Definition of herbal in English:



  • Relating to or made from herbs, especially those used in cooking and medicine.

    ‘herbal remedies’
    • ‘Atkinson started out as a practitioner and her main motivation is still to promote herbal medicine and make it accessible to all.’
    • ‘It was believed that each head of the household knew enough about herbal cures and medicine to treat illnesses in his household.’
    • ‘Like ginger, peppermint is on my list of herbs vital to every home herbal medicine chest.’
    • ‘The proportion of patients using traditional herbal remedies for malaria varies widely.’
    • ‘He had not taken any over the counter preparations or herbal medicines, and he had been taking his drugs correctly.’
    • ‘He believes more and more people are turning to homeopathy, herbal medicine, and other therapies.’
    • ‘Most of modern medicine's prescription drugs grew out of traditional herbal remedies.’
    • ‘Even though herbal medicines are not devoid of risk, they could still be safer than synthetic drugs.’
    • ‘A hospital from Beijing bought three tons of herbal medicines mentioned by the experts.’
    • ‘The tribal people depend totally on herbal medicines as there is no clinic in the village.’
    • ‘A few of them were practitioners of herbal medicine but most were ordinary, conventional citizens.’
    • ‘Do no take this herb or other herbal remedies without first speaking to your health provider.’
    • ‘People who take herbal remedies may be at risk of drug interactions if they're also taking warfarin.’
    • ‘No good evidence shows that homoeopathic or herbal remedies have any beneficial effect.’
    • ‘Saw palmetto extract is one of several herbal remedies that some men find helpful.’
    • ‘Some traditional medical practitioners use herbal medicines and set broken bones.’
    • ‘In China acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine coexist equally with allopathy.’
    • ‘Trials of many Chinese herbal medicines for the treatment of HIV infection and cancer are currently under way.’
    • ‘There is no scientific data to support the effects or actions of herbal therapy.’
    • ‘The main focus is on preventive health care and the use of traditional herbal remedies.’


  • A book that describes herbs and their culinary and medicinal properties.

    • ‘Varro E. Tyler became dismayed by the proliferation of ‘inaccurate and deceptive information’ and wrote the first edition of The Honest Herbal in 1982 for the general public.’
    • ‘Modern herbals give it no medicinal value, but traditionally it was valued for healing wounds.’
    • ‘A widespread belief that basil bred scorpions is reiterated in the old herbals.’
    • ‘Written herbals had been copied avidly through the Middle Ages and beyond, with Dioscorides's ‘De Materia Medica’ as a basic text.’
    • ‘Hitherto, evidence of the crops grown in medieval times has come from the analysis of charred and waterlogged remains from excavations, occasional herbarium specimens, descriptions in herbals and botanical inference.’
    • ‘Bulbs of this species, which were mentioned as early as the 16th century in books such as Fuchs' and Bock's early herbals, are no longer for sale.’
    • ‘I often diverge, however, from what my favorite herbals call for, making substitutions when my heart tells me to do so.’
    • ‘Fennel was often listed in early Anglo-Saxon herbals as being of assistance with digestive complaints.’
    • ‘The illustrations you find in herbals and field guides simplify and explain in this way.’
    • ‘Many products are unlicensed, often formulated by inappropriately qualified people using information gleaned from human herbals.’
    • ‘Until then flower painting had been embedded in the context of religious works and in the specialist context of herbals.’
    • ‘Ancient herbals note its use to treat ‘all melancholy diseases,’ which might help ease contemplations of your New Year's resolutions.’


Early 16th century (as a noun): from medieval Latin herbalis (adjective), from Latin herba ‘grass, herb’.