Herbal products come in many forms - teas, tinctures (liquid extracts), capsules, tablets, compresses, poultices, salves, creams, baths, footbaths (to name a few!), and of course, used in foods! Here is how to care and store some of the most frequently used forms of herbal products:
If possible, store your dried herbs in a glass container, which will keep them fresh longer. Using dark glass will help to further keep light out, which ages the herb more quickly and can compromise its quality. A dried herb should appear vibrant in color and have a wonderful smell to it. Even though it’s dried, it should have an “alive” vibrancy to it – you should be able to sense the life in it!
I love to cook with herbs. They give such amazing flavor and add to the health benefits of the foods being cooked. I’m sure you like to use herbs for cooking too! Have you ever used an old herb, something that’s been in your kitchen cupboard maybe a little too long? How did it taste? Probably ok, but not that great. And maybe you couldn’t even taste it at all! And now, have you used a fresh herb with your cooking? Maybe something you’ve gotten fresh at the store or even picked out of your own garden? It’s a HUGE difference in taste, isn’t it? Well, this principle applies to medicinal herbs just like it does with culinary herbs – simply put, fresher herbs will give you MUCH better results.