Avoiding health complications, food poisoning, and fostering their therapeutic uses represents only a few of numerous reasons why you should be more abreast about what goes into your body as food intake. No doubt that the close relationship between their culinary and health benefits has made the fight between herbs vs. spices a confusing one in the mind of users.
Factually, there exists a thick line between the world of herbs and spices.
Herbs, on one hand, are generally fresh and leafy parts of plants mostly grown in temperate to hot regions such as Italy, France, and England. There are primarily herbaceous (annual and perennial) plants having non-woody stems; however, bay leaf is one of the limited herb plants that originate from woody plants.
Their flavorsome and innate composition makes them a huge fit for medicinal and culinary needs.
Herbs are needed in higher amount before they can be significantly efficacious. Common herbs examples are Sage, Oregano, Parsley, Marjoram Basil, Chives, and Rosemary.
As far as herbs vs. spices are concerned; Bergamot, Curry leaf, Mint Mentha are versatile herbs because of their use as both dry and fresh leaves.
Spices, on the other hand, are harvested from the non-leafy parts of a plant such as the bark, flowers, buds, roots, seeds, and gum of a plant. For example, cardamom is pods and seeds, while Vanilla represents the undeveloped fruit of an orchid.
Unlike herbs, there are aromatic and pungent species needed in a smaller amount to give their potent effect. They mostly thrive in subtropical or tropical climates and are profound for providing flavor and taste to delicacies.
Similarly, few spices like asafetida and fenugreek are also known for their medicinal value. While asafoetida is a good treatment for cough and stomach upsets, fenugreek is effective for curbing diabetes and lowering cholesterol levels.
Where herbs vs. spices collide
It is possible for a plant to be both an herb and a spice. A typical example is the dill plant. While its aromatic seeds are regarded as spices, its leaves are powerful herbs. Secondly, cilantro herb derived from the leaves of the Coriandrum sativum, however, the coriander spice is a product of the plant’s seeds.
Getting the variations right cannot be overemphasized. Today, herbs and spices have become nature’s golden gift to the growing needs of human. However, its ease of accessibility should be seen as a call for more caution in its utilization.