Herbs and spices are used to flavor food. Herbs are plants lacking permanent woody stems and are valued for qualities such as medicinal properties, flavor and scent. Spices are made from vegetative substances such as seeds, roots and barks.


Vanilla, a genus of climbing orchids grown for commercial use in tropical areas in many parts of the world.

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  • How Cinnamon Works

    How Cinnamon Works

    Many people think of cinnamon simply as a condiment that makes sweet treats taste even better, but the spice has had many, diverse uses over time. Could it have some medicinal properties, too? See more »

  • Cinnamon


    Cinnamon, a tropical evergreen tree, related to the laurel. The bark is the source of a spice (also called cinnamon) and contains cinnamic aldehyde, an oil that is extracted and used as a flavoring, in medicine, and in perfume. See more »

  • Basil


    Basil, the name given to several aromatic annual plants of the mint family. The most common is sweet basil, which is cultivated extensively for use in cooking. See more »

  • Boneset


    Boneset, or Thoroughwort, a wild herb of the composite family. Its leaves were once believed to have properties that would aid in setting broken bones. See more »

  • Calla


    Calla, a tropical plant having a showy, bell-shaped leaf. This leaf, which resembles the flower of a lily, is called the spathe. See more »

  • Herb


    Herb, a plant used for its taste or smell, or for its coloring or medicinal properties. See more »

  • Mint


    Mint, a large family of fragrant herbs. The aromatic leaves and volatile oils of mint plants are widely used for flavoring and seasoning, and to a lesser extent in medicines and perfumes. See more »

  • Peppermint


    Peppermint, an aromatic plant containing a volatile oil with a fresh, peppery flavor. See more »

  • Portulaca


    Portulaca, a low-growing herb. It has fleshy, reddish stems; short, spoon-shaped leaves; and small, five-petaled flowers. See more »

  • Sage


    Sage, or Salvia, a genus of plants native to tropical and temperate regions. The genus is made up of about 700 species, most of which are herbs. See more »

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