The Difference Between Spices and Herbs

What’s common in spices and herbs?

Mostly they are used in foods for giving flavours and taste. They are major ingredients in all recipes around the world. Some are used for medicinal purposes while some are used only in food recipes. Spices and herbs are the main factors in human history. During earlier days, the use of spices and herbs are considered luxurious. Also, it is available only for wealthy people. In medieval times, herbs and spices were frequently traded between different nations. Many people don’t know the correct difference between a herb and a spice. Basically, there are very similarities between the two. But then there is a slight difference between the two.

Difference between a herb and a spice

The prominent difference between a herb and a spice is whether it is obtained from a plant or not. Usually, it has been noted that herbs are produced from a leafy part of a plant. And herbs are dry in nature. However, they can be used fresh too. Herbs can be found in many parts of the world. 

But spices are usually found in eastern or tropical countries. Spices usually are produced from seeds, fruits, roots, bark, or some vegetative part. Spices are not compulsorily used as fresh as herbs.

Also, it has been noted that spices tend to be stronger in flavour than herbs. It is said that herbs are more useful than spices. For example, Herbs are used to augment cosmetics and preserve food. So herbs have some plus points considering their variety of uses.

Many people do not understand or believe the differences between a herb and a spice. They consider that both have similar properties. However, the botanical definition reveals that a herb is a plant that doesn’t produce a woody stem. In the United States, there is a common consideration that a dried herb is a spice. Such creates confusion in the public’s mind. 

As herbs and spices both played an important role throughout human history. We know herbs and spices have so many uses. Also, make the recipe have a very flavorful taste. The Portuguese sailor, Vasco Da Gama, sailed to India in search of spices. And even Christopher Columbus has described the types of spices. Which are available in the “new world” to the investors after he landed. 

Herbs are being used throughout history as the only way of medicines to heal yourself naturally. Herbology has been used for thousands of years in TCM, which is a Traditional Chinese Medicine. Herbology means the study of herbs for medicinal purposes.

There is an ongoing debate between herbs and spices. Some say that there is no difference. While others say that they are completely different from each other. The most learned scholars say that the difference between a herb and a spice is found in whether the herb or spice is obtained on the plant. And also where that specific plant can be found. 

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