Herbal Garden


Realizing the importance of biodiversity as one of the pillars of sustainable development and the immense services plants provide for human well-being, RCED in partnership with the Faculty of Pharmacy at BAU and Green Hand Organization in Lebanon have jointly established “RCED Herbal Garden” for the conservation of some native medicinal and aromatic plants of high ecological, economic and social importance. Occupying an area of 11,000 m2 of a fertile land of BAU campus in Bekaa, the garden displays a sensory delight of these spectacular plants. It offers a place of enjoyment and attraction not just for visitors but also for bees, butterflies, birds and other life forms foraging on the fragrant colorful flowers and scented foliage. In addition to conservation, the garden is dedicated to providing educational information and plant material to viable research and healthful herbal products.


  • Conserve plants from different geographical zones for having ecological and economic importance.
  • Provide educational information and plant material for research and herbal
  • Design the agro-techniques for plant propagation and cultivation.
  • Document cultural knowledge on their use and properties.

Plants of RCED Herbal Garden:

Sage قصعين

Scientific name: Salvia officinalis
Family: Lamiaceae

Salvia officinalis is a perennial, evergreen subshrub with woody stems, grayish velvety leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. It flowers between May and July. The plant is native to the Mediterranean Basin and is naturalized in many different countries throughout the world. In folk medicine, for the treatment of different kinds of disorders including inflammation, diarrhea, gastrointestinal pains, diabetes and other disorders. The species is popular for culinary use in Mediterranean cuisine and grown for its ornamental beauty as well as a forage for honey bees.

Sage قصعين لبنان

Scientific name: Salvia fruticosa
Family: Lamiaceae

Salvia fruticosa is a perennial evergreen subshrub with multiple woody stems, Strongly aromatic, velvety gray-green three-lobed tomentous leaves and violet pale or pink flowers. It flowers between May and July. The species is native to the Eastern Mediterranean and South European countries and highly abundant in Lebanon. The plant grows in well-draining soil and sunny places and characterized by its high resistance to drought. Mainly found in Mediterranean open woodland maquis/garrigue on limestone and marl stony slopes. S. fruticosa is widely used in traditional medicine in the Mediterranean region as sedative, stomachic and carminative in intestinal disorders, hemostatic, wound healing and to treat neurological disorders, rheumatism and arthritis, diabetes and skin infections. Fresh or dried leaves are used in herbal tea as digestive and in seasoning and flavoring of meat and pasta dishes. Flowers are highly melliferous and make a sanctuary for honeybees and other beneficial pollinators.

Zatar زعتر زوباع

Scientific name: Origanum syriacum
Family: Lamiaceae

Origanum syriacum is a herbaceous perennial woody subshrub and highly aromatic species. It has grayish, ovate, thick, hairy leaves and terminal dense white flowers. The flowers start to appear from May until late July. It stands as one of the most popular wild medicinal aromatic plants of the East Mediterranean. The species is common in the Mediterranean Basin and widely spread across different habitats in Lebanon. The plant is one of the most economically important wild plant in Lebanon and surrounding countries and has recently been brought into cultivation. O. syriacum is traditionally used in the treatment of respiratory and bronchial problems, memory stimulant, stomach and intestinal pain relief. Dried leaves and flowers are widely used as a principal ingredient of Za'atar, a topping for breads (Mankousheh) throughout the Eastern Mediterranean and as a seasoning ingredient in salad and pasta dishes in Mediterranean countries. It is also known as a very important forage for honeybees.

Ehrenberg's Marjoram زعتر رملي

Scientific name: Origanum ehrenbergii
Family: Lamiaceae

Origanum ehrenbergii is a perennial subshrub, endemic species to Lebanon, highly aromatic and has bright green ovate leaves and white flowers. Flowering time is between June and September. It grows on sandy calcareous soils of East Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub ecoregions. In traditional medicine, O. ehrenbergii is used similarly to the co-occurring species of Origanum, Thymbra, and Thymus, known collectively as Za’atar in Lebanon, in the treatment of cold, respiratory disorders stomach and intestinal problems, and as memory stimulant, analgesic and sedative. Dried and ground leaves mixed with O. syriacum are used in Za'atar, a topping for traditional breads (Mankousheh). Fresh shoots are also used in salads and as a seasoning in traditional cuisine.

Thyme زعتر بري

Scientific name: Thymus vulgaris
Family: Lamiaceae

Thymus vulgaris is a woody shrubby plant with small, highly aromatic, grey-green leaves and clusters of purple or pink flowers, native to the Mediterranean. It flowers during April, May and June. It has been long cultivated and valued as culinary and medicinal treat in most European countries. It favors well-drained light sandy and loamy soils and open sunny areas. In folk Medicine, T. vulgaris is used as antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antitussive and expectorant to treat cough, sore throat and gastrointestinal disturbances. It is very popular for culinary and ornamental use. Leaves and flowering tops are used in salads and as garnish or added as a flavoring to cooked foods.

Sweet marjoram المردكوش

Scientific name: Origanum majorana
Family: Lamiaceae

Origanum majorana is a perennial bushy sub-shrub usually grown as culinary herb for its fragrant foliage. Native to Mediterranean region and a very popular garden plant. Branching stems are with hairy opposite ovate leaves and small spike-like clusters of flowers. The plant features branching, reddish, square stems densely covered with ovate, highly aromatic, pubescent, gray-green leaves. Tiny, tubular, white or pale pink flowers with gray-green bracts. It blooms between June and August. It performs well in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun and has good drought tolerance but doesn’t overwinter well. Fresh or dried Marjoram is popular for seasoning vegetables and meats dishes, sauces and salads.

Summer savory زعتر دقة

Scientific name: Satureia thymbra
Family: Lamiaceae

Satureia thymbra is much branched, aromatic subshrub native to the Mediterranean region. Old branches are covered with flaking, fissured, fuscous-brown bark. Young shoots are pubescent with white hairs. Leaves are linear to ovate and have thyme-like flavor and grow in clusters. Flowers are small and pinky-purple. The flowering period occurs during May and June. This subshrub is very common on rocky limestone in sunny or semi-sunny woodland and favors moist soil. In traditional medicine, S. thymbra is used in the treatment of nausea, indigestion, cramps, muscle pains, diarrhea and infection diseases. It is popular as seasoning to meat, chicken, soups and stews and used in the well-known Za'atar, a topping for breads (Mankousheh) popular in Lebanon and surrounding countries. Leaves and young shoots are used as herbal tea. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Spiked Thymbra زعتر سبل

Scientific name: Thymbra spicata
Family: Lamiaceae

Thymbra spicata is an evergreen perennial subshrub, densely hairy with linear leaves and deep purple flowers in cylindrical spikes. It flowers from June to August. Native to South Europe and East Mediterranean region (Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Cyprus and Palestine). It favors sandy well-drained soil and dry sunny hillsides amongst rocks and tolerates droughts and low temperatures. In traditional medicine, it is used since antiquity to treat asthma and bronchitis, cough and gastrointestinal tract infections. The plant is used as a seasoning ingredient in salads and pasta dishes in Mediterranean countries and in Za’atar mixture with Origanum syriacum. It is noted as a honey bee plant and ornamental in gardens.

Fennel شومر

Scientific name: Foeniculum vulgare
Family: Apiaceae

Foeniculum vulgare is a perennial branching herb with with soft, feathery, almost hair-like foliage. The plant blooms in July and August with bright golden yellow flowers produced in large flat terminal umbels, with thirteen to twenty rays. It is indigenous to the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized and cultivated in many parts of the world. Found most often in dry stony calcareous soils. F. vulgare has a long history of medicinal, aromatic and culinary use. In folk medicine, the plant is widely used as carminative, digestive, diuretic and in treating respiratory, kidney stones and gastrointestinal disorders. Leaves are consumed raw in salads or cooked and in omelets. The aromatic seeds are used as excellent flavoring in cakes, bread, meat and fish dishes. Skin contact with the sap or essential oil is believed to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people. Ingestion of essential oil can cause vomiting, seizures and pulmonary edema. It should avoided for small children and in pregnancy and liver disorders.

Rosemary إكليل الجبل

Scientific name: Rosmarinus officinalis L.
Family: Lamiaceae

Rosmarinus officinalis is perennial evergreen subshrub native to the Mediterranean region with intensely fragrant foliage, needle-like, grey, linear, needle-like dense leaves. Flowers typically bloom in spring with tiny, pale blue to white flowers in axillary clusters along the shoots. It is drought tolerant and favours sunny dry scrub, rocky and well-drained soil. It is used for a variety of purposes including medicinal, culinary, flavorings, toiletries and sachets. In traditional medicine, it used as antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, stimulant, stomachic and tonic for rheumatism, dyspeptic complaints, loss of appetite and blood pressure problems. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. The leaves are burnt as an incense, fumigant and disinfectant. Leaves in small quantities are popular in flavouring soups and stews, and vegetable dishes. A fragrant tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. The growing plant and dry leaves repel insects. Leaves and flowers are used in shampoos against dandruff, in perfumery and soaps. R. officinalis is excellent ornamental plant and highly attractive to bees.

German camomile بابونج

Scientific name: Matricaria recutita - Matricaria chamomilla
Family: Asteraceae

Matricaria recutita is an annual herb that has been cultivated for thousands of years, known in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Native to Europe and Asia. Stems are heavily branched and has long narrow dissected leaves. Flowers heads (capitula) have white ray florets and central yellow disc florets with strong aromatic smell. Flowers appear in April and continues blooming until June. It grows in open sunny habitats and roadsides on any type of soil but not damp soils and can withstand cold weather. German chamomile is very often confused with plants of the genera Anthemis. Flowers and flower heads are the main organs of the production of essential oil. It is a well-known herbal remedy. In particular, it is an excellent herb for treating various digestive disorders, nervous tension, treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, sedative for young children, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, sedative, stomachic, tonic and vasodilator. It is very popular in the treatment of asthma, coughs and bronchitis, fevers and colds and externally used to treat skin problems, sunburn, burns. Essential oil is used in perfumery, cosmetics and shampoos.

Lemon Balm مليسة

Scientific name: Melissa officinalis
Family: Lamiaceae

Melissa officinalis is a bushy perennial herb or subshrub that is popular in herb gardens and border fronts for its lemon-scented aromatic foliage. It has square stem and has wrinkled, ovate, bright green crinkled and slightly hairy leaves. Flowers are tiny, two-lipped, white or violet pale arranged in irregular whorls at leaf nodes. It flowers from June to October. Lemon balm is native to southern Europe and Mediterranean region and has been naturalized in many countries. It is grows in poor dry soils and makes a good border on roadsides and disturbed lands. M. officinalis has a long history of use in traditional herbal medicine for calming nervous disorders, soothing insect bites and treating colds. Leaves are edible and may be added to salads, soups, sauces or vegetables and to flavor teas. It is used in sachets and potpourri and is noted a honey bee species.

Sweet Basil حبق - ريحان

Scientific name: Ocimum basilicum L.
Family: Lamiaceae

Ocimum basilicum is an economic strongly aromatic annual herb. This plant has been cultivated in India and the Middle East since ancient times and was known to the Greeks and Romans. Presently cultivated in France, Greece, United States and Middle East and has become naturalised in many countries throughout the world. Has simple, ovate, toothed or entire leaves and small white or purple-tinged terminal flowers. Flowering starts in June and continues until late September. Some varieties have partly red or entirely purple leaves. It favours moist soil and warm climate. Sweet basil has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicinal, as condiment or spice, fragrances, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, perfumes, soaps, and shampoos. It acts principally on the digestive and nervous systems, easing flatulence, stomach cramps, cramps, gastro-enteritis, migraine, insomnia, depression and exhaustion. The leaves and flowering tops are antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, digestive, stomachic and tonic. Essential oil is used in aromatherapy, treat acne, insect stings, snake bites and skin infections. Widely used as food flavouring in salad dressings, in tomato-based sauces, and as an ingredient in liqueurs. The growing or dried plant is an effective insect repellent. It is very popular as garden ornamental.