Chemistry of Herbs

The benefits of taking herbs are known to all of us. But most of us are unaware of the chemistry of herbs. Basically, it implies that what are chemical groups are present in what type of herbs. To know more read on .

We know about herbs and the medicinal values of herbs. Since the ancient age it has been providing an effective cure for many diseases. Now, to be more focused on the usefulness of herbs we need to know the basic chemistry of herbs that interplays within our body.

Herbs are mainly considered as the holistic agents for their functions. They work on various levels of the human system including physical and biochemistry levels.

In spite of the complex functionalities of the herbs, herbalists and pharmacologists have researched a lot to know about the basic ingredients and finally categorized them in accordance with their chemical groups.

Though this approach to herbs is a bit critical, but this is important to understand herbs. Apparently, each and every herb contains a vast range of chemical including water, sugars and inorganic salts along with carbohydrates , proteins and alkaloids.

Basic Chemistry of Herbs

Here, we have mentioned some of the chemical groups present in the herbs and the chemistry of the herbs.

Plant Acids

Some types of feeble organic acids are present in the herbs. The most significant example is citric acid that is present in lemons. The other acids are formic acid and valeric acid those are found in herbs. These organic acids belong to the carbon chain-COOH group.

The aromatic acids are also a significant pharmacological group. The simplest among the aromatic acid is benzoic acid. It is present in various resins and balsams.


Alcohols are present in several herbs as oils like menthol in peppermint and geraniol in the scent of rose. Apart from that other common forms of alcohol are waxes, fatty acids those are found in the coatings of the leaves and the other parts of the plants.

Unstable Oils

Most of the unstable oils are generally based on simple molecular structures. These oils are found in some aromatic plants such as peppermint. Eucalyptus oil and garlic oil are also good examples of unstable oils.


A good amount of carbohydrates are present in several herbs. These are found either as in the form of sugar or fructose or glucose or may be as starches. Apple is a very good source of carbohydrates.