Za’atar health benefits

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Za'atar health benefits Quick Facts
Name: Za'atar health benefits
Origin It is inherent to Eastern Mediterranean region and used as staple ingredient in Lebanon, Greece, Syria and Turkey.
Taste Tangy, nutty, herbal, toasty
Health benefits Chronic ailments, Respiratory health, Enhance cognition, Lower inflammation, Provides energy
The herb or spice which is blended with sesame seeds, thyme and sumac is called Za’atar. It is widely used as a seasoning in Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Armenia, Jordan, Libya, Palestinian territories and Turkey. It has unique and aromatic flavor. It possess herbal flavor with woodsy and deep nutty accent. It is also called Zahtar, Thyme, Persian za’atar, za’atar rumi, za’atar franji, zaatar, zatar, za’tar, zattr, zatr, zaktar, zahatar, satar, Donkey Hyssop and Desert Hyssop. It is used to enhance the flavor of vegetables, meats and is also combined olive oil. Red za’atar is prepared with savory, dried thyme, salt, sumac and oregano. The red color is obtained from sumac berries.


It is inherent to Eastern Mediterranean region and used as staple ingredient in Lebanon, Greece, Syria and Turkey. Za’atar is the condiment used widely in Egypt, Armenia, Algeria, Israel, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Tunisia, Syria and Turkey.

Za’tar plant is used in Ancient Egypt. It was known as saem to Ancient Egyptians. It was used as a vital ingredient in Arab cuisines from the medieval times. It has historical importance for Palestinians as the signifier of Palestinian household. It was once used in Arab bakeries but now it is common in Israeli cuisines.

Health Benefits of Za’atar

Za’atar is loaded with organic compounds as well as nutrients such as gallic acid, thymol, quercetina and carvacrol. It is quite popular in the Middle East and other parts of the world. It is widely used in salads and also as seasonings in vegetables and meat. It has tangy, toasty and nutty flavor. It is packed with minerals, flavonoids and nutrients which works wonder for the health.

  1. Chronic ailments

Sumac provides adequate amount of quercetin which helps to eradicate free radicals and also prevents the chances of cancer proliferation. The study shows that the organic components of sumac found in Za’atar can enhance protection against chronic ailments and cancer. (1)

  1. Respiratory health

When it is brewed as tea, it provides expectorant properties. Thyme clears the respiratory tracts which cause to cough out mucus and phlegm. It is also effective against colds. The immune enhancing properties help to prevent illnesses. (2)

  1. Enhance cognition

Za’atar has cognitive impact and improves memory. The people keep za’atar under their pillow. It boost the circulating powers and enhance brain power as well as neural activity. (3)

  1. Lower inflammation

It is used as salve or paste on the inflamed areas such as aching joints and bug bites. If consumed, it provides anti-inflammatory properties for gout, arthritis, stomach and respiratory system. (4)

  1. Provides energy

Za’atar has high content of flavonoids and polyphenols which boost the metabolism. Moreover, it provides restful sleep due to the presence of magnesium. (5)

  1. Enhance mood

The study shows that Za’atar helps to improve mood and lower depression. Oregano and thyme has phenol which enhance mood with the impact of regulating hormones. Carvacrol is associated with increase in energy and cognitive functions. (6)

  1. Bone health

It has high content of copper, calcium, magnesium and iron. The regular consumption of Za’atar helps to prevent the risk of osteoporosis as well as degenerative bone conditions. (7)

  1. Assist circulation

Za’atar helps to promote oxygenated blood circulation due to the iron content. Iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin which transports red blood cells all over the body and organs. (8)

  1. Strengthen immunity

Za’atar has anti-microbial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. If applied externally and internally helps to maintain skin, gut, nervous system, respiratory system. (9)

  1. Skin health

This spice has anti-inflammatory properties promotes the skin’s appearance, speeds healing of wounds and also lowers the blemishes and age spots. (10)

Traditional uses

  • Za’atar is used to lower internal parasites.
  • It assists digestion and prevents the chances of allergic reactions.
  • The mixture of Za’atar, honey and boiling herb treats whooping cough, stomach problems, sore throat and catarrh.
  • It refresh mood, stimulates brain and improve memory.
  • It acts as anti-inflammatory properties which help to cure psoriasis and eczema.
  • It also treats insect bites.
  • It cures conjunctivitis, pink eye and styes.


  • The allergic people should not use Za’atar.
  • It should be consumed in moderate amounts.

How to Eat         

  • It is used in Levantine cuisines as a spice or herb.
  • It is consumed with pita, dipped in olive oil.
  • It is used as seasoning for vegetables and meats.
  • It is also consumed with labneh, bread and olive oil.
  • The leaves of Za’atar are used to make salad.
  • It is sprinkled on salads, vegetables, kebabs and meatballs.
  • It is used as a dry rub for the roast chicken.
  • Zahtar could be cooked with sautéed vegetables such as potatoes and cauliflower.
  • It is also sprinkled on yogurt.

Za’atar facts

Za’atar is the spice which is made by blending sesame seeds, dried herbs and sumac as well as salt. It dates back to 13th century. It is mostly used as a table condiment which is stirred in some olive oil. In Lebanon, it is dusted on oatmeal, eggs and yogurt. It was derived from the Greek word “Thumus” which means courage of strength. It was used to treat infections of bacteria and fungus for medical purposes.

Name Za’atar health benefits
Native It is inherent to Eastern Mediterranean region and used as staple ingredient in Lebanon, Greece, Syria and Turkey.
Common/English Name Thyme, Persian za’atar, za’atar rumi, za’atar franji, zaatar, zatar, za’tar, zattr, zatr, zaktar, zahatar, satar, Donkey Hyssop, Desert Hyssop
Name in Other Languages Arabic: zaetar‎‎ (زَعْتَر‎‎);
Made from Dried herb combine with sesame seeds, salt, dried sumac
Leaves Spear shaped, long, thin, blade like
Flower Pinkish-purple
Shape & size Height: 3 feet
Color Lighter, delicate
Flavor/aroma Bright zesty/herbal
Taste Tangy, nutty, herbal, toasty
Health Benefits
  • Chronic ailments
  • Respiratory health
  • Enhance cognition
  • Lower inflammation
  • Provides energy
  • Enhance mood
  • Bone health
  • Assist circulation
  • Strengthen immunity
  • Skin health
Traditional uses The allergic people should avoid Za’atar.
How to Eat
  • It is widely used in Levantine cuisines.
  • It is consumed with pita, dipped in olive oil.
  • It is used as seasoning for vegetables and meats.
  • It is eaten with labneh, bread and olive oil.
  • The leaves are added to salad.
  • It is used in vegetables, kebabs and meatballs.
  • Zahtar is cooked with potatoes and cauliflower.
  • It is also scattered on yogurt.






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