Spices are primarily used as flavor enhancers and have attracted attention as natural food preservatives since their antimicrobial effects were determined. In the present study, the antimicrobial effects, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) values on 5 important food-borne pathogenic bacteria were investigated in 20 different types of spices that are not commonly used. The results indicated that Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) was the most effective against Listeria monocytogenes (26.37 mm zone diameter) and Staphylococcus aureus (24.15 mm zone diameter) (P < 0.05) followed by the chebulic myrobalan (Terminalia chebula) (21.34 +/- 0.35 and 23.85 +/- 1.69 mm diameter zone respectively) (P < 0.05). Likewise, Hibiscus (H. sabdariffa) showed the lowest MICs and MBCs concentration values on five important food-borne pathogens (L. monocytogenes) MIC; 0.187 mg/L, MBC; 0. Thus, this study determined that spices with antimicrobial activities can be used as natural preservatives.