What is a herb?

A herb is a useful plant. It might be an annual, biennial or perennial herbaceous plant, a shrub, tree, climber or succulent.
Herbs are used as flavouring in cooking, curing meats, cooking oils, soft drinks, liqueurs, beers and teas. They are also used in cosmetics, medicines, insect repellents and cleaning products.

Many herbs have multiple uses. For example, a hardy Lavender such as Munstead might be used as a flavouring in a cake, an ingredient in a cola drink, an essential oil for aromatherapy, a constituent of soap, shampoo or hand cream, or as insect repellent and perfume in a wardrobe.

Garden plants like honeysuckle, clematis, camellia, ceanothus or phormium that we may think of as purely decorative are, or have been, useful medicinal species in other parts of the world for centuries.

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