How to Store Dried Herbs

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,502
    Herbalist Deb Friedman discusses how to manage your stress levels with herbal tea, including how to store dried herbs.

    Deb Friedman

    Deb Friedman is a trained Herbalist with a master of science degree in herbal medicine from the Tai Sophia Institute (located in Laurel, Maryland). She recommends herbs to people with problems as diverse as arthritis, allergies, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and a number of other health issues. She also writes, gives talks, and teaches classes on herbal medicine. Believing that herbal medicine is the medicine of the future as well as the past, Deb bases her herbal practice on both evidence-based scientific research and on a 1000-year-old-plus tradition of herbal medicine use throughout the world. Deb also has a master’s degree in Botany from the University of Massachusetts and enjoys searching the woods and fields for medicinal plants.

    Deb Friedman: Hi! I'm Deb Friedman. I am a clinical herbalist, and I am showing you how to make herbal teas to help you deal with stress. Right now, I am showing you how to store your herbs properly. We are talking about nervine herbs that are generally very safe. Nervine herbs work to support and nourish your nervous system. You want to keep your herbs properly stored so that they remain potent. So if you have some loose dried herbs that you have bought or you have dried them yourself, you want to make sure that they keep for you so that you can always enjoy your teas. What you want to do is you want to make sure that they are kept out of the light -- the potency is destroyed by the light, by heat, and by moisture. So as long you take care of those three things, your herbs can stay good for at least a year.

    One way to do that is you can store your herbs in a glass jar with a lid. This is a very nice nervine herb called blue vervain. Actually if you have your herbs in a glass jar, obviously they are exposed to the light. So, where do you want to store them, you want to store them in a drawer or a cabinet, wherever they will be free from the light. Another place you can put your herbs is if you have a tea tin with a nice tight cover. The other thing you want to keep your herbs away from is the air. You want them to be kind of in a tight container or covered container. Another possibility is just a plastic bag, store them in a plastic bag. Again, you want to store them away from the light. Now, you also want to store them away from the heat. I actually wouldn't put them here because it s right next to my stove, but I am just showing you that you want to get them out of the light. And that's it.

    Now, if you have stored them and you are not sure how long you've had them, how do you know if they are still good? Well, you just look at them, you smell them. You want to make sure that they don't look kind of gray or brown. They should have a nice color similar to what they looked like when you dried them. You also want to smell them. If it smells okay and it looks okay, that's all you need, that's how you store your herbs. Okay now I am going to show you some other ways that you can take herbs other than teas.