List of Spices: Spice Up Your Life With These 36 Spices

With so many spices available in the world, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Dried herbs and spices are used in cooking to enhance flavors and add complexity. They can also help your food look more appetizing by adding a colorful contrast on the plate. If you’re looking for new flavors to try out, here is a list of over 36 spices that anyone can easily find online or at their local grocery store.



Turmeric is an aromatic spice obtained from the root of Turmeric plants. Traditionally, turmeric has been used in cooking all over the world to flavor dishes. The yellow color it provides to dishes is due to curcumin, which is a polyphenol that gives turmeric its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin can reduce joint pain and swelling, treat coughs, help fight diabetes, protect against cancer, improve memory, strengthen bones, and lower cholesterol levels.

Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds are a type of spice that has been used for centuries by chefs around the world to flavor foods. These seeds can be found in many grocery stores, but they are most often found in Indian cuisine. They are also common in Mexican dishes, which use them as an ingredient for pickling vegetables. Mustard seeds are small and round, making them easier to grind up than other spices. Their spicy flavor is perfect for adding a kick to any dish!


The spice ginger has been used as a food additive for nearly 2000 years. It is native to Southern China and India. Ginger’s flavour is sweet and spicy, but not as intense as some other spices. Ginger also has health benefits such as its digestive, anti-nausea, and pain-relieving properties.

Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Spice is a seasonal flavor that people enjoy all year round, but it’s some of the most popular during fall and winter.

Pumpkin spice has been a mainstay flavor for decades. It gained popularity in the 80s when it was used as a savory seasoning by cooking salt manufacturers. In the late 90s, pumpkin spice flavored coffee became popular and in 2002 Starbucks introduced pumpkin spice lattes.


Cinnamon is a spice that has been in use for over four thousand years. It was used by Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Indians. Today it is very popular in cuisines around the world, especially in the United States where it is commonly mixed with sugar to make cinnamon toast or baked into cakes or cookies. Cinnamon can also be found in many other dishes, including curries, rice dishes, coffee drinks and desserts.


Sumac, the spice that is most often used in Middle Eastern cuisine, is not all that different from its more popular counterpart, lemon. Sumac has a citrusy zing to it and can be added to dishes for an extra tang of flavor. It’s also great on salads!

Black Pepper

Black pepper is a type of spice that consists of the dried, unripe berries from the pepper plant. When these berries are picked and left to dry in the sun, they become wrinkled and shriveled. The more wrinkled the berry, the more spicy it will be. Sometimes black pepper is referred to as “”the king of spices”” because it has so many different flavors and aromas.


Cardamom is a spice that is used extensively in both Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. It has a strong flavor and aroma that makes it an excellent addition to sauces like vindaloo, and gingerbread. Cardamom also has medicinal properties and has been used to treat stomach aches and gas.

Star Anise

Star anise is a popular spice used in both sweet and savory dishes. This versatile spice is grown on evergreen trees, which are native to China, northern Vietnam, and the Phillipines. The spice is identified by its eight-pointed star shape and small, brown seed pods that are enclosed in a papery sheath. It is highly aromatic with a slightly sweet taste that balances well with salt or sugar.


Fenugreek is a type of spice that has been used for hundreds of years and continues to be used today due to its unique flavor and health benefits. It can be found in many recipes from all regions, as well as being the main ingredient in the North Indian dish “chole”.

The seeds as well as leaves are widely used as a spice.


Garlic is considered one of the world’s most flavorful, healthy, and versatile spices. It has been known to date back to ancient Egypt where it was used for its medicinal properties. When garlic is cut or crushed, its essential oils are released and spread through the air. The strong flavor can be tasted well before it is reached by this process.


Cayenne is a type of spice, an ingredient that’s used in many different cuisines and dishes. It can be used to make pepper sauce, chili powder, and even powdered sugar. This red hot pepper only grows in certain climates, but it is found in all four regions of the United States.

Curry Powder

A typical curry powder is made up of a blend of spices that may include turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, red pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, clove and black pepper. While the recipe for curry powder varies depending on the culture or region where it is being prepared or served, there are some common ingredients.


Clove, in cooking and baking, is a spice in the same family as cinnamon and nutmeg. Cloves are dried flower buds from a tree native to Indonesia. They have a sweet and spicy taste that can be overpowering when used in small quantities. The history of cloves is speculatively traced back to ancient Egypt, when its medical use was documented. Cloves were used in Egyptian embalming rituals and the Egyptians also often included them in their recipes for meats or vegetables.


Some people may already know that allspice comes from the pimento tree. What they might not know is that this spice has many health benefits. It can help with diarrhea, coughs, congestion, and heartburn. Not only can it help to make your stomach feel better but it can also be used as an insect repellent. Allspice is an anti-inflammatory which means it decreases pain in joints, muscles, or other tissues.

Black Cumin

The black cumin spice is commonly used in the Middle East, specifically in the cuisine of Oman and parts of India. It is a popular remedy for many different health ailments, including fever, sore throat, asthma, diarrhea, and inflammatory conditions.

The black cumin seed is a spice that can be found throughout the Middle East. In Oman and parts of India it is a popular remedy for many different health ailments including fever, sore throat, asthma, diarrhea and inflammatory conditions.

Onion Powder

A spice that is often used in cooking, onion powder can be found in many types of dishes. It is made from ground dried onion and this is why it has a deep, earthy flavor. Onion powder can be substituted for fresh onions when they are not available or when they would spoil too quickly. This is convenient when traveling or camping.

Onion powder can be used in many different types of dishes to give flavor.

Cassia Bark

Cassia bark is a spice derived from an Asian tree of the same name. It has a history of production dating back to ancient times in China, and was also used by the ancient Egyptians. This spice is added to many different dishes including curries, chocolate, and sweet treats such as fruitcake or gingerbread. In its raw form, it has a peppery taste with a bitter aftertaste.

Galangal Root Powder

Galangal root powder has a very different flavor profile than ginger, the more commonly used spice. It is often described as being peppery and citrusy tasting with notes of peppermint. The aroma of galangal can be described as spicy, sweet, and citrusy. In some ways, it’s reminiscent of black pepper but not nearly as strong or pungent in taste. There are many uses for this versatile spice that spans from cooking to medicinal remedies!


A spice that has been used for centuries in Middle Eastern and European cuisines, the common name for the fruit of the evergreen Myristica fragrans tree, nutmeg (the seed or kernel of the fruit) is a spice that is traditionally dried and ground in order to be consumed. Nutmeg has many healing properties including giving relief from stomach cramps, headaches, colds, and other ailments.


Fennel is a type of spice that grows in many different areas all around the world. The fennel plant can grow to be about five feet tall, with leaves shaped like an feather.
The word Fennel comes from the Greek word meaning ‘fruitful.’
It is believed that the ancient Greeks would chew on raw fennel seeds to freshen their breath and make themselves more presentable when around friends and family.

Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds are a popular spice used in both sweet and savory dishes. Poppy seeds come from the dried, ripe seed capsules of the opium poppy, which is found in many parts of the world. Poppy seeds contain no opiates or narcotic properties. However, they may release a small amount of opium if consumed in large quantities.


A spice that is often used in traditional Persian, Indian, and some South Asian cuisines, saffron has a unique flavor and aroma. It can be expensive to purchase but it does not take much of the herb to make dishes come alive with color and taste. Saffron also has many health benefits such as helping with heartburns, lowering blood pressure levels, decreasing anxiety symptoms like depression or PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), reducing menstrual cramps, easing premenstrual syndrome (PMS), relieving congestion from colds or allergies; it can also help improve sleep quality.

Bay leaf

The bay leaf, a spice used in many different cuisines for its distinctive flavor, can be found in many kitchens throughout the world. It is related to the laurel plant from the Lauraceae family and is typically harvested from the species “”Laurus nobilis”” which is a slow-growing evergreen tree.
The leaves of this plant are picked when they are still young and tender before they have a chance to harden.


Anise is a type of spice, but it goes by many other names. It can be called anise seed, star anise, or Chinese anise. This popular spice has been used for centuries in cooking and medicine. In fact, the Egyptians began using this spice as early as 1500 BC! There are many health benefits to consuming this herb; you should try adding some to your next meal.


Cumin is a type of spice used in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mexican dishes. It can be ground to give dishes an earthy smell or whole for sprinkling on dishes after cooking to give them an aromatic flavor. The use of cumin dates back to ancient times with records from 3000 BC found in Egyptian hieroglyphics mentioning the spice. In addition to being a culinary staple, it also has been used as a medicine in traditional Chinese medicine for over 4,000 years.

Caraway Seed

Caraway seeds are a type of spice that has been used for centuries to flavor foods. Dating back to ancient Egypt, caraway seeds were once thought to have healing properties that could help with digestion and stomach issues. Today, these seeds are often added to stews, soups, salads, bread, pastries, and other dishes.

Carom (Ajwain)

Carom is the seed of a plant that is native to India and Pakistan. It has been used for centuries in various cultures as an herb, spice, and medicine. The word carom comes from the Arabic term qarawah which means “”to strike.”” This name originates from how it was traditionally crushed with a mortar and pestle before use. Carom seeds are related to cumin and thyme; they can be used interchangeably but have their own unique flavor profile depending on what dish you’re preparing!


Mace is a type of spice commonly used in cooking. It is often found with nutmeg and other spices. Originally, it was harvested from the nutmeg tree, but now it is also dried, ground and sold as a type of spice. It tastes like nutmeg but with stronger undertones of cinnamon and ginger.
Mace can be found at most grocery stores or online retailers. It usually costs between $5-$10 for 2 ounces or less.


Vanilla is a spice commonly used around the world in a variety of recipes. Its aroma and flavor are so strong that you can smell it from a distance. In Mexico, vanilla beans are added to hot chocolate to accentuate the sweet flavor. In other parts of Europe, people enjoy vanilla gelato or cream because it tastes so good with fruit flavors. In France, vanilla is often paired with strawberries.

Crushed Red Pepper

Hot and spicy foods are a delicacy for many individuals, but it’s hard to find the perfect balance. One of the most common spices used in the kitchen is hot pepper, such as crushed red pepper flakes. However, these spices can pack on too much heat for some palates. Not only that, but they can become overwhelming if not used sparingly.

Coriander Seed

Coriander seed is an ancient medicinal spice. Dating back to the 5th century, people in Iran would consume coriander seeds to help with digestion and menstrual cramps. Research has shown that coriander seeds contain concentrations of eugenol, which may help fight bacteria.
Coriander is also a flavorful spice that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes including Indian curry.


Paprika is a spice commonly used in dishes such as chili, soup, and goulash to make the dish spicier. It’s made from dried and ground pods of the pepper plant. Paprika is often used as a garnish too, to make the dish look more appetizing. The flavor and color of paprika can vary depending on the type of pepper that is used and how much time it spends drying.

Chili Pepper

Chili peppers come in many sizes and shapes, but their flavor and intensity differ. The small, hot chili pepper is one of the most popular ingredients in dishes around the world. Chili powder is made from dried ground chilies that are mixed with other spices such as salt, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and paprika. This spice has a range of uses including flavoring meat dishes such as beef jerky or pork chops to adding it to soups like black bean soup or chicken noodle soup for an extra kick!
Chili peppers have been used by humans since ancient times dating back at least 10 thousand years before the present day. They were originally native to southern Mexico and Central America and spread throughout the rest of Latin America


Asafoetida comes from a perennial herb native to the tropics of both Asia and the Americas. It is a spice that adds a strong flavor to curries, sauces, and other dishes. Asafoetida has been traditionally used as a digestive aid for its antidiarrheal properties. In Ayurveda, asafoetida was used as an aid for meditation because it could help control hunger by making one feel satiated.

Celery Seed

Celery seed is a spice that can be found in many different dishes. It is the main ingredient in a variety of soups, salads, and sauces. The seeds are used to add a nutty, salty flavor to these dishes. The seeds can also be used in products such as pickles and ketchup. The seeds have been utilized for years by many different cultures.

Wrap Up
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite spices to give you some ideas for new ingredients to try. Have you ever tried any of these? What are your favorites? If there’s anything we missed, let us know in the comments!

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