A herb is an herbaceous plant used as a flavouring or as a medicine. Herbs have a long history – they were used for both their curative and aromatic value by the ancient Egyptians and Persians. Now- adays their medicinal value has been largely discredited, however, and it is in the flavouring of foods that they are most widely used.

Every national cuisine uses herbs – and each one has its favourites. In French cuisine fines herbes (a mixture of herbs used together) are popular, in Scandi-navia dill, while the Italians use lots of oregano and basil. The most popular herbs in Great Britain and the United

States are parsley, thyme, basil and marjoram.