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List of Cooking Herbs and Spices

List of Cooking Herbs and Spices

In several parts of the world, cooking without herbs and spices seems unimaginable! After all, they add flavor to meats and vegetables, and even accentuate the flavor of pasta dishes, breads, pizzas, etc. Let's take at a look at the common ones used across the globe.
Tastessence Staff
Last Updated: Mar 5, 2018
Herbs and spices have always been an integral part of Indian cuisine. I've grown up watching my grandmother grinding fresh spices like turmeric, coriander, peppercorns, etc. Her freshly-ground spices had a heavenly aroma to them. Using these spices she would prepare mouth-watering delicacies like biryani (rice dish), korma, curries, etc.
If you ever happen to step into her kitchen, you're sure to be mesmerized by the number of bottles lining the kitchen shelves. While most bottles contained spices, the rest contained dried herbs, that she would occasionally use in her cooking. In fact, she even gave me my first cooking lesson, which involved learning the names and properties of each spice and herb. She allowed me to smell their fragrance and note their colors. Let's take a look at some of these herbs and spices.
Cooking Herbs and Spices Scientific Name
Ajwain Trachyspermum ammi
Akudjura Solanum centrale
Alexanders Smyrnium olusatrum
Alkanet Alkanna tinctoria
Allspice Pimenta dioica
Anardana Punica granatum
Angelica Angelica archangelica
Anise Pimpinella anisum
Aniseed myrtle Syzygium anisatum
Annatto Bixa orellana
Apple mint Mentha suaveolens
Asafoetida Ferula assafoetida
Asarabacca Asarum europaeum
Avocado Leaf Peresea americana
Barberry Berberis vulgaris and other Berberis spp
Basil Ocimum basilicum
Basil, Lemon Ocimum citriodorum
Bay Leaf Laurus nobilis
Bergamot Monarda didyma
Boldo Peumus boldus
Borage Borago officinalis
Black Cardamom Amomum subulatum, Amomum costatum
Black Mustard Brassica nigra
Blue Fenugreek, Blue melilot Trigonella caerulea
Brown Mustard Brassica juncea
Camphor Laurel Cinnamomum camphora
Calendula, Pot Marigold Calendula officinalis
Candle nut Aleurites moluccanus
Capers Capparis spinosa
Caraway Carum carvi
Cardamom Elettaria cardamomum
Carob Ceratonia siliqua
Catnip Nepeta cataria
Cassia Cinnamomum aromaticum
Cayenne Pepper Capsicum annuum
Celery seed Apium graveolens
Chervil Anthriscus cerefolium
Chicory Cichorium intybus
Chili pepper Capsicum spp.
Chipotle Capsicum annuum
Charoli Buchanania lanzan
Chives Allium schoenoprasum
Cicely, Sweet Cicely Myrrhis odorata
Cilantro, Coriander Greens, Coriander Herb Coriandrum sativum
Cinnamon, Indonesian Cinnamomum burmannii
Cinnamon, Saigon or Vietnamese Cinnamomum loureiroi
Cinnamon, True or Ceylon Cinnamomum verum
Cinnamon, White Canella winterana
Cinnamon Myrtle Backhousia myrtifolia
Clary, Clary Sage Salvia sclarea
Cloves Syzygium aromaticum
Coriander seed Coriandrum sativum
Costmary Tanacetum balsamita
Cuban Oregano Plectranthus amboinicus
Cubeb pepper Piper cubeba
Cudweed Gnaphalium spp.
Culantro, culangot, Long Coriander Eryngium foetidum
Cumin Cuminum cyminum
Curry Leaf Murraya koenigii
Curry Plant Helichrysum italicum
Dill seed Anethum graveolens
Dill herb or weed Anethum graveolens
Elderflower Sambucus spp.
Epazote Chenopodium ambrosioides
Fennel Foeniculum vulgare
Fenugreek Trigonella foenum-graecum
Filé powder, gumbo filé Sassafras albidum
Fingerroot, krachai, temu kuntji Boesenbergia rotunda
Galangal, greater Alpinia galanga
Galangal, lesser Alpinia officinarum
Galingale Cyperus spp.
Gambooge, Goraka Garcinia gummi-gutta
Garlic chives Allium tuberosum
Garlic Allium sativum
Garlic, Elephant Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum
Ginger Zingiber officinale
Ginger, Torch Etlingera elatior
Golpar, Persian hogweed Heracleum persicum
Gotu Kola Centella asiatica
Grains of paradise Aframomum melegueta
Grains of Selim, Kani Pepper Xylopia aethiopica
Ground ivy Glechoma hederacea
Hops Humulus lupulus
Horseradish Armoracia rusticana
Houttuynia Houttuynia cordata
Huacatay, Mexican Marigold, Mint Marigold Tagetes minuta
Indonesian Bay-Leaf, Daun salam Eugenia polyantha, Syzygium polyanthum
Jasmine Jasminum spp.
Jimbu Allium hypsistum
Juniper berry Juniperus communis
Kaffir Lime Leaves, Makrud Lime Leaves Citrus hystrix
Kala Jeera, Black Cumin Bunium persicum
Kencur, Galangal, Kentjur Kaempferia galanga
Kepayang, keluak, kluwak Pangium edule
Kokam seed Garcinia indica
Korarima, Ethiopian cardamom, false cardamom Aframomum corrorima
Koseret Lippia adoensis
Lavender Lavandula spp.
Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis
Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus, C. flexuosus, and other Cymbopogon spp.
Lemon Ironbark Eucalyptus staigeriana
Lemon Myrtle Backhousia citriodora
Lemon Verbena Lippia citriodora
Lesser Calamint Calamintha nepeta, nipitella, nepitella
Liquorice, Licorice Glycyrrhiza glabra
Lime Flower, Linden flower Tilia spp.
Lovage Levisticum officinale
Mace Myristica fragrans
Mahlab, St. Lucie Cherry Prunus mahaleb
Malabathrum, Tejpat Cinnamomum tamala
Marjoram Origanum majorana
Marsh Mallow Althaea officinalis
Mastic Pistacia lentiscus
Mesquite Prosopis spp.
Mint Mentha spp. There are about 25 species with hundreds of varieties
Musk mallow, Abelmosk Abelmoschus moschatus
Mustard, Black, Mustard plant, Mustard seed Brassica nigra
Mustard, Brown, Mustard plant, Mustard seed Brassica juncea
Mustard, White, Mustard plant, Mustard seed Sinapis alba
Nasturtium Tropaeolum majus
Nigella, Kalonji, Black caraway, Black onion seed Nigella sativa
Njangsa, Djansang Ricinodendron heudelotii
Nutmeg Myristica fragrans
Nutmeg, Calabash, Ehuru Monodora myristica
Olida Eucalyptus olida
Oregano Origanum vulgare, Origanum heracleoticum, and other species
Orris root Iris germanica, I. florentina, I. pallida
Pandan flower, Kewra Pandanus odoratissimus
Pandan leaf, Screwpine Pandanus amaryllifolius
Paprika Capsicum annuum
Paracress Spilanthes oleracea
Parsley Petroselinum crispum
Pepper: black, white, and green Piper nigrum
Pepper, Dorrigo Tasmannia stipitata
Pepper, Long Piper longum
Pepper, Mountain, Cornish Pepper Leaf Tasmannia lanceolata
Peppermint Mentha piperata
Peppermint Gum leaf Eucalyptus dives
Perilla, Shiso Perilla spp.
Pink Pepper Schinus terebinthifolius
Wild Betel Piper sarmentosum
Poppy seed Papaver somniferum
Quassia Quassia amara
Ramsons, wood garlic Allium ursinum
Rice Paddy
Herb
Limnophila aromatica
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis
Rue Ruta graveolens
Safflower Carthamus tinctorius
Saffron Crocus sativus
Sage Salvia officinalis
Saigon Cinnamon Cinnamomum loureiroi
Salad Burnet Sanguisorba minor
Salep Orchis mascula
Sassafras Sassafras albidum
Savory, Summer Satureja hortensis
Savory, Winter Satureja montana
Sesame seed Sesamum indicum
Sichuan pepper Xanthoxylum piperitum
Sorrel Rumex acetosa
Sorrel, French Rumex scutatus
Sorrel, Sheep's Rumex acetosella
Spearmint Mentha spicata
Spikenard Nardostachys grandiflora
Star anise Illicium verum
Stinging Nettle Urtica dioica
Sumac Rhus coriaria
Summer savory Satureja hortensis
Sweet woodruff Galium odoratum
Szechuan pepper, Sichuan pepper Zanthoxylum piperitum
Tarragon Artemisia dracunculus
Thyme Thymus vulgaris
Lime Thyme Thymus citriodorus
Turmeric Curcuma longa
Vanilla Vanilla planifolia
Vietnamese Balm Elsholtzia ciliata
Vietnamese Cinnamon Cinnamomum loureiroi
Vietnamese Coriander Persicaria odorata
Wasabi Wasabia japonica
Water-pepper, Smartweed Polygonum hydropiper
Watercress Rorippa nasturtium-aquatica
White Mustard Sinapis alba
Wild thyme Thymus seritriodorum pyllum
Winter savory Satureja montana
Wintergreen Gaultheria procumbens
Wood Avens, Herb Bennet Geum urbanum
Woodruff Galium odoratum
Wormwood, Absinthe Artemisia absinthium
Yerba Buena Clinopodium douglasii
Za'atar These are herbs from the genera Origanum, Calamintha, Thymus, and Satureja
Zedoary Curcuma zedoaria
Some Culinary Herbs
Allspice
This is a spice that is best when freshly ground. It taste like a mix of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. This is an all-purpose spice that can be used for desserts and salads.
Bay Leaves
The bay leaves have a mild flavor and give their best flavor when dried. The bay leaves can be used in soups, stews, tomato sauces and even while boiling shellfish.
Dill Seed
Dill seed and weed has a mild sour flavor. This common cooking herb and spice is used as leaves, seeds and even whole. You can use it with eggs, fish, meats, potato, bread pudding, salads, sauces, and even pickles.
Fennel Seeds
This has a similar taste like anise but is a bit sweeter. This is used in soups, stews and salads.
Ginger
This has a peppery and sweet taste and is used in breads, cakes, cookies, etc. It is a common cooking herb in Asian cuisine.
Horseradish
This is a common cooking herb and spice that has a sharp flavor like that of mustard. It is used in flavoring beef recipes, sausage recipes, fish recipes, and potato salads.
Saffron
This is an expensive spice used to flavor rice, stews, and fish.
Vanilla
This has a sweet and aromatic flavor that is used in desserts, ice creams, puddings, and cake recipes.
Juniper Berries
These come with a pungent, piney flavor and are used to cook beef and pork recipes, as well as marinades and sauces.
Parprika
This is a common spice that is used in potato salads, egg salads, goulash, and Hungarian dishes.
Some Culinary Spices
Marjoram
Marjoram herb has a delicate flavor and is used in stews, soups, marinades, etc.
Oregano
They have flavor similar to that of marjoram, but it is not that sweet. It is used in mainly used in Italian cuisine.
Rosemary
This is an aromatic herb that has a lemony-pine scent. It is used in many meat recipes and sauces.
Tarragon
This has a flavor that is similar to anise and is used in tartar sauce, cream sauces, eggs, and seafood salads.
Winter Savory
This mint-flavored herb is used in pâté, meat, fish, soups, and bean dishes.
The uses of these herbs and spices will vary from one region to another, one culture to another.