NEOHERBAL aims to contribute to a better understanding, utilisation
and application of medicinal, culinary and aromatic herbs.
Neoherbal provides a platform to unite interested and like
minded persons to share, proliferate and expound their knowledge
and experience to achieve a better understanding of this resource.
The field of herbs is phenomenal. It encompasses quite a
huge domain in various cultures and countries. But our knowledge
is quite meagre compared to the wealth of information which
can be deduced and culled from simple observations, ancient
texts, mythologies, tribal folklores and modern research.
CLASSIFICATION OF PLANTS
From an users point of view we have classified herbs, loosely
into three basic groups - medicinal, aromatic and culinary
herbs. We use the term "loosely" because some herbs
have uses in preparation of medicines, used as pot herb as
well as have a nice aroma like Mint (Mentha piperata).
Millions of households in various countries
use medicinal herbs to treat their illness. One of our
prime objective is to promote home made medicinal use
in preventive, promotive and curative applications.
Herbalism is a form of the healing arts that draws from
herbal traditions of a country and that emphasizes the
study and use of native herbs and plants in the treatment
and prevention of illness. Herbalism is based on physicians'
and herbalists' clinical experience and traditional
knowledge of medicinal plant remedies preserved by oral
tradition and in written records over thousands of years.
It is based upon the study of natural herbs and includes
the identification, extraction methods, and applications
of specific plant extracts responsible for specific
Many plants produce medicinally important
organic compounds such as alkaloids, oils, resins, tannins,
gums, waxes, flavours and fragrances, chemicals of pharmaceuticals,
and pesticides use. For the sake of convenience, plant
chemicals are often classified as either primary or
secondary metabolites. Primary metabolites are substances
widely distributed in nature, occurring in one form
or another in virtually all organisms. In plants such
compounds are often concentrated in seeds and vegetative
storage organs and are needed for physiological development
because of their role in basic cell metabolism.
Secondary metabolites are compounds
which are medicinally more important. They are biosynthetically
derived from primary metabolites but more limited in
distribution in the plant kingdom, being restricted
to a particular group of plants. Secondary compounds
have no apparent function in a plant's primary metabolism
but often have an ecological role; they are pollinator
attractants, represent chemical adaptations to environmental
stresses, or serve as chemical defences against micro-organisms,
insects and higher predators, etc. Secondary metabolites
are frequently accumulated by plants in smaller quantities
than are primary metabolites. In addition, secondary
metabolites, in contrast to primary metabolites, tend
to be synthesized in specialized cell types and at distinct
developmental stages. It is the secondary metabolites
that are used mainly as medicines, pharmaceuticals,
flavours and fragrances.
The basic use of oils is believed to
have started over three thousand years ago. Studies
of ancient cultures have proven that the use of essential
oils was evident in everyday life. Some of the first
oils to be used were Myrrh and Frankincense. Oils have
been used by Indian, Chinese, Persian and African cultures.
Early uses included; incense burning, mummification,
cooking, bathing, perfumery, cosmetics, rituals, meditations,
and of course healing.
During the latter half of the century
aromatherapy has grown in popularity. There are many
uses for essential oils. Massage oils, baths, inhalation,
vaporization are some of the processes by which Aromatic
herbs can be used. Other than this Aromatic herbs are
used as domestic pesticides.
From time immemorial herbs were used
in cooking. Culinary herbs are those herbs whose fresh
or dried leaves are used in cooking or to impart special
flavours in edibles. Some of the common culinary herbs
are basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.
Culinary herbs are different from spices.
Generally, fresh or dried leaves are used for culinary
herbs while spices are seeds, roots, fruits, flowers,
and bark. Herbs usually have a mild flavor while spices
tend to have a stronger, pungent flavor. However, the
terms herb and spice are artificial categories. Several
common spices are cinnamon, aniseeds and ginger roots.
Other than cooked foods and prepared
dishes, herbs can be also used for making teas, vinegar,
butter, syrups, sauces, wines, milk shakes, concentra<es,
If you would like to write an essay on herbal use, please
do so and after review by our panel of
experts will be posted on the website. You can discuss any
topic you like, quality, history, applications, results, personal
stories, discoveries etc.
Send it to us via Email at email@example.com
Economic independence through better cultivation, value addition
and utilisation of herbs and herbal products is our purpose.
We have an unique bio-diversity due to our remarkable eco-diversity
in climate, soil, rainfall, temperature and altitude. This
has resulted in the growth of various types of plants and
herbs having medicinal, economic and cultural importance.
But most of these plants and herbs are under-utilised due
to ignorance, indifference and socio-economic reasons. Lack
of proper organization to market the resultant product is
also a prime factor in under-utilisation of this vast resource.
It aims to add value to herbal products, to popularise herbal
products through seminars, camps, media and most importantly
to make herbal remedies available to general public.