Herbs are both a lore concept and the primary healing items in the Resident Evil series. Every game to date includes herbs, with some having no in-universe explanation.
There are many species of herbs which are native to the Arklay Mountains, the region of the American midwest where Raccoon City was located, and each kind of herb has a distinct color and medicinal quality. The green herb recovers physical strength and heals fatigue, helping to strengthen the natural healing process so that wounds heal faster while also having an active immune function that helps fight viral infection. The blue herb neutralizes natural toxins, while the red herb has no effect when used on its own.
By 1998, botanists had researched and documented the fact that the red herbs could in fact be mixed with other herbs in order to magnify their effects. An Asian medicine doctor specifically made the discovery that mixing blue and red herbs creates an effect that "strengthen one's constitution". Herbs became popular in Raccoon City and were being used in various products and home recipes such as in Herb Pie and Herb Cream.
By 2003, these herbs were being widely used in the medical field and were recommended by botanists to be kept around to help protect individuals from the rising threat of bioterrorism. This lead to them being used and cultivated all around the world.
Herbs are type of health items used to recover health or heal status aliments. They usually have the unique property of being able to be combined with other herbs to create "mixed herbs" which have additional effects or heal more. Most early games allow for three herbs to be combined and some later games only two such as Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6. Some games do not feature mixing at all such as Resident Evil: Gaiden and Resident Evil Revelations. Some games allow herbs to used in other ways or are related to other mechanics.
Herbs typically come in different colors and they & mixed herbs usually have similar properties across different games. Most of the games up to Resident Evil 4 has them function similarly with games afterwards having reworking them each time. The following a list of herbs and mixed herbs and their typical function;
|Herb / Mixture||Info|
|Green Herb||Appear in every game and is the most common to find. Usually heals a small amount of health or large amounts for games without herb mixing. In games that use the EKG to represent health, they usually heal enough to raise the player's condition by one rating i.e. yellow "Caution" to "Fine". In Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D they heal a specific amount for each character and costume.|
|Blue Herb||Appear in most games before Resident Evil 4 and are used to cure poison. Some creatures have scripted events associated with them where their poison cannot be cured by a blue herb such as Nosferatu in Resident Evil CODE:Veronica.|
|Red Herb||Usually have no effect on their own and are meant to be mixed with a green herb to produce a fully healing mixture.|
|Green+Green||Heals more than one Green Herb|
|Green+Green+Green||Fully heals or close to full|
|Green+Blue||Healing effect of one Green Herb, plus cures poison|
|Green+Green+Blue||Heals more than one Green Herb, plus cures poison|
|Blue+Red||Cures poisons. In the remake of Resident Evil 2, temporarily makes being poisoned less likely to occur.|
|Green+Red+Blue||Fully heals plus cures poison|
Few games feature other kinds of herbs. Resident Evil: Gaiden is much more atypical as it does not have herb mixing and instead has a yellow herb that heals more than green, and the red herb heals heavy damage. It also has Purple Herb that cures poison and heals a small amount of health. Resident Evil 4 prominently features Yellow Herbs that increases characters' maximum life. They are only usable when combined with a green herb or both a green herb and red herb.
Most games give herbs and mixtures additional or different properties. In Resident Evil Outbreak and Resident Evil Outbreak File 2, herbs have many more uses. Red herbs can be used on their own to stop the Virus Gauge temporarily. Each kind of herb and mixed herbs can also be converted into a different kind of medicinal pill by George Hamilton and George-type characters using the Medical Set. These pills often have effects different from those of the herb used to make it; i.e. green herbs are converted into Antidotes which cures poison instead of restoring health.
Some games allow herbs to be used to craft other items. In Resident Evil: Revelations 2, instead of making mixed herbs, combining two herbs only makes more green herbs. Green herbs can also be combined with Cloth to make Tourniquets. In Resident Evil 7: Biohazard they can be combined with Chem Fluid or Strong Chem Fluid to make First Aid Meds or Strong First Aid Meds respectively.
In most games, healing using herbs works the same as using any kind of healing item within that game. In the Outbreak series Cindy Lennox and Cindy-type characters can heal other characters with herbs. In Resident Evil 6, herbs aren't used directly and instead are converted into Health Tablets used for healing.
Visually, in games up to such as Resident Evil CODE:Veronica, herbs are found most commonly as decorative plants in flower pots or in trays scattered about the environment as a method of gameplay-story integration. When dropped by enemies in some later games, such as Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 5, and Resident Evil 6, they appear independent of pots, as though they had been plucked. Once in a player's inventory, herbs typically appear free of pots. In some games, such as Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, the inventory sprites show the roots of the herbs. When herbs are mixed together, they appear as smears of color or mounds of powder on squares of paper in early games and as in vials such as in Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5.
The following is a list of links to pages containing more specific gameplay information about herbs. In the earliest games, up to Resident Evil CODE:Veronica, herbs came in green, red, and blue. Beginning with Resident Evil 4, the blue herb was dropped and some later titles also dispense the red herb as well.
|Resident Evil 2 (2019)||Green Herb||Red Herb||N/A||Mixed Herb (G+R)|
Mixed Herb (G+G)
Mixed Herb (G+G+G)
|Resident Evil Confidential Report||Green Herb PLUS|
|Resident Evil: The Deck Building Game||Green Herb (IT-001)||Red Herb (IT-004)||N/A||Yellow Herb (IT-002)||N/A|
|Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D||Herb (Green)|
|Resident Evil: Revelations|
|Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City|
A promotional food item called "CURRY OF THE BIOHAZARD" was released in 2005 based on the idea it was made from herb.
- ↑ Resident Evil (1996), file: Botany Book
- ↑ Resident Evil: Revelations (2012), file: Botany Plants with Medicinal Properties - 3rd Edition
- ↑ Resident Evil CODE:Veronica (2000), item: Green Herb Examine.
- ↑ Resident Evil 2 (2019), file: Medicinal Benefits of Herbs