Recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of fresh herb plants at grocery stores. They are pretty cheap, so I figured why not. I chose to get a basil plant because I am obsessed with pasta and Italian food in general, so it is easy to throw basil on pretty much anything in that category.

So far, I have loved having my basil plant. I like watching it grow, and I feel so accomplished when it makes my food taste that much better. I can also use it if I feel like adding a unique touch to a margarita or other mixed drinks, so it’s very versatile. With that said, here are some more reasons why you should grow fresh herbs (keep it legal though).

1. They can enhance the flavor of dried herbs

Fresh Herbs

Photo by Irvin Mai

Dried herbs are better if you are cooking something for a long time like soups or anything in a crock pot. If you can no longer taste the dried herb after cooking it for so long, adding fresh herbs at the end can enhance that flavor and give you a burst of freshness. For example, if you are making pasta sauce from scratch, you can add dried basil while it’s cooking and then sprinkle on fresh basil at the end.

2. They have health benefits

Fresh Herbs

Photo by Adeena Zeldin

Herbs are known for being rich in vitamins A, C, and K. Even better, they contain a compound called protective polythenols that protects us from harmful bacteria. Protective polythenols also combat diseases like heart disease and cancer. Instead of forcing yourself to eat more vegetables, sprinkle some herbs on your dinner so you can feel better about eating pizza for the fifth night in a row.

3. You can add them to cocktails to look fancy AF

Fresh Herbs

Photo by Greer Hackett

I was first introduced to herbs in dranks when my brother made a basil-infused margarita. Now I have an obsession with herb-infused drinks, thanks bro. That margarita was the reason my mom bought her very own basil plant, which inspired me to get one for myself. If you’re not a basil fan, you can always get mint instead and make mojitos on mojitos.

4. It teaches you how to take care of things

Fresh Herbs

Photo by Elise DeVoe

Before you impulse buy that puppy or kitten, you may want to test your skills at keeping other things alive (with less risk involved). Taking care of a plant is pretty easy, but if you find yourself struggling, it’s probably best to not go near any pet adoptions/dog parks just in case.

5. They solve all your bland food problems

Fresh Herbs

Photo by Kai Huang

If you are living in a dorm, chances are you don’t have your own kitchen. But you can feel like you are cooking just by adding some fresh herbs to your bland dining hall food. If you want more dining hall food hacks, check out this article.

6. They’re easy to take care of

Fresh Herbs

Photo by Irvin Mai

When I got my basil plant at the Farmers Market, I was surprised the vendor didn’t give me any instructions on how to keep it alive. I was surprised because he gave the person in front of my a 20 minute lecture. Turns out all I need to do is water it once a day and keep it in sunlight. That is easy enough for any college kid, and that’s saying something.

7. They’re a natural air freshener

Fresh Herbs

Photo by Allison Arnold

The smell of fresh herbs will wake up any stinky dorm room kitchen. There’s no need for Febreze anymore. Transport yourself from your dimly lit apartment to a sunny garden with one whiff. Along those same lines, if you can’t figure out what’s stinking up your kitchen, it might be one of these foods.