List of Australian herbs and spices

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Australian herbs and spices were used by Aboriginal peoples to flavour food in ground ovens.[1] The term "spice" is applied generally to the non-leafy range of strongly flavoured dried Australian bushfoods. They mainly consist of aromatic fruits and seed products, although Australian wild peppers also have spicy leaves. There are also a few aromatic leaves but unlike culinary herbs from other cultures which often come from small soft-stemmed forbs, the Australian herb species are generally trees from rainforests, open forests and woodlands.

Australian herbs and spices are generally dried and ground to produce a powdered or flaked spice, either used as a single ingredient or in blends.

They were used to a limited extent by colonists in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some extracts were used as flavouring during the 20th century. Australian native spices have become more widely recognized and used by non-indigenous people since the early 1980s as part of the bushfood industry, with increasing gourmet use and export.[2][3]

They can also be used as a fresh product. Leaves can be used whole, like a bay-leaf in cooking, or spicy fruits are added to various dishes for flavour.

The distilled essential oils from leaves and twigs are also used as flavouring products.





  1. ^ a b Brayshaw, Helen (2016-04-05). "View of Traditional Aboriginal Cuisine in the Herbert Burdekin District of North Queensland". LiNQ (Literature in North Queensland). p. 89. Retrieved 2021-04-10.
  2. ^ a b c d Stynes, B (1997). "Contributing to the development of Aboriginal food plants". Tropical Grasslands. 31: 313.
  3. ^ Santich, Barbara (2011). "Nineteenth-century experimentation and the role of indigenous foods in Australian food culture" (PDF). Australian Humanities Review. 51: 65–66.

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