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Herb was a broad term for a variety of plants used for medicinal purposes, crafting drugs and potions,[1] seasoning and garnishing food, providing aromas to food[2] or fragrances, and a variety of other purposes.[3]

Herbs were often dried, ground up into a powder, and tightly packed in order to preserve them. Some felt that herbs were best used when fresh,[4] though their effectiveness often wasn't hindered by it.[1] The spells freshen and curdle were two magical means by which people altered the freshness of herbs.[5]

Unlike spices, caravans carrying herbs were only lightly guarded, as most monsters and humanoid tribes had little interest in stealing them.[6]

Availability[]

Some professional healers bought their herbs, while others cultivated herb gardens to save currency and maintain a steady supply.[7]

Apothecaries often sold raw and prepared herbs for medicinal and culinary purposes.[1]

Cultivated[]

Wild[]

Varieties[]

Herbs used throughout Toril included the following:

History[]

The continual refinement of herbal treatment over time led to plagues becoming far less common in the Realms.[31]

In the 14th century DR, the merchants of Semphar were known to supply the nomadic tribes of the Hordelands with herbs among other goods.[32]

Prices[]

Prices varied between each type of herb, with one of many factors being whether they were local or exotic.[citation needed] However, in the bazaars of Zakhara the native spices could generally be bought for around 4 to 7 copper pieces per 1 lb (0.45 kg).[33]

In the 14th century DR, markets in Waterdeep sold most herbs for around 5 copper pieces to 8 gold pieces per dry 1 oz (28 g), though saffron in particular sold for 40 gold pieces per dry 1 oz (28 g).[34]

Usages of Herbs[]

Culinary Usages[]

  • Herbs were sometimes mixed together into a type of cooking oil.[35]
  • Some varieties of herbs could be used to purify water.[36]
  • Herbs could be used to make tea in place of tea leaves.[37]
  • The leaves of herbs were used to impart a green hue to wine in Cormyr and the Dalelands.[38]

Herbalism[]

Medical practice throughout Faerûn was dominated by herbalism.[39] This practice often involved herbalism kits, which were used to identify herbs and turn them into medicine.[40]

Magical Usages[]

Miscellaneous Usages[]

  • Herbs could be used to make insect repellent.[48]
  • Herbs were stuffed in perfume bags called satchets to provide clothing an aroma.[49]
  • Herbs were placed in tubs of water to make herbal baths, a service offered by many festhalls and herbalists throughout the Realms.[1] One such establishment was the Sapphire Peacock in Innarlith.[50]
  • Some members of the Launderers' Guild in Waterdeep used strong herbs to impart a fragrant scent upon the clothing they handled.[51]

Notable Users of Herbs[]

Classes[]

  • Alchemists in the larger towns of the Savage Frontier were typically well versed in the medicinal application of herbs.[30]
  • Hound masters proficient in herbalism used their knowledge to improve the health of their dogs.[52]
  • Mystics in the Realms were capable of using their knowledge of herbs to manufacture magically enchanted candles.[53]
  • Ninjas proficient in herbalism used their knowledge to create poisons and drugs that would knock a target out.[54]

Groups[]

Races & Intelligent Creatures[]

  • The araneas of the Spider Swamp, when in their human disguise, would trade the rare herbs of that swamp at human settlements.[23]
  • Elven cuisine often involved frying or steaming vegetables with herbs.[56]
  • Grungs used herbs to craft tonics that were part of the process of changing their skin color.[57]
  • Halflings did not favored mixture of herbs over strong spices when it came to seasoning their traditional sausages, cheeses, stews, and baked goods.[58]
  • Herbs were involved in the process of embalming of greater[59] and standard mummies.[60]
  • The unique stew that was a staple of the shan sao diet involved a mixture of herbs and spices.[61]
  • Tabaxi were known to use aromatic herbs disguise their scent.[62]
  • Weretigers who lived in cabins near human settlements often had herb gardens.[63]
  • Rare herbs were sometimes involved in the complex transformation rituals of yuan-ti and they encouraged their cults to gather them.[64] They would mix these herbs with certain roots and their own venom to make distillations that could transform humans into histachii.[65]

Regions & Settlements[]

  • Rare herbs were a major export of the city Almraiven.[66]
  • In the nation of Tethyr, herbs were one of many goods that people commonly bartered with.[67]

Religions[]

  • Helpful herbs were one of the things that could typically occur following a manifestation of Chauntea.[68]
  • The clergy of the Church of Ilmater were initiated in the art of herbalism and they frequently gathered medicinal herbs.[69]
  • Priests in the Church of Silvanus were known to dispense herbs as part of their efforts to attract new followers.[70]
  • The Seekers of Scales cult used a mixture of drugs and herbs to achieve a mental state in which they communed with the dragons they worshiped.[71]
  • Poisonous herbs were a favored plant of the goddess Talona,[72][73] which could be seen as an indication of her presence.[73]

Appendix[]

See Also[]

  • Spices, another broad term for a variety of plant-life that is often used to season food.

External Links[]

References[]

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  3. Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 127. ISBN 0786960345.
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