In cooking, herbs are usually distinguished from spices. Herbs refer to the leafy green or flowering parts of the plant (fresh or dried), while spices are produced from other parts of the plant (usually dried), including seeds, bark, roots and fruit.

In cooking, herbs and spices are distinguished from vegetables by the fact that they are used in small quantities to provide flavor rather than substance in the food.

Herbs and spices can be perennial plants such as thyme or lavender, two years like parsley or one year old like the basil. Perennial herbs may be shrubs such as rosemary or trees such as laurel. Some plants are used both as herbs and as spices, such as dill and dill seeds or leaves and coriander seeds and leaves. Certain herbs such as those of the spearmint family are used both in cooking and for medical purposes.

Dill Mint Cumin Lemon thyme
dill mint cumin lemon thyme
Parsley Marjoram Pepper Chives
parsley marjoram pepper chives