Difference Between Herbs and Spices
By Rebecca Rodriguez - November 5, 2022

Herbs and spices have been used since prehistoric times, typically as important forms of currency in trade, as well as for therapeutic effects and as preservatives in the art of food preservation. Because of this common origin, the phrases herb and spice are frequently used interchangeably. However, they are two distinct types of seasonings, derived from different parts of plants and prepared in different ways.

Table Summary

Always dry and may also be crushed.Usually fresh
It is added first in cooking to maintain a strong flavorIt is added last in cooking to maintain a delicate flavor


Herbs or parts of plants are used as medication or to flavor meals. They are best described as a tiny, seed-bearing plant with fleshy, rather than woody, portions. Although most herbs are derived from herbaceous plants (those with no woody stems), a few, such as bay leaf, are derived from woody plants. Examples of common Herbs include basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, and oregano.

Spice can be derived from the root, stem, seed, fruit, flower, or bark of a tree or plant, and it is first separated or harvested and then dried before use. Cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, star anise, and turmeric are a few examples.

Herbs VS Spices

The greatest misunderstanding is the fact that a single plant may house both a herb and a spice simultaneously. Coriander is a typical example. Cilantro is an herb made from the fragrant leaf of the plant Coriandrum sativum, whereas coriander is a spice made from the plant’s seed. Basil, rosemary, and parsley are also commonly misidentified as spices. However, they are truly herbs due to their aromatic leaves. Herbs are available fresh or dried, chopped or whole. They are, nevertheless, more delicate in flavor and constitution, whether fresh or dried. Spices have a stronger taste than herbs because they are created from crushed sections of plants that are particularly rich in essential oils that may be amplified by direct heating methods such as roasting and frying. They work best at the start of your cooking, but herbs should be added last to maintain taste.