Türkiye: a hub on the historic spice route and home to 3,500 endemic medicinal and aromatic plants

Anatolia, located on the Historic Spice Route, has been an area of ​​attraction since the ancient times of mankind with its climate, its fertility, its variety and the beauty offered by its nature.

Turkey is home to 12,000 varieties of plants and has incredible potential for aromatic herbs and spices.

Due to Turkey’s climatic and ecological conditions, many herbs and spices are grown or harvested from natural sources, allowing access to around 3,500 varieties of endemic medicinal and aromatic plants.

It is a leader in exporting dried oregano and bay leaves to the world. Turkey exports to almost every country in the world in the forest products sector. At the crossroads of civilizations, Turkey has long been a hub of the spice trade. For millennia it was the heart of the spice route with Istanbul Spice Bazaar functioning as one of the most famous spice centers in the world.

Türkiye is home to some of the most advanced herb and spice cleaning operations in the world and excels in traceable sourcing, cleaning and bringing products to a finished state, ready for direct consumption.


  • enhance meals,
  • enrich each table,
  • simplify life,
  • offer sustainable and traceable products and
  • add a unique touch to every meal with precious raw materials.

Although almost every country has its own food culture, they all have one thing in common: adding forest herbs, spices and aromatics to food makes it delicious! Türkiye spices and herbs are often used in cuisines to add flavor to foods, provide aromatic finishes, and enjoy their benefits in side dishes.

Areas of use

  • Some spices bring out the flavor of the dish, while others balance out the flavors.
  • Herbs are usually used in stews, roasts, casseroles, soups with a relatively long cooking time, marinades and marinades.
  • Some herbs are primarily used as a flavoring to enhance the taste of pork, lamb, beef, and sausages.
  • The dried herbs and seeds can also be used to make various herbal teas, which have a diverse range of health benefits.


Dried oregano, bay leaves, dried mint, rosemary, fennel, cumin, sumac, pepper, sage and anise are some of the most popular.

Dried oregano

Cultivated in the Mediterranean and Aegean regions of Turkey, oregano is one of the most popular aromatic plants.

Oregano derives its name from the Greek, meaning “Joy of the Mountain”. Available in graduated leaf sizes or in ground form, with a strong aromatic flavor, oregano is a very versatile and commonly used herb.

Turkey is responsible for 80% of the world’s production of oregano, which is among the most demanded medicinal and aromatic products in the world.

Oregano adds flavor to a variety of products, from sauces to marinades, spice blends and of course adds the classic taste to Pizza Worldwide!

Oregano is the most recognizable herb in the world of culinary art and is easily suited for both direct and indirect applications.

Bay leaves (laurel)

Turkey is the world’s leading exporter of oregano and bay leaves. Exports of oregano and bay leaves come mainly from the Aegean region of the world.

In medicine, the leaves have been used as an antiseptic and antioxidant. Almost all of them have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and possess antibacterial activity. The leaves have been used to treat many different ailments and serve as powerful antioxidants. They can help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, which are likely involved in inflammation, degenerative arthritis, and the aging process in general.


Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region. The leaf of this tree has a pleasant smell and is always green. The small, thin, spiny leaves are used both fresh and dried.

Rosemary is popular for its medicinal uses, but is now more commonly known as a seasoning used in cooking. It has a tea-like aroma and a fresh, bittersweet flavor.

It is used as a tea and condiment in the food sector and it has many health benefits. Reduces stress and creates a relaxing effect. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Rosemary is heavily used for extraction, as an excellent source of antioxidants. Rosemary is also a top culinary herb, adding flavor to grilled foods, marinades and seasonings.

Rosemary is also popular throughout the Mediterranean basin for use in salads, to add that sweet and sour taste.


With its fuzzy leaf structure, sage is a typically aromatic plant. The silver-gray leaves of the sage plant have a distinctive flavor and aroma. The plant is widely used in the food and cosmetics sector.

Sage has proven to be as popular culinary uses as oregano for flavoring meat and poultry dishes, as well as salads, pickles and cheese.

Two main varieties of sage are used by the herbal industry.

Salvia Officinalis, also known as Albanian sage, is mainly preferred in North America, adding the distinctive taste to breakfast sausage.


Growing in the Mediterranean and Aegean regions of Turkey, the seeds of the anise plant are used to obtain the spice of anise. It has a sweet taste and a characteristic aroma. With its high level of oil essence, anise is used in medical and food industries.

Anise has a characteristic licorice flavor and has been used for medicinal purposes throughout history, particularly as a digestive aid.

Anise is widely used by the liquor industry, dairy manufacturing, the meat industry, and as a primary ingredient for breath fresheners.


Cumin is a flowering plant that has been cultivated as a spice since ancient times.

Growing in the Central Anatolia and Southeast Anatolia regions of Turkey, cumin is an annual plant that blooms in white-pink flowers during the summer months.

It has a pungent and bitter taste. It is widely used in the food industry.

Cumin is the main ingredient in almost all meat mixes, marinades and seasonings. With its strong and distinctive taste, cumin is one of the most demanded spices in the world.

Türkiye offers ground cumin, 99.5% (bottle grade) and 99.8% (dairy and direct applications) optically and IR sorted for all practical uses.


Growing in the western Mediterranean climate of Türkiye, this plant yields small, greenish-brown, fragrant fruits that are used in the food, beverage, and medical industries.

Its mild, pleasant licorice flavor works well in marinades and spices for chicken, fish, pork or lamb, sausage dishes and baked goods. It enhances the flavor of both sweet and savory dishes.

With its soothing taste, fennel is also widely used by the tea industry and baby food manufacturing as it aids digestion in the early stages of a baby’s life.


With its intense essence and refreshing flavors, mint which is very essential in Turkey is a favorite herb used in salads, appetizers, cold juices, stuffed vegetables (dolma) and yogurt dishes. Mint is also good for stomach aches and helps the respiratory tract.


Sumac is a spice known to be as tangy and pungent as a lemon and widely used in Turkish cuisine. Grown in southeastern Turkey, sumac is harvested from dwarf trees and the leaves are dried and ground into a powder.

Sumac is the perfect alternative for professionals looking for an alternative sour/sour taste. Not as tangy as lemon, sumac’s mild acidity adds a very different flavor to salads, dressings and light water-based sauces.


Isot is a unique pepper variety from the city of Şanlıurfa, Türkiye. The word “Isot” comes from the works “ısı” (heat) and “ot” (grass) in Turkish. Isot is produced by exposing the seeds and wings of the red chili pepper to heat under a certain level of humidity. Isot is used in the food industry and exported worldwide.

Isot red pepper isn’t just for your taste buds, these colorful peppers are a rich source of the anti-cancer carotenoid called lycopene which is believed to work against cancer.

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