Herbs: The Difference Between Herbs and Spices

Today I spent some time wondering if I should have themed my project "100 days of Plants That Have Medicinal and Beneficial Properties"? It just doesn't have the same ring to it though  and I think I would get really tired of writing  "#100daysofPlantsThatHaveMedicinalandBeneficialProperties" over and over again. I think maybe instead, on days when I am not covering an herb (like yesterday when I covered a spice, cinnamon), I will just throw in a disclosure stating "sometimes I am going to include plants that are not herbs".  Much easier.

The Difference Between Spices and Herbs

So what is the difference between a spice and an herb? According to Fooducate, "The difference between the two is where they are obtained from a plant. Herbs come from the leafy and green part of the plant. Spices are parts of the plant other than the leafy bit such as the root, stem, bulb, bark or seeds. Examples of herbs include basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley and mint". Pretty subtle right? I actually had no idea, thank you google! Spices are also usually dried and grown in the tropics, where herbs are grown all over the world.

However, according to the American Spice Trade Association, spices are defined as “any dried plant product used primarily for seasoning purposes”. Okay, I thought we had this cleared up. Another definition yet, states that traditionally spices have been categorized as fragrant, aromatic plant products like cinnamon (see yesterday's blog for more info on this spice), cloves, ginger and pepper.  While herbs have always been recognized as the more green, leafy products like mint, rosemary and thyme grown in more temperate areas. 

Now we are back to square one.  What do we use? Who is right? An interesting dilemma I didn't even know existed.  What do you think? I would love to know.

 The Project

This project, #The100DaysofHerbs, derives from the #The100DayProject on Instagram. The start Date is April 19, 2016 and goes for 100 days ending July 25, 2016. The project asks people to pick up a paintbrush, camera, meditation -anything for 100 days and document the process.   I am also using #The100DayProject to enhance my beginner knowledge of herbs and to strengthen both my fledgling photography and writing skills.

Why Herbs (I will update this section weekly so check back over the journey)?

Week One: I was diagnosed with an "incurable disease" by Western Medicine two years ago and after a bit of crying, and trusting my gut to say no to the VERY HARMFUL drug they wanted to put me on to "help" manage my symptoms (not even cure the disease), God put me right in front of an herbalist’s doors, and I haven't looked back since. More on that over the next 100 days.