There are many different herbs but they fall into two main classes: the ones found in kitchens throughout the Multiverse (parsley, sage, basil and many others), and ...herbs, with the pause and the italics either voiced or printed. These latter tend to be used by Witches and others of a magical bent for purposes other than aromatising dinner. The ellipsis and the italics add to the intrinsic power of the plant as an example of headology. A leaf may have some virtue of its own, but the knowledge that this is an ...herb prescribed by a Witch, probably grown in a Witch's garden (planted under a full moon and tended by trained worms), can multiply its efficacy.
...Herbs are included in the brose of the Nac Mac Feegle and Nanny Ogg's high-tech scumble, giving these a kick beyond anything distilled by the likes of Jimkin Bearhugger. Magrat Garlick's magical skills are not up to standard for a Ramtops Witch, but she is an expert on ...herbs and their uses, having absorbed much of Goodie Whemper's research. Granny Weatherwax's ...herb garden is well known for its alarming tendency to rustle and move even in a dead calm.
One thing that brings normally-solitary Witches together is the trade in rare ...herbs. These are collected, hoarded and traded over long distances with no assistance from eBay (or even the local Clacks-based manifestation referred to in later works as cBay.)
Named Discworld herbs, medicinal or otherwise:
- Old Man's Trousers, herb that's good for the bowels. (Named in Equal Rites)
- Bloodwater Lily, herb that's good for the bowels. (Named in Equal Rites)
- Greater Peahane, herb whose flowering tops are good for the bowels. (Named in Equal Rites)
As commercial beauty products have risen in prominence their makers have decided to add this ubiquitous product to improve sales. However unlike the herbs mentioned earlier this seems more in keeping with Suckrose and Akwa or Placebo Root. To quote Angua, bung a handful of weeds in a pot and you have herbs. A not so innocent victim of this commercial plot was the very late Snowy Slopes.