Pharmaceutical Perspectives of Spices and Condiments as Alternative Antimicrobial Remedy

J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017 Oct;22(4):1002-1010. doi: 10.1177/2156587217703214. Epub 2017 Apr 28.


Medicinal values of spices and condiments are being revived by biologists through in vitro and in vivo trials providing evidence for its antimicrobial activities. The essential oils and extracts of spices like black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg contain active compounds like piperine, eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, and lignans. Similarly, condiments like coriander, black cumin, turmeric, garlic, and ginger are recognized for constituents like linalool, thymoquinones, curcumin, allicin, and geranial respectively. These act as natural preventive components of several diseases and represent as antioxidants in body cells. Scientists have to investigate the biochemical nature, mode of action, and minimum concentration of administrating active ingredients effectively. This review reports findings of recent research carried out across South Asia and Middle East countries where spices and condiments form chief flavoring components of traditional foods. It narrates the history, myths, and facts people believe in these regions. There may not be scientific explanation but has evidence of cure for centuries.

Keywords: antimicrobial agents; condiments; spices.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Condiments*
  • Curcuma / chemistry
  • Garlic / chemistry
  • Ginger / chemistry
  • Illicium / chemistry
  • Myristica / chemistry
  • Nigella sativa / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Spices*
  • Syzygium / chemistry


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Plant Extracts