storing herbs

How to Store you Magical Herbs

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.

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Drying herbs indoors

I have harvested some stems of catnip (top left), lovage and oregano from my garden. I use clothespins to clip the stems onto a string hanging from my kitchen island. The string is tied to curved screw hooks that hold the LED light strings. Next to the island is the clothesline over the townhome staircase so it is easy to use the clothespins in both places.

The drying herbs are out of direct sunlight and look attractive throughout the drying process. After a week to 10 days or so the herbs will be crispy dry. At that point, I strip the cooking herb leaves off their stems for dry storage in quart canning jars. The stripped stems can be simmered in soup or stew and removed after cooking. I leave the catnip stems intact with their leaves and store them in 1 quart plastic zip lock bags for enjoyment by cats or people.

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Small-Scale Medicinal Herb Farming: A (Very) Personal Journey

By Susanna Raeven

After having lived in New York City for 15 years, it was time for a change. I decided to leave the big city behind and moved full time to Schoharie county in upstate NY. We are fortunate to own 250 acres of forested hills and rolling cow pastures, home to a wide variety of wild medicinal herbs. Little by little, I made friends with all of them. [Keep reading…]

squishywitchy asked:

Hello! So, I know this might be a silly question, but here it goes- I have a ton of jars that I've picked up from adventures through the woods, but none of them have lids. Not all of them are your typical mason jars either. I was wondering if there was some sort of way to make cork tops or something in order to store some herbs and whatnot in them? If not, what else could I possibly do with them?

Hello, friend! 

First, I’m going to direct you over to http://www.widgetco.com/corks. All the corks you could possible imagine! It’s a fantastic website. But, if you don’t have a lot of money to splurge on different sized corks in an attempt to find the right size, there are other options too!

A simple trick is to take old wine corks and shave them down to the right size for small jars. If you don’t have wine corks, they are relatively cheap to buy online, or, you could ask some friends if they have spare wine corks (I know I have lots of them). Just please be careful while shaving the corks down with a knife!

But for those bottles which aren’t a typical size or aren’t smaller than the neck of a wine bottle, there is this nifty tutorial right here on how to make a faux cork.

And while I’m at it, here is a list of 25 interesting things you can also do with recycled wine corks. 

Good luck with your jars! <3

First time at a traditional Chinese medicine herb store, such an interesting place 🌿🍵 I wanted to get some tea to aid my skin and kidneys (which correlates in part to healthy skin) and this place had been recommended a few times. Thought I’d give it a try :) I had a consultation with the herbalist/doctor, he checked my pulse, my tongue and my eyes and then wrote down a “prescription” of about 20 different herbs. He then left the note with this man pictured above, and he began measuring and weighing out all different kinds of stuff (I’m pretty sure there are pinecones and bark in there too haha) 🙈😊 It was pretty amazing to see them preparing this! I got 5 days worth of tea and this stuff is strong!! This is what people used for thousands of years before the invention of synthetic drugs 🌱 I think combined with proper diet and lifestyle, teas / herbs might be quite helpful for some. Have you guys tried traditional Chinese medicine before? If so what’s your experience been? It’s the “norm” in this culture and it’s a beautiful and humbling thing to see ❤️🌿👍 #chineseherbology #newexperiences #dietandlifestylefirst #thailand

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