Abstract The combined extracts of corni fructus, cinnamon and Chinese chive were used to evaluate its antimicrobial activity on common foodborne micro-organisms, including bacteria, yeasts and moulds. The combined extract (8:1:1, v/v/v) showed an entire antimicrobial spectrum and outstanding inhibitory effect. The combined extract was very stable under heat treatment. The inhibitory effect of the combined extract was greater with more acidic pH values but lowered with increased pH values. With addition of metal ions, the antimicrobial activity of the combined extract was slightly affected. With addition of food additives, its antimicrobial activity was slightly enhanced, except for citric acid. When the combined extract used in food products, the expected antimicrobial effect in dumplings, guava juice and green and black tea was observed. Conclusively, in addition to be used as seasoning, the combined extract is suitable for incorporating in various food products where a naturally antimicrobial additive is desired.