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. Generally, herbs are either found by picking them off the map or in later games dropped by enemies. They usually appear as small potted plants, and when mixed with other herbs take on a powder like composition.
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 led to them being used and cultivated all around the world.
Herbs typically come in different colors and individual and 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.
Herbs are type of health items used to recover health or heal status ailments. 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.
Resident Evil Gaiden
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.
Outbreak/Outbreak File 2
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. Cindy Lennox and Cindy-type characters can heal other characters with herbs.
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 was the first in the series to not include the blue herb, instead it 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.
Resident Evil: Revelations
In Resident Evil: Revelations, green herbs can be obtained by scanning enemies using the Genesis, with one being added to the inventory when the scanning percentage reaches 100%. A maximum of 5 can be stored at any one time.
Resident Evil 6
In Resident Evil 6, herbs aren't used directly and instead are converted into Health Tablets used for healing. A single green herb can be turned into 1 tablet, whereas combining two green herbs makes three tablets, combining three green herbs makes 6 tablets and combining a green and a red herb also makes 6 tablets. In the inventory, each herb and stack of up to 6 tablets takes up one inventory slot, however tablets need to be sent to the bottom in order to be used, and whilst there, there is no limit to how many can stack.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
In Resident Evil: Revelations 2, instead of making mixed herbs, combining a green and red herb makes three green herbs. Green herbs can also be combined with Cloth to make Tourniquets. They take up one inventory slot, but can be stacked up to three herbs.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
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.
|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 grants poison immunity in addition to giving a damage resistance. Once used, a small green shield will appear in the bottom right indicating a duration -Please confirm the amount of damage resist-.|
|Green+Red+Blue||Fully heals plus cures poison. In the remake of Resident Evil 2, it also grants temporary immunity against poison and damage resistance.|
|Resident Evil 2 (2019)||Green Herb||Red Herb||Blue 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.
- The "Resident Evil: Revelations 2 - Concept Teaser" has a green herb in the background as an easter egg and an article titled "Herb (Concept Teaser)" on Resident Evil Recollections mentions so.
- Outside of healing items, the Purple Plant was planned as a key item in Resident Evil 0 and the Outbreak series has multiple Special items related to herbs.