Generally, herbs refer to any plant used for flavoring, food, perfume, or medicine. Culinary use basically distinguishes herbs from spices. Herb is the leafy green parts of any plant (either dried or fresh) while a “spice” is the product from a different part of the plant (mostly dried), including berries, seeds, roots, fruits, and bark.
Herbs have a broad variety of uses including medicinal, culinary, and in some instances spiritual usage. The common usage of the term ‘herb’ varies between medicinal herbs and culinary herbs. In religious or medicinal use any of the part of the plant that can be regarded “herbs”, including roots, leaves, seeds, flowers, root bark, inner bark (and cambium), resin, berries and sometimes the pericarp or other parts of the plant.
Culinary herbs are easily distinguished from vegetables in that, like most spices, they are used in moderate amounts and five flavors rather than substance to any food.
Herbs can be biennials like parsley, perennials like lavender or thyme, or annuals such as basil. Perennial herbs can be shrubs like rosemary, or trees like bay laurel– this contrasts with the botanical herbs that by definition can’t be woody plants.
Some plants can be used as spices both and herbs, like dill seed and dill weed or coriander seeds and leaves. Additionally, there are a few herbs like those in the mint family which are used for both medicinal and culinary purposes.
Some plants contain phytochemicals which have significant effects on the body. There may be a few effects when taken in the small amount which typifies culinary ‘spicing’, and some herbs are poisonous in vast quantities.
For example, some kinds of herbal extract, like the extract of kava or St. Johns wort can be used for medical purposes to relieve stress and depression. Nonetheless, high amounts of these herbs may result in toxic overload which may involve some complications and should be used carefully.
Herbs have been used for a long time as a common basis of traditional Chinese herbal medicine, with their usage dating as far back as the 1st century and even far before. The Ayurveda medicinal system in India is based on herbs.
Medicinal use of herbs in the Western cultures has its origin in the Hippocratic (Greek) fundamental healing system, depending on a quaternary primary healing metaphor. Popular herbalist of the Western tradition includes Galen (Roman), Avicenna (Persian), Culpepper (English), Paracelsus (German-Swiss)and the botanically inclined Eclectic physicians of the nineteenth century or early twentieth century America (Harvey Wickes Felter, and John Milton Scudder)
Modern pharmaceuticals had their roots in crude herbal medicines, and up to now, a few drugs are still extracted as isolate/fractionate compounds from purely raw herbs and then purified to attain the pharmaceutical standards.
Some herbs contain psychoactive properties which have been used for both recreational and spiritual purposes by human beings since the early Holocene era, notably the extracts and leaves of the coca and cannabis plants.
The leaves of the coca plants have been chewed by natives of northern Peruvian societies for more than 8,000 years, though the use of cannabis as the psychoactive substance dates back to the 1st century in the north of Africa and China.
Herbs are plants with flowers, leaves, and seeds which are eaten or used to flavor foods. Herbs have been used by numerous people since the early in the days (traditional). Also, some herbs can be utilized as medicine. Herbs can be grown in a garden, in the wild or flower bed or even inside your house.
It is essential that you know how to use herbs and what they look like. If you do not, you might accidentally consume a poisonous plant or use the herb in the wrong way. Herbs can be used dried or fresh.
Some herbs have intense flavor when they are dried, but others have an intense flavor when they are fresh. Herbs such as cloves and basil are used to flavor foods but are not eaten. Other herbs are often not eaten, but they can still be eaten such as Dill. Let’s explore more facts about herbs and spices.
8 Fun and Interesting Facts about Herbs and Spices:
1. Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chill, the hottest chili pepper in the world can quickly burn its way through protective latex gloves.
2. Nutmeg is a psychotropic and in sufficient doses, it can cause delusions, hallucinations and an impending sense of doom.
3. Women are subconsciously attracted to the black licorice scent.
4. The peppercorns and Canna Indica seed were used as shotgun pellets.
5. Cinnamon is used in holistic treatment to protect against diabetes, arthritis, and cholesterol and memory loss.
6. Saffron is the world’s costly spice, pound for pound, and is often grown in India, Iran, and Mexico. It is used due to its high flavor and color it adds to dishes.
7. Cloves are used by several African cultures as a flavor ingredient for hot tea that is said to help against nausea.
8. Basil has a flavor which complements Thyme and Origanum that is the reason it is usually used in Italian dishes like pasta and pizza.