Dried Herbs should be stored in covered airtight containers- preferably glass but plastic is acceptable as well. Since most of the therapeutic values of leaves, roots, seeds and flowers lie within the essential and volatile oils present in all plant life, it is important to ensure that these oils do not dry out or wear off. There are several options in choosing containers for your herbs. Glass jars with screw on caps are the most economical and easy option. Hinged jars with metal latches and aritight seals are idea and come in multiple sizes. You can even keep your herbs in corked glass containers but it is adviseable to seal the top with beeswax if you dont intend on using the herbs any time soon. For those who purchase just a small amount of herbs at a time, baby food jars come in quite handy!
Make sure your containers are clean and dry before storing your herbs in them. Any moisture within the containers will quickly damage your herbs and can result in mold and mildew. After placing your herbs inside the containers, make sure the lid is on tightly and securely. Your herbs should be covered at all times between uses. Roots, flowers, and seeds are particularly vulnerable to red flour beetles so be sure to watch that none of them get into your containers. Infestation can occur rapidly and would be a devastating and costly loss to your herbal investment. If you ever have the misfortune of finding on of these little buggers inside a container, you need to quickly toss out ALL the herbs inside and clean and disinfect the container before using it again. Simply taking out the beetles will not work as they can qucikly lay their microscopic eggs within your herbs and infest your whole collection if you’re not careful
Keep your contianers in a cool, dry place protected from the elements. Keep your herbs away from direct sunlight, extreme heat or cold, drafty areas and all forms of moisture. Do not store your herbs outside or in a non-climate controlled garage or shed.
Dried herbs have a shelf life of 6-12 months before losing all their potency. Watch out for discoloration, extreme brittleness and complete loss of scent. When any of these occur, it means that your herbs are too old or have gotten damaged and it is time to replenish your stock.