Bay laurel is an evergreen tree or shrub that belongs to the laurel family (Lauraceae). Normally, it can grow up to 2-5 meters (7 to 16 feet) in height but under very favorable conditions it has been know to reach up to 20 meters (66 feet).

Bay laurel is native the eastern Mediterranean and the east coast of the Black Sea. The plant has been cultivated for centuries and now grows wild throughout the Mediterranean.

Other Common Names as, Bay, bayleaf, bayleaf laurel, laurel, Grecian laurel, true laurel, sweet laurel, sweet bay, laurbær (Danish), Lor (German), laurier (French), yue gui (Chinese), lárvidarlauf (Icelandic).


Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more robust flavour with a hint of thyme, and a warm aroma. Oregano goes particularly well with tomatoes, aubergine and lamb and is generally added just at the end of cooking, so that it retains its pungency.

Perennial and easy to grow, whether from seed or small seedlings, oregano proliferates quickly in a wide climate range into a small, attractive bush with grey-green leaves.

Clip what you need, swish them in cool water, and dry before use. Keep dried oregano in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Soups, salads, sauces, meat dishes, eggs, and anything considered Mediterranean all are enhanced with a few teaspoons of oregano added for delicious complexity and flavor.


Native to the Mediterranean region, rosemary is one of the most commonly found herbs in a spice rack, and for good reason – not only does it have a wonderful taste and aroma, but also a wealth of beneficial health effects if regularly added to our diet.

Use rosemary sparingly as an accent to food as the flavor can be somewhat pungent and resinous. The herb not only tastes good in culinary dishes, such as rosemary chicken, fish, pork and lamb, but it is also a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6. It is typically prepared as a dried whole herb or a dried powdered extract, while teas and liquid extracts are made from fresh or dried leaves.

The herb has been hailed since ancient times for its medicinal properties. Rosemary was traditionally used to help alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth.

Nigella Seeds

Nigella seeds have a mild, nutty onion flavor, and they are used as a condiment in India and the Middle East on flatbreads and vegetable dishes.

Their shape has an interesting appeal, more edgy than sesame, but they can be used in many of the same ways. Give them a quick toast in a dry skillet to bring out the most flavor. Nigella seeds can be sprinkled on all manner of vegetable dishes and salads, from a simple stir fry to baked sweet potatoes.

Fennel Seeds

A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener, and have an aniseed flavour and a warm, sweet aroma.
Fennel seed has a sweet taste similar to licorice and anise, and can be found in many global cuisines from Indian curries, panch poran and masalas, to Chinese Five Spice to Italian sausage and marinara. Fennel can also be used to brew a lovely cup of digestive tea.


The anise is a perennial herbal plant that bears white colored flowers with small oblong seeds. The seeds of the anise plant carry a sweet fragrance and an almost licorice like flavor. The presence of the compound anethole in the seeds is what gives anise its distinctive aroma. Originally grown in the Mediterranean and Egypt, Anise is now found all over the world. Aniseed is available in both whole as also ground forms and can be used to add flavor to a number of food items. Aniseed as an ingredient is used in cakes and confectionary, soft drinks and alcohol. Aniseed possesses properties that are stimulating, diuretic, expectorant, carminative, laxative, anti-spasmodic, and disphoretic. The benefits of aniseed are therefore wide ranging.
Aniseed is high in vitamins such as folates, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It is also an important source of potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese and selenium. As a result, there are several health benefits of aniseed.


Sumac has a lovely, nearly purple color, and a tart flavor that is reminiscent of vinegar or lemon. It is an essential ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking.
It pairs well with vegetables, grilled lamb, chicken and fish.

Sumac is one of the main components in the spice mix za’atar, and is used as a topping on fattoush salad, and makes a nice topping on dips like hummus. Try using it in salads instead of lemon juice or to season grilled meat and fish. It’s also delicious sprinkled over hummus.

Cumin Seeds

Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L) is a leafy plant that grows low to the ground in China, India, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean region. The fruit of the plant is called the cumin seed, and it’s popular all over the world as a spice. Cumin has become the subject of medical research, as anecdotal evidence claims it has all kinds of health benefits.

Spices play an important role in making a dish more flavourful. Indian cuisine is especially known to have some of the healthiest traditional spices as its main ingredients. But who knew they could have more benefits than one. Speaking of this aspect, Cumin Seeds (jeera) is an essential Indian spice, that does not only make your food delicious but has numerous health benefits too.