Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are green leaves seeds roots and stems derived from plants used to season or flavour dish to make it differently, delicious with good aroma.


Herbs and spices can be classified into two main groups:

a) Natural

b) Artificial


Natural herbs and spices are those used directly as derived from plants without subjecting them to any industrial processing. Examples of Natural herbs and spices are:

Allsice, botanical name(Pimenta dioica)

Angelica, botanical name(Angelica archangelica)

Anise, botanical name (Pimpinella anisum)

Asafoetida, botanical name (Ferula assa-foetida)

Africa lemon grass, botanical name(Cymbopoyon citratus)

Bay leaf, botanical name(Laurus nobilis)

Basil, botanical name(Ocimum basilicum)

bergamot, botanical name (Monarda species)

Black cumin, botanical name(Nigella sativa)

Black mustard, botanical name (Brassica nigra)

Black pepper, botanical name (Piper nigrum), Yoruba name (Iyere), Igbo (Oziza), Efik (Ada)

Borage, botanical name(Borago officinalis)

Brown mustard, botanical name(Brassica juncea)

Burnet, botanical name (Sanguisorba minor and S. officinalis)

Bitter leaf, Yoruba name (Ewuro), Hausa name (Shuwaka), Igbo name (Onugbu)

Caraway, botanical name (Carum carvi)

Cardamom, botanical name(Elettaria cardamomum)

Cassia, botanical name(Cinnamomum cassia)

Catnip, botanical name(Nepeta cataria)

Cayenne pepper, botanical name(Capsicum annuum)

Celery seed, botanical name(Apium graveolens, variety dulce)

Chervil, botanical name(Anthriscus cerefolium)

Chicory, botanical name(Cichorium intybus)

Chili pepper, botanical name(Capsicum species)

Chives, botanical name (Allium schoenoprasum)

Cicely, botanical name (Myrrhis odorata)

Cilantro, botanical name (Coriandrum sativum)

Cinnamon, botanical name (Cinnamomum verum)

Clove, botanical name (Syzygium aromaticum)

Coriander, botanical name (Coriandrum sativum)

Costmary, botanical name (Tanacetum balsamita)

Cumin, botanical name (Cuminum cyminum)

Curry leaves

Dill, botanical name(Anethum graveolens)

Fennel, botanical name(Foeniculum vulgare)

Fenugreek, botanical name (Trigonella foenum-graecum)

Filé, botanical name(Sassafras albidum)

Ginger, botanical name (Zingiber officinale)

Grains of paradise, botanical name (Aframomum melegueta)

Holy basil, botanical name (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

Horehound, botanical name(Marrubium vulgare)

Horseradish, botanical name(Armoracia rusticana)

Hyssop, botanical name(Hyssopus officinalis)

Lavender, botanical name (Lavandula species)

Lemon balm, botanical name (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon grass, botanical name (Cymbopogon citratus)

Lemon verbena, botanical name (Aloysia citrodora)

Licorice, botanical name (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Lovage, botanical name (Levisticum officinale)

Mace, botanical name (Myristica fragrans)

Marjoram, botanical name (Origanum majorana)

Nutmeg, botanical name (Myristica fragrans)

Oregano, botanical name (Origanum vulgare)

Paprika, botanical name (Capsicum annuum)

Parsley, botanical name (Petroselinum crispum)

Peppermint, botanical name(Mentha ×piperita)

Poppy seed, botanical name(Papaver somniferum)

Rosemary, botanical name (Salvia rosmarinus)

Rue, botanical name (Ruta graveolens)

Saffron, botanical name (Crocus sativus)

Sage, botanical name (Salvia officinalis)

Savory, botanical name(Satureja hortensis and S. montana)

Sesame, botanical name (Sesamum indicum)

Sorrel, botanical name (Rumex species)

Star anise, botanical name (Illicium verum)

Spearmint, botanical name (Mentha spicata)

Tarragon, botanical name (Artemisia dracunculus)

Turmeric, botanical name (Curcuma longa)

Vanilla, botanical name (Vanilla planifolia and V. tahitensis)

Wasabi, botanical name(Eutrema japonicum)

White mustard, botanical name (Sinapis alba)


Artificial herbs and spices are those that are produced industrially after some processing. Examples are:

Thyme, botanical name(Thymus vulgaris)

 Powder curry, Maggi, White pepper, Sesame, Red pepper etc


Uses of herbs and spices


- To improve the flavour of the food

- For garnishing

- Used as preservative

- To spice up dish

- To serve as a tenderizer.


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