Herbs vs Botanicals: What's the Difference?
While the words 'Herb' and 'Botanical 'are often used interchangeably when discussing natural medicine, we wanted to clarify whether there is a difference between the two.
Typically when we see the words 'Herb' or 'Botanical' used in natural or plant-based medicine related topics, we see it describes a plant with medicinal or therapeutic benefit.
But we also see 'Herb' used to specify a plant commonly used for both flavor and medicinal benefit whereas a 'Botanical' is more often used in describing floral's or plant parts rather then the whole plant, to be used in products and medicines.
If we get specific on the exact definition of 'Herb' and focus less on how it is commonly used, then as defined by Merriam Webster, it is a 'seed producing annual, biannial or perrennial that does not develop persistent woody tissue and dies at the end of the growing season' or also described as 'a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, savory or aromatic qualities'.
In the same respect a 'Botanical' is defined by Merriam Webster as, 'of or relating to plants or botany' or as, 'derived from plants'.
In summary, typically 'Botanical' will describe use of only part of the plant versus 'Herb' referencing a whole plant specie. Research mostly favors whole plant-based approaches in medicine. A good topic of study related to this is 'Ayurvedic medicine' which is an ancient practice we use to guide our shop culture and product curation.