An herb is the friend of physicians and the praise of cooks.” – Charlemagne

This guide has 100 herbs and spices ranging from the familiar to the exotic. While many herbs and spices have medical uses, this guide is not intended to be used as self-treatment for illnesses.

Spices and herbs played a dramatic role in the development of Western civilization. Spices today are plentiful and are used mostly as flavorings. However, in ancient and medieval times, they were rare and precious products, used for medicine, perfume, incense, and flavoring.

Herbs are usually the leafy parts of plants and can be sweet or savory in flavor. Spices are essentially any part of a plant that is not a leaf and is used as seasoning. This would include the bark, root, bud, fruit, and seeds of plants. Some plants have both: cilantro leaves and coriander seeds are from the cilantro plant. Herbs tend to grow naturally in temperate climates while spice are generally found in tropical climates.

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