Storing Dried Herbs and Herbal Preparations for Freshness

Storing Dried Herbs and Herbal Preparations for Freshness

Best Herbs for a Home Herbal Apothecary

To start your home herbal apothecary, consider these commonly recommended herbs:

  • Chamomile: Known for its calming properties, good for teas.

  • Peppermint: Helpful for digestion and has a refreshing taste.

  • Lavender: Used for relaxation and stress relief.

  • Calendula: Beneficial for skin care preparations.

  • Echinacea: Supports the immune system.

  • Lemon Balm: Has a calming effect and helps with sleep.

  • Sage: Good for sore throat and has antiseptic properties.

  • Thyme: Has antimicrobial properties, good for coughs and colds.

  • Rosemary: Boosts memory and concentration.

  • Basil: Has anti-inflammatory properties and enhances the flavor of dishes.

  • These herbs can be easily grown in a garden or containers and dried for storage.

    Where to Buy Dried Herbs

    For high-quality dried herbs, consider the following sources:

  • Local Growers and Small Sellers: Support local herb farms and small businesses.

  • Local Medicine Makers: Check with local apothecaries for fresh bulk herbs.

  • Mail-Order and Online Sellers: Look for reputable online stores with good reviews.

  • Dry Your Own Herbs: Harvest and dry herbs from your own garden for the freshest supply.

  • Storing Dried Herbs

    To store dried herbs for freshness and longevity:

  • Use airtight glass jars.

  • Store in a cool, dark place like a cabinet or pantry.

  • Label jars with the herb name, part gathered, and storage date.

  • Dried leaves and flowers last 1-2 years 

    roots, seeds, and barks last 2-3 years

    Storing Herbal Preparations

    For tinctures and other herbal preparations:

    Store in amber glass bottles with polyseal caps to protect from light and air.

    Tinctures made with high-percentage alcohol can last for years.

    Herbal vinegars should be used within 6 months to 1 year.

    Herbal-infused honeys can last for decades.

    Herbal-infused oils and salves last 1-3 years, depending on refrigeration and the oil used.

    Always use your senses to assess the vitality of stored herbs and preparations. If they retain their color, flavor, and aroma, they are likely still potent.

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