases, convert an old coffee grinder into your personal spice grinder--everyone who eats your food will thank you.
I agree with you. All kind of spices has different values and properties. Ginger has the ability to prevent disease.Turmeric is also good for health.