Basil is a tender low-growing herb prominently featured in Mediterranean cuisine. The plant tastes somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, sweet smell. Scientific studies have established that compounds in basil oil have potent antioxidant hence anti-aging, anti-cancer, anti-viral, and anti-microbial properties.

Bay Laurel
Also known as Bay Leaf, this herb is often used to flavor soups, stews, braises and pates in Mediterranean Cuisine. It is an antioxidative, analgesic and anti-inflammatory

Cloves have historically been used throughout the world to enhance the presentation and flavor of rice, stews, broths, and is also a key ingredient in making tea. In western medicine it has been a prominent ingredient in emergency medicine. Its pain reduction helps skin disorders and burns, and also relieves stomach pain and sensitivity.

Also known as cilantro, this herb is a soft, hairless plant. It is most commonly used for a citrus-like overtone of dishes, and since heat diminishes their flavour quickly, coriander leaves are often used raw or added to the dish right before serving.

Cumin is the second most popular spice in the world after black pepper. Its distinctive flavour and strong, warm aroma is due to its essential oil content that draws the natural sweetness from a dish. Cumin is classified as a stimulant, carminative, and antimicrobial

Curry Powder
Curry powder is a mixture of spices of widely varying composition that is a classic of Mediterranean cuisine. It was largely popularised during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries through the mass exportation of the condiment to the western table - throughout Europe and North and South America

Dill Weed
Made from fresh and dried dill leaves, this herb's fernlike leaves are aromatic and serve a variety of spicing purposes in a variety of dishes.

Fennel Seed
Dried fennel seed is an aromatic, anise-flavored spice used in side dishes, salads, and pasta. In western medicine, Fennel has a widespread use varying from vision improvement to relieving chronic coughing.

Ginger is a very popular spice used to prepare chicken, vegetables and curries. Young ginger rhizomes are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste. Ginger has been classified as a stimulant and a carminative, commonly used to treat arthritis and hearth disease. More recently, ginger has been employed to disguise the taste of medicine.

Ras el hanout
Ras el hanout is a popular blend of herbs and spices that is used across the Middle East and North Africa. The name means "head of the shop" in Arabic, and refers to a mixture of the best spices a seller has to offer. While there is no definitive set combined spices, Chef Sentissi provides his own secret combination of over 12 herbs and spices.

Nutmeg is usually associated with sweet, spicy dishes - pies, puddings, custards, cookies and spice cakes. It combines well with many cheeses, and is included in souffles and cheese sauces. In soups it works with tomatoes, slit pea, chicken or black beans. It complements egg dishes and vegetables like cabbage, spinach, broccoli, beans onions and eggplant. Used in small dosages nutmeg can reduce flatulence, aid digestion, improve the appetite and treat an upset stomach.

Oregano is often used in tomato sauces, with fried vegetables, and grilled meat. Together with basil, it contributes much to the distinctive character of many Moroccan dishes. It has an aromatic, warm and slightly bitter taste that varies in intensity. Oregano is high in antioxidant activity, demonstrating useful characteristics in relieving stomach and respiratory ailments.

Paprika is used as an ingredient in a broad variety of dishes throughout the world. Paprika is principally used to season and colour rices, stews, and soups. This herb is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.

Black Pepper
Used since nearly 2000 BC, black pepper is one of the most common spices in Mediterranean cuisines.

The fresh and dried leaves are used frequently in traditional Mediterranean cuisine; they have a bitter, astringent taste, which complements a wide variety of foods. Rosemary is extremely high in iron, calcium, and Vitamin B6. Rosemary also contains carnosic acid, which lowers the risk of strokes and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's.

As an herb, sage has a slight peppery flavor. In Western cooking, it is used for flavoring meats (especially as a marinade), cheeses , sauces and some drinks. The Latin name for sage, salvia, means "to heal". Although the effectiveness of Common Sage is open to debate, it has been recommended at one time or another for virtually every ailment.

Sesame Seed
Sesame is grown primarily for its oil-rich seeds that comes in a variet of colors and have many different culinary uses. They are added to bread, baked into crackers, or roasted in desserts. The seeds are rich in manganese, copper, calcium and vitamins, commonly used as an antioxidant and associated with lowering blood cholesterol.

Tarragon goes well with fish, meat, soups and stews, and is often used in tomato and egg dishes. Its slightly bittersweet aroma adds distinctive flavor to sauces. It is also known to help fight off fatigue and calm the nerves.

hyme is often used to flavour meats, soups and stews. It has a particular affinity to and is often used as a primary flavour with lamb, tomatoes and eggs. Thyme, while flavourful, does not overpower and blends well with other herbs and spices. This herb contains thymol, an antiseptic commonly used in mouthwash and medicated bandages.

Turmeric is sometimes used as an agent to impart a rich, custard-like yellow color to savory dishes and has found application in nearly every spectrum of food production. While commonly used as an antiseptic for cuts, burns and bruises, Wall Street Journal wrote that Turmeric supports nerve growth and treats multiple types of cancer.

See What is Saffron?