Herbs are plants with savory or aromatic properties that are used for flavoring and garnishing food, for medicinal purposes, or for fragrances.



Herbs exclude vegetables and other plants consumed for macronutrients. 



Typically  herbs are distinguished  from spices: 



Herbs generally refers to the leafy green or flowering parts of a plant, either fresh or dried).



Spices are usually dried.



Spices are produced from other parts of the plant, including seeds, bark, roots and fruits.



They have a variety of uses including: culinary, medicinal, and in some cases, spiritual. 



The term herb refers to a herbaceous plant.



It is defined as a small, seed-bearing plant without a woody stem in which all above ground life dies back to the ground at the end of each growing season.



They are usually perennial plants although herbaceous plants can also be annuals, or biennials.



However, the term herb can refer to a much larger range of plants: sage, rosemary and lavender would be excluded from the botanical definition of a herb as they do not die down each year, and they possess woody stems.



Herbaceous perennials may include but trees, shrubs, annuals, ferns, mosses, algae, lichens,and fungi.



Herbs can utilized  as stems, leaves, fruits, roots, bark and gums.



Culinary herbs are used in small amounts and providing flavor to food.



Culinary herbs are distinguished from vegetables in that, like spices, they are used in small amounts and provide flavor rather than substance to food.



Herbs can be perennials such as thyme, sage or lavender, and biennials, parsley, or annuals like basil. 



Perennial herbs can be shrubs such as rosemary, or trees such as bay laurel, contrasting with botanical herbs, which by definition cannot be woody plants. 



Some plants are utilized as both herbs and spices: dill weed and dill seed or coriander leaves and seeds. 



Some herbs, such as those in the mint family, are  both of culinary and medicinal use.



Some herbs are infused in boiling water to make herbal teas.



Herbal teas use the dried leaves, flowers or seeds, but can also use fresh herbs.



Herbal teas tend to be made from aromatic herbs: chamomile tea, or mint tea.



Herbal teas may not contain tannins or caffeine.



Some plants contain phytochemicals.



Some herbs are toxic in larger quantities. 



Herbal extracts, such as St. John’s-wort or of kava ate be used for medical purposes to relieve depression and stress.



Large amounts of these herbs may lead to toxic overload that may involve serious complications.



Some drugs are extracted as fractionate/isolate compounds from raw herbs and then purified to meet pharmaceutical standards.



Herbs may contain psychoactive properties that have been used for both religious and recreational purposes.



Herbal cosmetics: face creams, scrubs, lipstick, natural fragrances, powders, body oils, deodorants and sunscreens. 



Herbal cosmetics activate through the epithelium of sebaceous glands to make the skin more supple.



Strewing herbs over the floors of dwelling places and other buildings, are used to promote fragrant or astringent smells, and many also serve as insecticides or disinfectants. 


There is not enough data to determine which, if any, herb supplements and dosages are safe and effective for weight loss.


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