In generic terms, Herbs are the plants possessing properties such as piquant as well as pleasant smell which is used for the purpose of making medicines, adding flavours in the food and in some cases spiritual. The study of Herbs is known as Herbalism in which herbal plants are used for the purpose of medicinal uses. Different type of Herbs are: Parsley,Mint,Tulsi,Neem,Basil,Sage,RoseMary,Coriander,Garlic,Lavender,Oregano,Fennel etc.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), herbalism is the use of unrefined plants material such as leaves, flower, fruit, roots, rhizomes, stem or seed in a powered or pieces to make medicines that helps in the healing of the human body and is termed as completely safe and secure. These are prepared on the basis of complete knowledge, experience, skills, beliefs and practices that are followed in different culture around the world. These medicines are used to treat the physical as well as mental illness, promote health and maintain overall well-being. These customary medicines have been used throughout human history and are widely accepted in today’s time also.
There are different families of herbs used for different purposes:
a) Culinary Herbs: These herbs are like spices which are used to provide taste, aroma in the food and used in the kitchen such as thyme, parsley, lavender etc.
b) Herbal Herbs: These herbs are used to make herbal teas by adding them in the boiling water. Herbal tea contains antioxidants and vitamins that help to fight the diseases and infections. For instance, Mint tea, Jasmine tea etc.
c) Medicinal Herbs: Instances about the use of medicinal herbs for the purpose of preventing diseases and overall wellbeing of the human body can be traced from human history. Some medicinal herbs contain phytochemicals that affect our body and helps in curing depression and stress. However, some herbs are toxic in nature and their quantities should be taken in prescribed limit.
d) Sacred Herbs: These are the type of herbs which are used for religious purposes such as Tulsi, Belpatra etc. Some herbs are also used for spiritual purpose. For example experiencing the spiritual world, removing stress, helping in deep meditations etc.
There are other kinds of herbs also which are used for making cosmetics, used as insecticides etc. Moreover, along with the use of herbs and food, herbalists use various natural techniques such as sunlight, exercises, different detoxification techniques, lifestyle changes for the overall well-being of the human body.