store fresh herbsIf you want to preserve all therapeutic values and healing powers of your medicinal herbs and plants which you intent to use for making herbal preparations, it is necessary to learn more about the most effective ways of storing herbs. Proper storing is not less important than harvesting herbs in the most effective way or drying herbs.

First of all, you may need to store fresh herbs and plants in order to preserve all their properties and extend their freshness. If you need to store fresh herbs for 2-3 days, you can simply bundle them up and place them to a container with cold water, the way we usually place flowers to a vase. You can keep the container at room temperature, or place it to the shelves in the door of your fridge. Some herbs like rosemary or parsley can hold on this way for about 1-2 weeks.

But sometimes you need to store fresh herbs for a longer period of time. In this case, it is recommended to use such technique as freezing. The simplest way to do this is to use the deep freeze you have in your kitchen. Some specialists recommend chopping your herbs before freezing, some say not to do so. Just wash your herbs or their parts, dry them out carefully with a paper towel, wrap them up (not too tight) in paper towels and place in a plastic zip lock bag. Now, the herbs are ready for being stored. Place the bag to your deep freeze, but do not keep it too very low temperature. This is the best way to store fresh herbs for weeks and even months.

storing herbsStoring dried herbs is a bit easier. For this, any sort of glass, tin and plastic containers, or zip lock bags will do. Experienced herbalists suggest storing dried medicinal herbs and plants only in dark glass bottles or boxes as this material is considered to be the best for herbs to retain their qualities and properties. If you are sure that the place where you are going to keep your dried herbs is dry and clean enough, you can use even large paper bags.

When thinking about storing your medicinal herbs and plants, remember that such factors as heat, sunlight, exposure to air, bacteria and fungi can substantially lower the quality of your herbs or make them completely unusable. Also, do not forget to label your containers and boxes with the names of the herbs and the date of placing them to storing. Certainly, every each herb and plant has own “expiry term”, but generally speaking, it is recommended to use dried herbs within one year. Use your senses like taste, smell and look to check out the quality of your stored dried herbs before using them for one or another type of homemade herbal remedies and herbal preparations.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

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