Herbs vs Spices
Whenever the phrase herbs and spices (they are often spoken of collectively) is mentioned, the images of richly flavored, aromatic recipes come to our mind. These are plant products that are mostly used for giving a rich flavor to foods but there are many herbs and spices that are also used for treatment of various ailments. Because of their curative properties, many herbs and spices are made use of in crèmes and cosmetics to cure many skin problems. Despite being so popular, ask a person differences between herbs and spices and chances are you would draw a blank. This article will describe these differences to have a better understanding of these valuable plant products.
Because the words are mostly used together and often interchangeably, there is bound to be confusion in the minds of the people regarding differences between herbs and spices. It is true that both are derived from pant and both can be used fresh as well as in dried form, there are many differences.
Herbs are mainly leaves of non woody plants that are known as herbaceous. While herbs are mainly used for adding flavor and aroma to foods, there is a system of medicine in India which is wholly dependent upon these herbs. It is known as Ayurveda and utilizes various herbs and their compositions in doses to cure all sorts of ailments. Thus, herbs have great medicinal value which even the western world is slowly recognizing as more research is being conducted on herbal plants. Herbal plants grow best in temperate climates. Some examples of herbs are mint, rosemary, thyme etc.
Spices are mostly parts of plants other than leaves such as root, stem, bulb, bark, etc that have been dried and are used for seasoning of foods. Spicy plants are native to tropical and semi tropical climates. Spices are mostly used for adding flavor and aroma to food recipes, though there are spices that are used for their medicinal value also. Everyone knows the health benefits of turmeric which is an Indian spice and has amazing health benefits as it is anti inflammatory, anti viral, anti fungal, anti septic and even anti carcinogenic. Some spices are also used as preservatives.
Difference between herbs and spices
So the difference between herbs and spices boils down to their origin from a plant. While the leaves of a plant make up herbs (mostly), spices come from seeds, roots, bark or even the bulb of the plant. Herbs are used after drying, though there are many herbs that are used fresh. Spices are always dried up before use, and they are added to enhance flavor and aroma of a recipe.
Herbs are considered to have more medicinal values than spices, though there is turmeric, a spice that has amazing health benefits. Herbs are also used in preparation of cosmetics and facial crèmes. In India, there is an alternative system of medicine known as Ayurveda that is based upon herbs only.
Difference Between Herbs and Spices
• Herbs and spices are plant produce that are mostly used for seasoning of foods and to enhance flavor and aroma of recipes
• Herbs are obtained from leaves of plants, whereas plants are obtained from roots, stem, bark and other parts of plants
• Herbs are grown in temperate climate, while spices are found more in tropical and semi tropical climates
• Herbs have more medicinal values, and are used in various ointments and crèmes
• Some spices are also used as preservatives