• Herbal Farmwife

Where's The Herbs?

Do you remember the old Wendy’s commercials from the 1980s? Three older women would go to a competitor’s fast food chain and one of the women would say, “Where’s the Beef?” Well, I felt like that when I went fresh herb shopping.

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of taking my daughter and a few of her friends to Lincoln. Their intentions were to “marathon” shop for homecoming dresses. After dropping them off to the mall, I decided to take a tour of the national chains and local “healthy” grocery stores. I wanted to add to my fresh herbs supply for the upcoming weeks’ worth of meals.

My first stop was at the grocery store; whose slogan is its America’s “healthiest” grocery store. While scanning the produce area, I couldn’t find the fresh herbs. I had to finally ask. The wonderful clerk showed me to an area that had about five fresh herbs with a few variations. I thanked her and asked her if they had anymore fresh herbs located throughout the store. She told me that fresh herbs are hard to package and keep; thus, that is all they had. I strolled over to the dry herb section; where I saw little more available herbs; but, I was still disappointed.

My tour continued to various stores like America’s healthiest grocery store and had the same emotions. I could tell that herbs and spices were just an afterthought at these grocery stores buyers and store planners’ minds. Instead of buying the herbs I had hoped to find, I ultimately settled on purchasing a few fresh herb plants from one of them to create a “Fixer Upper” type of piece in my kitchen. I guess I will have to continue using my own garden’s herbs and supplementing with online purchasing of dry herbs and spices.

What this shopping experience reminded me is that herbs and spices tend to be an afterthought to many in America. Plus, it reminded me that there are so many culinary herbs that can be used in food to not only transform a dishes taste; but also provide the body healing power. Many times, God creates the tiniest to be his mightiest. With herbs dominating the ORAC scores for top antioxidants, I think this statement is true for herbs and spices.

So, I decided to scan through my various books and notes to start compiling a list of culinary herbs and spices. Different people may vary on whether they consider a certain herb or spice as a culinary herb or not. Thus, my list may vary from others and is probably nowhere from being complete. Plus, you may want to visit back from time to time because you may find the list to have grown. So, here you go…..

List of Culinary Herbs & Spices:


• Ajowan, carom seeds (Trachyspermum ammi)

• Akudjura (Solanum centrale)

• Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum)

• Alkanet (Alkanna tinctoria)

• Alligator pepper, mbongo spice (mbongochobi), hepper pepper (Aframomum danielli, A. citratum, A. exscapum)

• Allspice (Pimenta dioica)

• Amaranth (Amaranthus)

• Amchur (Mangifera indica)

• Angelica (Angelica archangelica)

• Anise (Pimpinella anisum)

• Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

• Aniseed myrtle (Syzygium anisatum) (Australia)

• Annatto (Bixa orellana)

• Artemisia (Artemisia spp.)

• Arugula (Eruca sativa)

• Asafoetida (Ferula assafoetida)

• Avens (Geum urbanum)

• Avocado leaf (Persea americana)


• Barberry (Berberis vulgaris and other Berberis spp.)

• Basil, Holy (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

• Basil, lemon (Ocimum × citriodorum)

• Basil, sweet (Ocimum basilicum)

• Basil, Thai (O. basilicum var. thyrsiflora)

• Bay Laurel, California (Umbellularia californica)

• Bay Leaf (Laurus nobilis); Indian Bay leaf, tejpat, malabathrum (Cinnamomum tamala)

• Bergamot or Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

• Boldo (Peumus boldus)

• Borage (Borago officinalis)

• Burdock (Arctium lappa L)


• Calamus (Acorus calamus)

• Calendula

• Candlenut

• Caper (Capparis spinosa)

• Caraway (Carum carvi)

• Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

• Cardamom, black (Amomum subulatum, Amomum costatum)

• Cassia (Cinnamomum aromaticum)

• Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

• Cayenne pepper (Capsicum annuum)

• Celery leaf (Apium graveolens)

• Celery seed (Apium graveolens)

• Chamomile, German

• Chamomile, Roman

• Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)

• Chickweed

• Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

• Chili, New Mexico chile, green chile or red chile, (Capsicum annuum)

• Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

• Cicely, sweet cicely (Myrrhis odorata)

• Cilantro, coriander greens, coriander herb (Coriandrum sativum)

• Cinnamon, Indonesian (Cinnamomum burmannii, Cassia vera)

• Cinnamon, Saigon or Vietnamese (Cinnamomum loureiroi)

• Cinnamon, true or Ceylon (Cinnamomum verum, C. zeylanicum)

• Cinnamon, white (Canella winterana)

• Cinnamon myrtle (Backhousia myrtifolia) (Australia)

• Clary, Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)

• Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)

• Coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum)

• Coriander, Vietnamese (Persicaria odorata)

• Costmary (Tanacetum balsamita)

• Cubeb pepper (Piper cubeba)

• Cudweed (Gnaphalium spp.) (Vietnam)

• Culantro, culangot, long coriander (Eryngium foetidum)

• Cumin (Cuminum cyminum)

• Cumin, Black

• Curry leaf (Murraya koenigii)

• Curry plant (Helichrysum italicum)


• Dandelion

• Daylily

• Dill herb or weed (Anethum graveolens)

• Dill seed (Anethum graveolens)


• Elder or Elderflower (Sambucus spp.)

• Epazote (Dysphania ambrosioides)


• Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

• Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)

• Fenugreek, Blue, blue melilot (Trigonella caerulea)

• Filé powder, gumbo filé (Sassafras albidum)

• Fingerroot, krachai, temu kuntji (Boesenbergia rotunda)


• Galangal, greater (Alpinia galanga)

• Galangal, lesser (Alpinia officinarum)

• Galingale (Cyperus spp.)

• Garden cress

• Garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) (This includes Garlic?)

• Ginger (Zingiber officinale) (This includes Mioga Ginger)

• Ginger, torch, bunga siantan (Etlingera elatior) (Indonesia)

• Golpar, Persian hogweed (Heracleum persicum) (Iran)

• Good King Henry

• Grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta)

• Grains of Selim, Kani pepper (Xylopia aethiopica)


• Habanero (Capsicum chinense cultivar)

• Hibiscus

• Hops

• Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)

• Houttuynia cordata (Vietnam)

• Huacatay, Mexican marigold, mint marigold (Tagetes minuta)

• Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)


• Indonesian bay leaf, daun salam (Syzygium polyanthum)


• Jakhya (Cleome Viscose)

• Jalapeño (Capsicum annuum cultivar)

• Jasmine flowers (Jasminum spp.)

• Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum)

• Jimbu (Allium hypsistum) (Nepal)

• Juniper berry (Juniperus communis) (Same as Juniper?)


• Kaffir lime leaves, Makrud lime leaves (Citrus hystrix) (Southeast Asia)

• Kala zeera (or kala jira), black cumin (Bunium persicum) (South Asia)

• Kawakawa seeds (Macropiper excelsum) (New Zealand)

• Keluak, kluwak, kepayang (Pangium edule)

• Kencur, galangal, kentjur (Kaempferia galanga)

• Kinh gioi, Vietnamese balm (Elsholtzia ciliata)

• Kokam seed (Garcinia indica) (Indian confectionery)

• Korarima, Ethiopian cardamom, false cardamom (Aframomum corrorima) (Eritrea)

• Koseret leaves (Lippia abyssinica) (Ethiopia)


• Lamb’s quarter

• Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

• Leaf celery

• Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

• Lemon ironbark (Eucalyptus staigeriana) (Australia)

• Lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) (Australia)

• Lemon verbena (Lippia citriodora)

• Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus, C. flexuosus, and other Cymbopogon spp.)

• Leptotes bicolor (Paraguay and southern Brazil)

• Lesser calamint (Calamintha nepeta), nipitella, nepitella (Italy)

• Licorice, liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

• Lime flower or Lime Leaf, linden flower (Tilia spp.)

• Locust beans (Ceratonia siliqua)

• Lovage (Levisticum officinale)


• Mace (Myristica fragrans)

• Mahleb, St. Lucie cherry (Prunus mahaleb)

• Malva

• Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

• Marjoram (Origanum majorana)

• Mastic (Pistacia lentiscus)

• Miner’s Lettuce

• Mint (Mentha spp.), 25 species, hundreds of varieties

• Mint, Vietnames

• Mitsuba (Cryptotaenia japonica), Japanese Parsley

• Monarda

• Mountain horopito (Pseudowintera colorata), 'pepper-plant' (New Zealand)

• 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)

• Mustard, yellow (Brassica hirta = Sinapis alba)

• Myrtle (Myrtus communis)


• Nasturium

• Nigella, black caraway, black cumin, black onion seed, kalonji (Nigella sativa)

• Njangsa, djansang (Ricinodendron heudelotii) (West Africa)

• Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)


• Olida (Eucalyptus olida) (Australia)

• Orach (Atriplex hortensis)

• Oregano (Origanum vulgare, O. heracleoticum, and other species)(This includes Cuban Oregano and Mexican.)

• Oregano, Cuban (Plectranthus amboinicus)

• Orris root (Iris germanica, I. florentina, I. pallida)


• Pandan flower, kewra (Pandanus odoratissimus)

• Pandan leaf, screwpine (Pandanus amaryllifolius)

• Papaloquelite

• Paprika (Capsicum annuum)

• Paracress (Acmella oleracea) (Brazil)

• Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

• Pepper, black, white, and green (Piper nigrum)

• Pepper, Brazilian, or pink pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius)

• Pepper, Dorrigo (Tasmannia stipitata) (Australia)

• Pepper, long (Piper longum)

• Pepper, mountain, Cornish pepper leaf (Tasmannia lanceolata)

• Peppermint (Mentha piperata)

• Peppermint gum leaf (Eucalyptus dives)

• Perilla; Deulkkae (Perilla frutescens seeds); Kkaennip (Perilla frutescens leaves); Shiso (Perilla frutescens var. crispa leaves)

• Peruvian pepper (Schinus molle)

• Plantain

• Pomegranate

• Poppy seed (Papaver somniferum)

• Purslane


• Quassia (Quassia amara), bitter spice in aperitifs and some beers and fortified wines


• Rau ngo

• Rau ram

• Red bay

• Rice paddy herb (Limnophila aromatica) (Vietnam)

• Rose

• Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

• Rue (Ruta graveolens)


• Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius), only for yellow color

• Saffron (Crocus sativus)

• Sage (Salvia officinalis)

• Saigon cinnamon (Cinnamomum loureiroi)

• Salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor)

• Salep (Orchis mascula)

• Salt

• Saltbrush

• Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)

• Savory, summer (Satureja hortensis)

• Savory, winter (Satureja montana)

• Scented Geranium (Pelargonium species) Lemon Geranium, Rose Geranium, P. Lady Plymouth

• Sesame

• Sesame Seed, Black Sesame Seed

• Shiso (Perilla frutescens)

• Shungiku

• Silphium, silphion, laser, laserpicium, sorado (Ancient Roman cuisine, Ancient Greek cuisine)

• Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)

• Sorrel, sheep (Rumex acetosella)

• Sow thistle

• Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

• Spicebush

• Spikenard (Nardostachys grandiflora or N. jatamansi)

• Star anise (Illicium verum)

• Stevia

• Stinging Nettle

• Sumac (Rhus coriaria)

• Sweet Cicely

• Sweet Marjoram

• Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum)

• Szechuan pepper, Sichuan pepper (Zanthoxylum piperitum)


• Tabasco (Capsicum frutescens cultivar)

• Tamarind

• Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)(This includes French Tarragon and Mexican Tarragon)

• Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

• Thyme, lemon (Thymus citriodorus)

• Turmeric (Curcuma longa)


• Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia)

• Vietnamese Balm (Elsholtzia ciliata)

• Viola

• Voatsiperifery (Piper borbonense) [Madagascar]


• Wasabi (Wasabia japonica)

• Watercress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquatica)

• Water-pepper, smartweed (Polygonum hydropiper)

• Wattleseed (from about 120 spp. of Australian Acacia)

• Wild thyme (Thymus serpyllum)

• Willow herb (Epilobium parviflorum)

• Wintercress

• Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

• Wood avens, herb bennet (Geum urbanum)

• Wood Sorrel

• Woodruff (Galium odoratum)

• Wormwood, absinthe (Artemisia absinthium)


• Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

• Yerba buena, any of four different species, many unrelated

• Yerba mate, used to make a tea popular in South America.


• Za'atar (herbs from the genera Origanum, Calamintha, Thymus, and Satureja)

• Zedoary (Curcuma zedoaria)

As I said, the list above is nowhere all inclusive of culinary herbs and spices. I hope this gets you to start thinking about the variations of how you can include more herbs and spices to your everyday meals.

My visit to the various grocery stores did stimulate my desire to grow herbs and spices and bring them to market. I’ll have to get more serious about this thought. I’m sure you will hear more in the future on how this effort will build and grow.

Blessings, Herbal Farmwife

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#herbalfarmwife #herbs #spices #herbsandspices #freshherbs #foodie #healthy #vegan #spicy #meatlover #naturalmedicine #medicine #culinaryherbs #herbology #health #nutrition

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