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Uses

Herbs have a variety of uses including culinary, medicinal, or in some cases even spiritual usage. 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", including leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, resin, root bark, inner bark (cambium), berries and sometimes the pericarp or other portions of the plant.

Culinary herbs

Culinary use of the term "herb" 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 dried 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.

Some culinary herbs are shrubs (such as rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis), or trees (such as bay laurel, Laurus nobilis) – this contrasts with botanical herbs, which by definition cannot be woody plants. Some plants are used as both a spice and a(n) herb, such as, dill seed and dill weed or cilantro (leaves) and coriander (seeds).

Medicinal herbs

Plants contain phytochemicals that have effects on the body. There may be some effects even when consumed in the small levels that typify culinary "spicing", 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. One herb-like substance, called Shilajit, may actually help lower blood glucose levels which is especially important for those suffering from diabetes. Herbs have long been used as the basis of traditional Chinese herbal medicine, with usage dating as far back as the first century.

Some herbs are used not only for culinary and medicinal purposes, but also for recreational purposes; one such herb is cannabis.

Religious herbs

Herbs are used in many religions – such as in Christianity (myrrh (Commiphora myrrha), ague root (Aletris farinosa) and frankincense (Boswellia spp)) and in the partially Christianized Anglo-Saxon pagan Nine Herbs Charm. In Hinduism a form of Basil called Tulsi is worshipped as a goddess for its medicinal value since the Vedic times. Many Hindus have a Tulsi plant in front of their houses.

Botanical herbs

In botanical usage a herb or herbaceous plant is any non-woody plant, regardless of its flavor, scent or other properties. A botanical herb cannot therefore be a woody plant such as a tree or shrub.

 

©References and copyrights from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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Disclaimer:
Nothing stated here should be considered as medical advice for dealing with a given problem. You should consult your health care professional for individual guidance for specific health problems. The information on this site is for informational and educational purposes only, and is simply a collection of information in the public domain. Information conveyed herein is based on pharmacological and other records - both ancient and modern. No claims whatsoever can be made as to the specific benefits accruing from the use of any herb or nutrients. Information here is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician or health care professional. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, nor to prescribe any medication. You should read all product packaging and labels carefully. If you have or suspect that you have a medical condition, promptly contact your health care provider. Remember that some herbs if used often may produce some minor irritations or stomach upsets. If you are allergic to ragweed or any other plant, consult your physician before taking any herbal remedy.

Information on this website is based on research from the internet, books, articles and studies and/or companies selling herbs online. Statements in this website have not necessarily been evaluated and should not be considered as medical advice. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. for diagnosis or treatment consult your physician. Use herbs in moderation and watch for allergic reactions. If you are taking any other medication, are suffering from a medical condition and/or are at all concerned about any of the advice or ingredients consult your doctor before taking the herbs. If you are pregnant, breast feeding or have/had breast cancer do not take any of the herbs (as many affect hormone balance, uterine contractions and are estrogenic). Remember that diet, exercise and relaxation are equally important to your health.


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