34 Herbs and Spices that Start with the Letter C

Herbs and spices are important ingredients in any cook’s kitchen. They can be used to add flavor, change the texture of a dish, or make it more nutritious. Here is a list of herbs and spices that start with the letter “C”.

California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica)

The California bay laurel tree is a key component of the California landscape. They are often found lining the coast, dotting hillsides and forests, and providing shade in residential areas. The aromatic leaves provide an inviting scent to visitors and also offer many benefits for locals who may use them for cooking or other purposes.

A native plant to North America, the California bay laurel tree has long been associated with home remedies by indigenous tribes like the Chumash people that once inhabited much of the coastal regions of California.  It’s been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to treat everything from fevers to depression and anxiety. 

Caper (Capparis spinosa)

Capers are the flower buds of a spiny, Mediterranean shrub called Capparis spinosa. The plant is in the family Capparaceae and is native to the coastal regions of Europe, Africa, and Asia.  The caper plant bears no fruit, but produces buds which resemble miniature green olives. It is also cultivated for its fruit (the caper berry) and ornamental qualities elsewhere around the world.

They are usually dried before being used as a spice or seasoning, and have an aroma reminiscent of sour lemon. The taste is salty with a tangy aftertaste. Capers are commonly consumed on pizza, in dips such as eggplant caponata, or on top pasta dishes like spaghetti alla puttanesca.

Caraway (Carum carvi)

Caraway is a herb that has been used in cooking for centuries. Caraway seeds are tiny brown spheres that have a nutty taste when chewed. They are often sprinkled on rye breads, meats, and cheese dishes.  Caraway seeds are often found in the form of a spice, but they can also be found as tea or tincture.

In addition to culinary uses, caraway can also be helpful in easing digestive discomfort and reducing gas caused by consuming too much gas-producing food such as beans or cabbage.In some cultures, caraway was even given to women after childbirth due to its soothing properties. Although caraway does not have any severe side effects, it may cause allergic reactions if taken internally.

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

Cardamom is a spice derived from the perennial herbaceous plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. The plants are native to India and Sri Lanka, where it is often used for cooking curries, masalas, chutneys and tea, but they are now grown in Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria and Thailand. The aromatic seeds come from the pods that grow inside each flower head on a thick stem.

Cardamom pods mature over time until they turn brown or black in color. Cardamom is used as a flavoring agent for foods such as soups or rice dishes. It can also be used in traditional medicine to treat stomach ailments and chest congestion due to colds. 

Cardamom, black (Amomum subulatumAmomum costatum)

Cardamom, black; badi ilaichi. The black cardamom is a spice that has a sharp and sweet taste. This variety of cardamom originated in India but it was spread to other countries through trade routes. The most important factor when picking the best quality spices is aroma which should be strong with a light smokey smell from cooking or heating up oil. Black cardamoms are usually sold whole while green ones are usually found ground up as the brown seeds.

This is a spice from the ginger family that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to help with digestive problems and upset stomach.It can also be helpful as an appetite stimulant, and is traditionally used to treat nausea or motion sickness. Black cardamom may have properties that are similar to cinnamon which means it can reduce blood sugar levels when taken regularly by people who suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Cassia (Cinnamomum aromaticum)

Cassia is a spice that has been used for centuries in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The cassia tree grows to around 50 feet tall with dark green leaves. There are two types of cassia: Chinese Cassia (Cinnamomum aromaticum) and Indian Cassia (Cinnamomum tamala). Chinese Cassia is said to be sweeter than Indian Cassia.

Cassia is a spice that can be used in many ways. It has a very strong, sweet aroma and is most commonly found in baking recipes. Cassia cinnamon is the common name for Cinnamomum aromaticum and originates from Indonesia. In addition to its flavor, cassia also provides various health benefits including helping with stomach aches, reducing pain after surgery, boosting the immune system and even as an aphrodisiac!

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Catnip is a plant that is in the mint family. It’s found primarily in North America and Europe, but can also be found in Asia and Australia. This herbaceous perennial thrives in regions that have moist soil and receive partial sun exposure to produce lush green leaves, white flowers and shiny purple-black berries. Cats respond to this aromatic plant by drooling, rubbing against it.

It has a long history of being used as a herbal remedy for people who suffer from chronic pain or anxiety. It’s chemical compounds are nepetalactone, it contains more than 40 different terpenoids (organic compounds), including carvacrol and thymol.

Related Post: How to grow Catnip from seed?

Cao Guo, Chinese black cardamom (Lanxangia tsaoko)

The Chinese black cardamom, also known as Cao Guo in China, is a type of cardamom that originates from the southern region of China. The plant was first discovered by Europeans during the 16th century when they came to trade with Asia. It wasn’t until 1792 when an explorer named Pierre-Marie Amiandre brought it back to Europe where it became popular for use in medicine and cooking.  

Cao Guo has many culinary uses such as infusing food with its intense aroma or using it to add flavor to meat dishes. One of the more common ways it is consumed is through dried, ground powder which can be mixed into hot water for tea.  When ingested, this spice can aid digestion, reduce bad breath, while aiding in calming nerves.

Cayenne pepper (Capsicum annuum)

Cayenne pepper is one of the most popular spices in the world. It’s a hot, red spice that gives food and drinks an added flavor dimension. There are many different varieties of cayenne peppers, but all have the same taste and heat level. Cayenne pepper is the one spice that can help you stay healthy. Capsicum annuum has been used for centuries to help prevent illness such as stomach upset, colds, flu, headaches and migraines. 

The chemical in cayenne peppers, capsaicin, has been shown to boost your immune system and even lower cholesterol levels. It also tastes great with any dish and is used worldwide for its spicy flavor.

Celery leaf (Apium graveolens)

Celery leaf is a green, herbaceous plant that belongs to the Apiaceae family. Celery leaf is a must-have ingredient in many kitchens. It has a wide range of health benefits and can be used as an alternative to salt or parsley. Some people have been adding it to their salad dressings, while others are using it as a garnish for soups or stews. Celery leaves add a rich flavor that goes well with other vegetables like kale, tomatoes, carrots, and mushrooms.

Celery leaf has been traditionally used as an herbal remedy for everything from anxiety and depression to high blood pressure and diabetes. It also contains powerful antioxidants that can help fight off free radicals which are responsible for aging skin cells. 

Celery seed (Apium graveolens)

There are many different varieties of celery, but they all share the same root and characteristic stalks. Celery is known for its crisp texture and strong flavor that ranges from sweet to spicy depending on variety. Celery seed, also known as Apium graveolens, is derived from a plant in the parsley family. It’s often used as an herb in dishes like soup or salad dressing because it has such a distinctive taste that goes well with many foods.

Celery seeds are packed with fiber and they have been shown to lower cholesterol levels by lowering triglycerides. Celery seeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Studies also show that it can protect against liver damage caused by some medications or drinking alcohol excessively.

Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)

Chervil is a flowering plant that belongs to the parsley family. The herb has been used in many traditional cultures, especially in European cuisine, as an ingredient for soups and sauces. The flavour of chervil is described as reminiscent of licorice or tarragon. It also has notes of anise, carrot, and celery. Chervil grows wild on stream banks and other moist areas throughout much of Europe.

Chervil has been traditionally used as an appetite stimulant, antiseptic, diuretic, emmenagogue (induces menstruation), stomachic (relieves nausea), vermifuge (expels worms) and vulnerary (promotes healing). 

Related Post: How to grow Chervil from seeds?


Cichοrium spinosum is a perennial herb that belongs to the family Asteraceae. It can be found in many regions of North America, including California and the Great Lakes region. The plant has several nicknames, such as porcupine flower or just “chickweed.” The leaves are made up of three oval-shaped leaflets with coarsely toothed edges. Chickweed blooms from April through June with clusters of small white flowers on an erect stem.

It has a history of use as an herbal remedy for many illnesses, including asthma, constipation, diabetes, dysentery, kidney stones and urethritis. It’s also used to relieve pain from rheumatoid arthritis and joint problems. 

Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

Chicory is a flowering plant that is typically used as an herb. Chicory grows in both North America and Europe, but the most common form of chicory is found in Europe and grows best in temperate climates with a moderate amount of rainfall during the growing season. Chicory has been shown to help reduce the symptoms of constipation, diabetes, and headaches.

The root of chicory contains inulin which can be converted into sugar by enzymes from bacteria living in the large intestine. The most common way to consume chicory is through tea or coffee where it’s roasted before consumption.

Chili pepper (Capsicum spp.)

Chili peppers are a well-known spice in many different cultures. They can be eaten raw, dried, cooked or roasted and they are often used to add flavor to dishes around the world. These fiery little fruits have some health benefits as well that people may not know about! 

Chili peppers could be used to alleviate pain and inflammation from various medical conditions such as arthritis or psoriasis. The potential health benefits of capsaicin are vast, as it has also been shown to kill bacteria like H. pylori which is linked with stomach ulcers and stomach cancer.

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Chives are a member of the onion family. They grow in clusters and can be found throughout the world, especially in northern Europe and North America. The bulbs are narrow, about 2-3 inches long with 4-6 slender leaves growing out of them that look like blades of grass.

Chives have a milder flavor than onions or garlic but they are still quite pungent when eaten raw. Chives make excellent garnishes for eggs, salads, potatoes, pasta dishes and sandwiches; they can also be used to make soups or as a simple side dish with butter and salt.

Related Post: How to grow Chives at home?

Cicely, sweet cicely (Myrrhis odorata)

Cicely, sweet cicely (Myrrhis odorata), is a member of the celery family and has been used as an herbal medicine for centuries. Cicely, also known as sweet cicely, is a perennial herb that grows in moist areas of North America and Europe. It has an earthy taste and can be used for flavoring meat dishes or baked goods.

The ancient Greeks valued it for its digestive properties, while the Romans used it to treat coughs and asthma. More recently, research suggests that this plant may be useful in treating inflammatory bowel disease.

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is a herb with culinary and medicinal properties. The leaves of the plant are most often used, though the stems can also be eaten. Cilantro is grown all over the world, but it originates from Southern Europe and Western Asia.

Cilantro has been shown to have health benefits such as easing gas pain,  helping digestion, reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol levels, increasing circulation and boosting the immune system. 

Related Post: How to grow Cilantro from seeds?

Cinnamon, Indonesian (Cinnamomum burmanniiCassia vera)

Cinnamon is a spice that can be found in many kitchens around the world. In Indonesia, it is often used to add flavor to food. What you may not know about cinnamon though, is that it has health benefits as well! Cinnamon has been used for thousands of years as both a spice and medicine. For those who like to cook with cinnamon, it adds flavor and sweetness to dishes such as oatmeal or pumpkin pie without adding any fat or sugar (and calories).

It’s believed that cinnamon can help to fight tooth decay, bad breath, and obesity because it contains antioxidants which boost metabolism. It also helps with lowering blood sugar levels when taken before meals or snacks by improving insulin sensitivity in cells.

Cinnamon, Saigon or Vietnamese (Cinnamomum loureiroi)

Cinnamomum loureiroi is a spice with origins in Vietnam, which has been used for centuries to add flavor and aroma to various dishes. This aromatic plant was originally native to China, but Vietnamese people have managed to grow it on their own land. Today this type of cinnamon is still very popular in Saigon or Southern Vietnam, where many chefs use it as the base for various dishes such as fish sauce chicken soup (canh chua). 

Many people believe that Cinnamomum loureiroi has health benefits as well, claiming that the spice can help with blood circulation, and digestion among other things. 

Cinnamon, Ceylon (Cinnamomum verumC. zeylanicum)

Cinnamon is a spice acquired from the inner bark of a number of trees in the Cinnamomum genus.  The most common type comes from a large evergreen tree that can grow up to 20 meters tall and produces small, narrow leaves and pinkish-white flowers. It is known as Ceylon cinnamon or true cinnamon, which originated in Sri Lanka (formerly called Ceylon).

Cinnamon is one of the most important spices in cooking and baking. Its flavor has been described as warm, sweet, spicy, rich and complex. Cinnamon also helps to add a rich aroma to dishes such as apple pie or baklava.

Cinnamon, white (Canella winterana)

Canella winterana is a type of plant in the cinnamon family. The Canella winterana is a small tree with evergreen leaves that grow on the ground. This tree can be found in tropical forests of South America, specifically Brazil and Venezuela.

It’s name comes from its shape resembling cinnamon sticks, which are commonly used to make food taste more like apple pie or cinnamon rolls. The bark also has this flavor when it is eaten raw or cooked for about an hour. 

Cinnamon myrtle (Backhousia myrtifolia) (Australia)

Cinnamon myrtle is a small tree or shrub found in Australia. The plant has light green leaves and white flowers that bloom between November and January. It also bears small red fruits, with the smell of cinnamon!

The smell is due to the oils present in the bark, twigs, leaves and fruit (this is what gives it its name). These oils have many uses including insect repellent, cleansing agent for cuts/infections as well as a skin conditioner.

Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)

Clary sage is a powerful herb that has been used in folk medicine for centuries. It’s best known as an expectorant, and it has a long history of use in cough remedies and soothing sore throats.

Modern research confirms the traditional uses of clary sage for bronchitis, asthma, allergies, arthritis pain relief and stress reduction. It also possesses antibacterial properties that may help to combat infections such as herpes or staphylococcus (staph).

Related Post: How to grow Sage at home?

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)

Cloves are the aromatic dried flower buds of the Maluka tree in the Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum family. Clove trees are native to Indonesia and commonly grown across South and Southeast Asia, Madagascar, Zanzibar and Réunion. The spice is used in both sweet and savory dishes throughout the world.

The clove is a highly aromatic spice that was used as an antiseptic for wounds by early European explorers. The flavor comes from its high concentration of eugenol, which has been shown to have strong antioxidant properties.

Coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum)

Coriander seed is the fruit of a plant that has been used for centuries as a spice and to make medicine. Coriander seeds are popular in many cultures because they can be added to curry, soups, salads, pasta dishes, or meat and vegetable dishes.

They also provide health benefits such as reducing inflammation from arthritis pain. It also has medicinal properties for gastrointestinal disorders, reducing inflammation from arthritis pain, and some liver problems like jaundice.  

Related Posts: How to grow Coriander and Mint at home?

Coriander, Vietnamese (Persicaria odorata)

In Vietnam, coriander is widely used in cooking because of its unique flavor and fragrance; the leaves are eaten raw or cooked in soups and salads, while the seeds are often crushed into sauces or ground into powder for flavoring foods.

Coriander is a Vietnamese herb with medicinal properties. The plant is known for its numerous health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and lowering blood sugar levels, and it is often used in Vietnam to relieve stomach aches and pains, coughs, asthma, colds, headaches and sore throats. 

Costmary (Tanacetum balsamita)

Costmary is a flowering plant that has been used for centuries in cooking and as an herb. Costmary (Tanacetum balsamita) is a fragrant herb with an herbal scent reminiscent of mint and tansy. It contains antibacterial properties, which make it a popular medicinal plant.

It can be used to treat coughs, colds, or other respiratory ailments. This herb also has antioxidant properties and helps reduce inflammation. It is very easy to grow costmary; you just need a sunny location with moist soil and it will thrive!

Cubeb pepper (Piper cubeba)

The pungent and aromatic spice that makes curry spicy is the cubeb pepper. This plant originated in Indonesia, but now grows across Southeast Asia and India. In traditional Indian cooking, cubeb peppers are used to flavor dishes such as a sambar or vegetable stew; however, they can also be ground into a powder for use in other cuisines.

Cubeb peppercorns have been found to contain an array of compounds including alpha-pinene.  The leaves are usually dried for preservation purposes, which gives them a brown color with flecks of white dots on them.

Cudweed (Gnaphalium spp.) (Vietnam)

Cudweed is a genus of about 40 species of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. It is native to North America, Europe, and Asia. Cudweed is a common name for plants in the genus Gnaphalium. These flowering plants are members of the sunflower family and are found throughout the world.   It is often found on hillsides and meadows where it thrives in dry conditions.

In Vietnam, this plant can be found at altitudes up to 1500 meters above sea level as well as coastal regions. In Vietnam, Cudweed has been used as a natural remedy to relieve itching skin conditions such as eczema and insect bites. The plant can be taken internally or applied topically.

Culantro, culangot, long coriander, recao (Eryngium foetidum)

Culantro, culangot, long coriander, recao (Eryngium foetidum) is a herb that belongs to the Apiaceae family. It is often confused with cilantro and has a flavor similar to it. This plant grows wild in the warm climates of South America and Southeast Asia. It is used as an aromatic vegetable or condiment in Caribbean cuisine; notably Puerto Rican cuisine such as pasteles.

It has green leaves and can grow up to two feet tall. The seeds of this plant are used as spice in many Asian dishes such as Thai curry pastes or even Filipino curries and other meat dishes.

Cumin (Cuminum cyminum)

Cumin is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to India. The cumin plant grows up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall and bears small white flowers. The cumin seed is the dried fruit of Cuminum cyminum, consisting of an outer hull with an inner nut or seed that resembles caraway seeds; it has a brownish-yellow color similar to tumeric powder.

Cumin has been used for centuries as an ingredient in food and traditional medicine throughout the world. Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) is a spice derived from the seeds of cumin plants. It is often used in curries, breads, and other foods to add flavor. 

Curry leaf (Murraya koenigii)

Curry leaf is a herb that has been used in Asian cooking for centuries. The curry leaves have an intense flavor and fragrance which goes well with Indian, Thai, and Malaysian dishes. It’s often used as a garnish or added to hot oil at the end of cooking. There are several health benefits to eating curry leaf including increased immunity from bacteria and viruses. They also help regulate blood sugar levels and may reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer cells growths, and  Parkinson’s disease.

Curry plant (Helichrysum italicum)

Helichrysum italicum, also known as the curry plant is a perennial herb native to southern Europe. A lesser-known member of the Helichrysum family, curry plant (Helichrysum italicum) is a native of Southern Europe and Western Asia.

The herb has been used for centuries in many traditional medicines because it can be used to treat respiratory infections, wounds, burns, skin diseases and more. Curry plant is also known as “The King of Herbs” because its aroma makes people feel happy and contented with life.


  • Vince S

    Hello, I'm Vince, and I bring over 25 years of dedicated experience in the world of herb gardening. From cultivating fragrant basil to nurturing hardy rosemary, my journey as a passionate herb enthusiast has allowed me to explore the wonders of these versatile plants. Through diyherbgardener.com, I'm thrilled to share my knowledge, tips, and insights to help you embark on your own herb gardening adventures. Let's grow together!

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