AskDefine | Define herbs

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Plural of herb

Extensive Definition

A(n) herb ( or /ˈɝb/; see pronunciation differences) is a plant that is valued for qualities such as medicinal properties, flavor, scent, or the like.
Herbs have a variety of uses including culinary, medicinal, or in some cases even spiritual usage. The green, leafy part of the plant is often used, but herbal medicine also makes use of the roots, flowers, seeds, root bark, inner bark (cambium), berries and sometimes the pericarp or other portions. General usage differs between culinary herbs and medicinal herbs. In medicinal or spiritual use any of the parts of the plant might be considered "herbs" .
Culinary use of the term "herb" is more restricted. Culinary use typically distinguishes between herbs, from the leafy green parts of a plant, and spices, from other parts of the plant, including seeds, berries, bark, root, fruit, and even occasionally leaves. Culinary herbs are distinguished from vegetables in that like spices they are used in small amounts and provide flavor rather than substance to food.
Many plants contain phytochemicals that have effects on the body. Even when consumed in the small levels that typify culinary "spicing", there may be some effects, and some herbs are toxic in larger quantities. For instance, some types of herbal extract, such as the extract of St. John's-wort Hypericum perforatum or of kava (Piper methysticum) can be used for medical purposes to relieve depression and stress. However, large amounts of these herbs may lead to poisoning, and should be used with caution.


External links

herbs in Guarani: Ñana
herbs in Bulgarian: Билка
herbs in Catalan: Herba
herbs in Danish: Krydderurt
herbs in Spanish: Hierba
herbs in French: Herbe
herbs in Korean: 허브 (식물)
herbs in Hebrew: עשבי תיבול
herbs in Haitian: Zèb
herbs in Latin: Herba
herbs in Dutch: Kruid (keuken)
herbs in Japanese: ハーブ
herbs in Norwegian: Urter
herbs in Norwegian Nynorsk: Urt
herbs in Low German: Kruut
herbs in Polish: Zioła
herbs in Portuguese: Erva
herbs in Slovak: Bylina
herbs in Slovenian: Zelišče
herbs in Finnish: Yrtti
herbs in Swedish: Ört
herbs in Tagalog: Yerba
herbs in Tamil: மருத்துவ மூலிகைகள்
herbs in Thai: สมุนไพร
herbs in Chinese: 香草
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