Properties of aromatic plants

Medicinal and culinary properties of aromatic plants

Main spices and aromatic herbs in the kitchen

Although there are many spices or herbs most people use a limited number of them. The table below shows the main ones, as well as some of their uses and properties.

Many of these aromatic herbs or spices are explained in more detail in the particular study of each of them. If you want to deepen your knowledge on them, go to the appropriate link.

Aromatic spices or herbs Characteristics and uses
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Flavor and aroma characteristics
Sharp flavor and intense aroma.

Used parts and main uses

Fresh or dry bulb and dehydrated and shoots. Fish, meat soups, rice, salads, sauces, potatoes, mushrooms, cheese

Some typical dishes or uses
Cabbage fried with garlic, soup of garlic, “ajoaceite”. Gazpacho.

Main cuisines where it is used

Mediterranean, Mexican kitchen and South America.

Recommended amount

Use with moderation. Form leaves of “ajoaceite” or “Andalusian gazpacho”.

Main producing countries

China, India and Spain.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) Flavor and aroma characteristics

Very aromatic and sweet flavor

Used parts and main uses

Fresh or dry Leaves. Vegetables, soups pizzas, cheese, sauces, tomato sauce, pesto

Some typical dishes or uses

Roquefort with basil, tomatoes with basil, eggplants with basil, pasta with basil.

Main cuisines where it is used

Mediterranean, Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine

It is part of “bouquet garni” and Thai curry.

Main producing countries

Egypt and the United States

Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
Flavor and aroma characteristics
Sweet flavor similar to liquorice. Sweeter than fennel.

Used parts and main uses
Fruits and fresh leaves. Pies, cakes, meats, cheeses, stews, fish, seafood, curry sauce.

Main cuisines where it is used
Mediterranean, Middle East and German cuisine.

Some typical dishes or uses
Doughnuts of anise

Recipes with anise, anise bread

.

Recommended amount
Moderate use

Main producing countries

Spain, Turkey and Egypt

Saffron (Crocus sativus) Flavor and aroma characteristics

Aroma strong and smooth flavor, colouring yellow.

Used parts and main uses

Stigmata. Rice, soups, purees, vegetables, cheeses seafood

Main cuisines where it is used

Mediterranean and Indian cuisine

Some typical dishes or uses

Paella, couscous, risotto, spaghetti, bouillabaisse

Recommended amount

Very small. It is included in curry.

Main producing countries

Spain, France Portugal, Italy and India

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) Flavor and aroma characteristics

Sweet and sharp flavor

Used parts and main uses

Dry Crust. Pastries, cakes, jams, rice, meat, fruit salads and vegetables, stewed and grilled fruits.

Main cuisines where it is used

Indian, Mexican,

Chinese, South of US, Central America and Southeast Asia.

Some typical dishes or uses

Apple cake. Rice with milk and cinnamon Baked apple with cinnamon Chocolate ice cream with cinnamon and cream Green tea with cinnamon Chicken with cinnamon

Recommended amount

Moderate. It combines well with anise, vanilla, ginger, cardamom and fennel.

Main producing countries

Sri Lanka (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) Vietnan (Cinnamomun loureirii) and Indonesia (Cinnamomum burmannii)

Onion (Allium stock) Flavor and aroma characteristics

Sharp flavor and intense aroma.

Used parts and main uses

Fresh or dry bulb and dehydrated and shoots. Baked fish, meats, soups, rice, salads, sauces, poultry, stews potatoes, eggs, mushrooms, cheese

Main cuisines where it is used
Mediterranean, German, Mexican, United States, South America and Chinese cuisine

Some typical dishes or uses

Liver with onion, calf with onion,

Onion “tortilla”

Recommended amount

Use with moderation.

Main producing countries

China, India the United States,

Cloves (Cariophylis aromaticus) Flavor and aroma characteristics

Intense aroma and flavor

Used parts and main uses

Immature Flowers. Pies, cakes, sauces, legumes purees, meats

Main cuisines where it is used

Cuisines of India, the United States, China and Germany.

Some typical dishes or uses

Bechamel sauce, ketchup

Recommended amount

Very small

Main producing countries

Zanzibar and Madagascar

Coriander = Coriander (Chinese Parsley) (Coriandrum sativum) Flavor and aroma characteristics

Vegetal aroma, waxy, somewhat orange.

Used parts and main uses

Ground Seeds and fresh leaves. Salads, soups, beans, sausage, rye bread, chutney, guacamole

Main cuisines where it is used
Asian, Arab, Caribbean, Mexican, Texan and Ethiopian cuisines.

Some typical dishes or uses

Coffee with seeds of coriander, rice with coriander, salad with coriander, fennel with coriander, potatoes with coriander.

Form leaves from many sauces and condiments (masala, curry)

Main producing countries

Countries of the south of Europe, Mexico and the United States.

Dill (Anethum graveolens) Flavor and aroma characteristics

Flavor similar to fennel. Aromatic and fresh.

Used parts and main uses

Dry and fresh Leaves, seeds and stems. Fish, soups, rice, salads, sauces, vegetables, eggs, pickles, bread of rye, conserves of salmon and herring, potatoes

Main cuisines where it is used
Scandinavian countries, Poland and Russia.

Some typical dishes or uses

Gazpacho, marinated salmon, carpaccio of codfish, cucumber salads with dill. Cabbage with dill.

Recommended amount

Use with moderation. It is part of many dressings and sour cream.

Main producing countries

Scandinavian countries

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) Flavor and aroma characteristics

Flavor similar to anise. Aromatic

Used parts and main uses

Frozen, dry or fresh leaves. Meat, fish, seafood, pickles, mushrooms, broth, vegetables, bread, herbs

Main cuisines where it is used

Mediterranean cuisine, especially the French. Kitchen of Russia and Armenia.

Some typical dishes or uses

Gazpacho. Salad of mushrooms with tarragon, scrambled eggs with tarragon, roast chicken with tarragon, prawns salad with tarragon.

Recommended amount

Use with moderation. It is part of tarragon vinegar, “fine herbs”, “Dijon mustard,” the “tartar sauce or “bearnaise sauce.”

Main producing countries

United States and France.

More information on spices in the listing above

Editorial
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

Other interesting articles

This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.

Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.
Ok