Difference between Spices and Herbs

miniature treesHerbs and spices are often considered as synonyms, but they are not. Though the purpose of both is same, they vary a lot in their origin and physical structure. Spices are herbs both are used for seasoning of food. Spices are the dried parts of plants. They can be barks, fruits, berries, flowers, roots and seeds of a plant. But herbs are generally small plants which do not have any trunk (except for rosemary). These are the tender leaves of the plants, which are used in cooking. Spices are mostly found in tropical countries, whereas herbs are found in temperate countries.

Herbs are used in fresh forms. Herbs are small herbaceous plants, which are seasonal and die as soon as the season is over. But it’s not the case with spices, as these plant parts are dried and stored. They have a shelf life of about 3 to 5 years. Herbs have mild flavors, whereas spices have strong flavors.

miniature gardeningSome of the commonly found spices are pepper, turmeric, cumin, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon, etc. some of the widely found herbs are mint, basil, parsley, chives, rosemary, etc.

Herbs are widely available and inexpensive. But spices are not widely available and are very expensive. There availability is restricted to particular areas only. Hence, online trading of spices had made buying of these spices very easy. Though they cannot be grown in our garden like herbs, you can buy spices online. Coming to the cost of spices, they are expensive but you can wholesale spices from online stores to get at cheaper prices.