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How Difference Between Herbs and Spices? - The Unforeseen Fact of These Ingredients

Nowadays, spices and herbs are common in most foods around the world. Both are used to flavor foods and some for medicinal purposes. Also, they have been prominent throughout human history. In earlier times, herbs and spices were considered luxuries and only available for the use of the wealthy and they were traded frequently between nations in medieval times. However, most people do not know the difference between an herb and a spice. Although, there are many similarities between the two, some of the differences are very subtle and still valid. So, I'd like to explain about some interesting fact for unfolding your doubt.

Chinese Herbs
Photo: robmansfield.net

In addition, If you consider about the using, there is no distinction between herbs and spices because both have similar uses. Nevertheless, a botanical definition reveals that an herb is a plant that doesn't produce a woody stem. It's common knowledge that in certain areas of the United States, a dried herb is considered to be a spice. This leads to more confusion because if a spice is simply an herb, then there cannot be a difference between the two. However, believing this is ignoring the fact that many herbs tend to be leafy green substances and spices are found in plants that are tropical in nature.

On the other hand, some people argue that they are different. The essential differences between an herb and a spice is where it’s obtained from on a plant. Herbs usually come from the leafy part of a plant, and are usually dried but some herbs can be used fresh. Anyway, spices can be obtained from seeds, fruits, roots, bark, or some other vegetative substance and spices are not necessarily as fresh as some herbs can be. Herbs can be found many places around the world, but spices are more commonly found in the Far East and tropical countries. Herbs are considered to have a few more uses than spices.

For instance, herbs have been used more frequently than spices in the medical field and used for augment cosmetics and preserve foods. Because herbs and spices have played important roles throughout history and so many uses as the great food flavorings.As you may know, the Portuguese navigator, Vasco Da Gama, sailed to India in search of spices. Even Christopher Columbus described the types of spices available in the "new world" to investors after he landed. Herbs have been used throughout history for medicinal purposes. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbology has been used for thousands of years.

Herbs and Spices
Photo: nozomiiqel

For today, we still can’t find the conclusion of this debate. Some say that there is no difference, while others affirm that they are both completely different. It depends on your consideration. Anyway, I think you should also learn about the benefits of them instead suspect in their difference.


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