The easiest way to prepare herbs for storage is to air dry them. Some herbs and flowers only grow or bloom during certain months, which is why it is necessary store them correctly in order to reap their benefits throughout the year. This allows us to have access to these medicinal herbs all year long. 1. Planting a medicinal herb … Remove large leaves for drying separately. Air drying herbs takes longer, usually several days. Whichever way you choose to gather your medicinal herbs, it is important to know how to properly dry and store them for future use. Here are a few easy-to-grow medicinal herbs for first-time gardeners. From correct harvest time, drying method, and one of the areas I see people making the biggest mistake, storage. Typically you’ll want to dry your herbs hung by the roots so that all of the oils drain into the leaves. Air drying is another method of drying herbs that works well in dry climates. God bless you! Dry. HerbsNOW is America’s first medicinal plants dryer, made specifically for drying medicinal plants. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Required fields are marked *. By using a dehydrator, I can control the drying process and optimize the drying time. This is the method I usually go for with all of my herbs. The herbs are completely dry when they are crunchy when crushed. They retain more of their oils when kept intact. Doing some chopping ahead of time will save you a great deal of heartache. All you really need is some string or twine and a warm, dry place with hooks or pegs to hang them from. As an herbalist, there is nothing more peaceful and soul stirring than the time we spend collecting and harvesting our medicinal herbs. The Healing Power of Backyard Plants at Your Fingertips. If they bend or seem pliable at all, put them back to dry longer. Using the wrong herb could be life threatening, so make sure you know the herb well before using it. Car exhaust, herbicides sprayed to control weeds, and other pollutants can contaminate herbs grown along the roadside. Cook at the lowest setting for approximately two to four hours. How to Dry Your Own Herbs. It’s generally not a good idea to hang them in direct sunlight, because they can burn and become over-dry. Drying your own herbs is really easy. If properly stored, there should be no color change or bad smells. Follow these steps to get your dried herbs ready to store: How to Make Dandelion Bread (With Pictures), The 10 Medicinal Seeds You Should Plant for a Complete Backyard Pharmacy (Video), 21 Wild Edibles You Can Find in Urban Areas, How To Make a Powerful Calendula Extract to Keep in Your Medicine Cabinet (with pictures), Burdock: The Annoying Weed That Can Save Your Life. Thanks, Nicole for all you do. The first step after harvesting your desired crop is to lightly rinse and wash off your collected plant specimens to remove any dirt or bugs that may be lingering. It is extremely important that you first are 100% certain of the plant’s identity before you harvest it. Most medicinal herbs should be dried in the shade: under the influence of sunlight accelerates the destruction of useful compounds contained in them and changes the natural color of raw materials. I just freeze dry it when it’s ready to cut, along with other foods. For centuries, herbs have been used to cure ailments and soothe sicknesses. Medicinal Herbs You Can Easily Grow at Home. I prefer to use a dehydrator to dry my herbs. Learn more about Kris here. A bundle or bunch of herbs can be tied together with string–use about a dozen stems tied together to make a nice fat bundle–and hung in a dry, airy place. Check them daily and turn them as needed to allow them to dry evenly. I prefer to harvest my medicinal herbs every year to make sure I always have a potent batch available. It is not recommended to dry them in the sun; the intense heat and rays of the sun can quickly degrade the plants medicinal constituents. Strip large-leaved herbs, such as sage and mint, from their stalks. You need a warm, shady spot with good ventilation. These three easy ways to dry herbs will get you started on preserving your herb harvest. Meet gingko, grapeseed extract, echinacea, and six more powerful plants with science-backed health benefits. Here’s how to store herbs the right way: Make sure they are truly dry. The first concern is that you are 100% certain of your plant identification before you harvest it. It would be wise to check them periodically to be certain there is no mold growth; A few ways to determine if your herbs are still good is to observe any changes in their color and aroma. How To Dry Herbs At Home Option 1: Air-drying. It’s a process that’s been fine-tuned over years by growers who wanted a better solution to drying. If drying cannabis is the upmost importance in the process then drying herbs should be the same….cannabis growers start drying in a dark, cool, humidity controlled room then move to containers and burp daily. Dry herbs in the oven easily by placing the parts on a bit of cheesecloth. They also used it as a remedy for sore throat, pneumonia and lack of appetite. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. How to Dry medicinal plants Fast, Easy, and Effectively. Allow the herbs to cool before storing. It’s important to harvest herbs at the right time. Photo By Tim Nauman. Once your herbs are dry, it is time to sort them and prepare them for long term storage. If you are not using your herbs fresh, drying them is an excellent option for preserving them. Check the jars occasionally to make sure they are dry and have no mold growth. If you've picked your herbs while the plants are dry, you should be able to simply shake off any excess soil. Gather the herbs into small bundles and bind them at one end with a small rubber band. Native Americans used black cherry as a medicinal herb to treat coughs. How to Store Dried Herbs & Spices . The bark from the black cherry tree was often made into a tea or syrup and used to expel worms, heal ulcers and treat burns. Before I got my dehydrator, I would hang them on one end of my pot rack, but any warm, well-ventilated spot will work. But the same cannot be said when gathering in the wild. When you dry fresh herbs in a dehydrator, you can effectively preserve their medicinal and flavor qualities. For low-moisture herbs, dry them in the dark with good air circulation and temperatures below 110°F. For some types of raw materials drying in the sun-under a categorical ban; these include: Handle the herbs gently as you prepare them for drying. Depending on the type of herb you’re going to dry you have two options – spread over a drying rack or hang in bunches. You can see the difference in color as I add it to my container of store bought parsley. Throw them out if you detect any changes in quality. A home dehydrator proves a great way to dry herbs in bulk, especially if your device has mesh inserts, which keep the leaves from falling. Label your dried herbs right away and include the variety if you especially liked it. Knowing how to dry herbs and store them to ensure they have the strongest medicinal properties is key if you plan on using herbs as natural medicine. Make Sure Herbs Are Dry . Larger leaves and stems usually take longer than fine small leaves, so check them periodically and remove them when dry. Dry the herbs for 2 to 8 hours or longer, until the leaves are crumbly, crisp, and completely dry. A steady stream of warm, dry air quickly dries my herbs before they have a chance to degrade. Herbs are garden favorites and are used for many culinary and medicinal purposes. You don’t want them in the sun because the intense heat and sun can quickly degrade the herbs. pick a drying surface, like a rack, screen, clothes hanger, or ladder, and hang up the herbs. After the herbs are thoroughly dried, it is important to store them properly to preserve taste and quality. - The Lost Herbs, 5 Herbal Antibiotics You Can Use To Fight Infection, 10 Natural Remedies You Can Only Make This Winter, What Happens If You Add Cinnamon To Your Honey Jar, Herbal Coffee Substitutes You Can Drink Every Morning, Vervain: The Medicinal Plant that Should be Part of Your Apothecary, How to Tell the Difference Between Bittersweet Nightshade and Deadly Nightshade, Soak Your Troubles Away with Homemade Tub Tea, Natural Remedies with Risky Drug Interaction. Once you have completed the drying process, it is time to garble your herbs. Leafy Herbs. 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