Friday, December 14, 2007

What Is An Herb...

I have a request from a reader to explain what an herb is, and the difference between herbs and spices.
So...we shall.

All herbs are plants, but of course all plants are not herbs.

The usual way of defining an herb- is a plant that may be useful, either as a food, a flavoring, or as a medicine. A special type of plant, with the potential to bring about changes in the body. This can happen either through eating it in food or using it medicinally.
Actually, many herbs are used for both flavor and medicine. Herbs are often aromatic as well, with special fragrances that offer mentally uplifting or physcial effects.

( Example) Rosemary is an excellent flavoring for lamb.
And as a medicinal herb it is helpful for poor circulation and as a powerful fresh fragrance for poor concentration.

( Spices)

Ginger, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, allspice, cumin, etc., are the seeds, berries, or roots of particular plants. They are usually dried and ground and used in cooking for a fiery flavor full of warmth.
They are also used in medicines such as Ayurveda, the natural medicine of India.
Medicinally they are often used to help digestive problems and to support the immune system.
Spices have been part of the Western European medical tradition since Roman times, when they were brought to the west by ancient trade routes.

Stay tuned for part two!

For more information on and about herbs- visit our website and sign up for the "Sage Hill" newsletter......You can find it all here.

Happy Holidays!

Bea Kunz

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