The word herb (usually used in the plural, herbs) refers to plants with aromatic properties that are used to flavor food products and garnish foods, to make fragrances and are used for medicinal purposes. Herbs are distinguished from spices in cuisine because herbs are made from leaves and flowers while spices are produced from other parts of the plant, such as seeds or roots. In medicine, the culinary distinction between herbs and spices is not followed.
The word herb derives from the Latin herba, which meant "grass or green crops".
The correct pronunciation of herb in English varies between British English and American English. In the UK, the "h" in herb is pronounced. So, the British version remains transcribed as herb. In the US, the "h" in herb is not pronounced, thereby resulting in erb. It is interesting to note that the pronunciation of herb without an "h" was standard in all of the English-speaking world until the 19th century. However, at a certain point, pronunciation of the "h" became common in British English, while the original pronunciation remained standard in American English.