Sunday, August 10, 2008

Classifications of Herbs

Classifications of Herbs
In studying a range of aromatic materials, such as the herbs, it is desirable to classify them into groups having some character in common. A botanical classification is of interest but the system which gives the most meaningful comparative grouping is one based on sensory attributes related to the prime constituents of the essential oil.

Although the essential oil is important and is responsible for the characteristic odor and flavor of the plant, it does not represent the total flavor complex; nonvolatile constituents may play a significant part in rounding off the profile and contributing taste elements, particularly sharpness and bitterness.

Herbs can be classified as:

  • Herbs containing cineole: bay laurel, rosemary, spanish sage.
  • Herbs containing thymol/carvacrol: thyme, origanum, wild marjoram, sweet savory, Mexican sage, oregano.
  • Herbs containing sweet alcohols: sweet basil, sweet marjoram, tarragon
  • Herbs containing thujone: Dalmation sage, Greek sage, English sage.
  • Herbs containing menthol: peppermint, corn mint, spearmint, garden mint.
Classifications of Herbs

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