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25 Spices To Stock Your Kitchen

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#17 Bay Leaves

Native to the Mediterranean, bay leaves are valued for their culinary and medicinal properties both. Whole bay leaves have a potent woodsy taste that is used to add a burst of flavor to stews, soups, marinades and Italian dishes. Sometimes they are ground into spice form or added in whole form as seasoning in certain Italian dishes. Also revered as an essential element in aromatherapy, bay leaves have an impressive array of health benefits that include detoxification, wound healing, diabetes management and prevention of cancer.

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