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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:

Dried Herbs

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!

Tinctured Herbs

Alcohol-based tinctures are fairly easy to keep, as the alcohol acts as an effective preservative.  It is still recommended to store them in a cool, dark cupboard, to ensure high quality and product longevity. 

For non-alcohol tinctures, it is important to keep these in a cool, dark cupboard, away from any heat source or light.  Storing these above your stove or near a heater can compromise herb quality or even cause mold to grow.  The vegetable glycerine in the non-alcohol tincture has some preservative properties, but not much.  This means that your product will have a shorter shelf life (still 3-5 years) and is more susceptible to being contaminated and perhaps even cultivating some mold.  Because of this (and because the glass tube could be broken if bitten), NEVER allow your child to suck on the glass dropper tube.  Always check your non-alcohol tinctures each time before you shake them up and before you take them to make sure they are still in good condition.  It’s rare to have a tincture get moldy, but it can happen.  If it does, it’s quite obvious to see visually – it will have a grey or whitish patch floating on top of the dark tincture liquid.  If you find that you do have a moldy tincture, throw it away and do not use it.

Capsules

Capsules should come in a dark glass or plastic container, or a solid colored container designed to keep as much light out as possible.  Store these away from heat sources also.  With capsules, the herb must be ground into such a small particle in order to fit into the small capsule that the herb tends to lose its potency more quickly than a more whole herb part would.  (NOTE:  Herb Lore uses only the highest quality, all-vegetarian capsules in its products.)

General Suggestions

It is recommended that you keep all forms of herbal products in a cool, dark location, even your cooking spices. Many people store their cooking spices above their stove. The heat from the stove will rapidly cause the herbs and spices to lose their vitality, rich flavor and potency. And, as with cooking herbs, freshness of your medicinal herbs makes a difference in how well the herb will work for you!


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written by Pam Caldwell
Certified Herbalist --- Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum & Lactation Specialist

Testimonial

Oh Pam, you are remarkable, and that spills over into your incredibly-created, life-changing products!  I’m not exaggerating. With the help of Fenugreek, I was able to breastfeed my son till he was 10 months. I would’ve been able to keep going, but I found out I was pregnant again and my supply ceased. The other products I love are the Tummy Tincture, Healing Salve, and Itch Relief. These last three items my whole family has used and loved! The past year I bought the Healing Salve at least 6 times! This stuff is a must have for EVERY household. As the original detailed info stated ‘Typical results is that it will heal a diaper rash within hours overnight in severe cases’ Absolutely 100% true!!! I cannot rave enough about this product!  You can feel good that you’re putting something that’s healthy on your child and your other family members, their skin is not going to be absorbing anything unnatural or toxic. I’m going to buy this for my cousins that are having babies. Now, the Tummy Tincture was a must for my son and I while I was breastfeeding because we both became bloated while I was taking a larger quantity of the Fenugreek. This helped immensely!  Pam, you have done a phenomenal job at meticulously detailing every product and which products work in tandem with one another.  I forgot to mention that I also purchased and love the Garlic Ear Oil. It’s given my aching ears relieve many many times. Even when the doctor says she doesn’t see anything out of ordinary within my ears (even though I feel an ear ache coming on), I turn to this product for help. I only have to use it overnight to feel relief.  I think that’s everything about the products. Now about you Pam. I have reached out to you twice about problems. You graciously and extensively answered me in depth and with compassion. The entire Herb Lore community is so positive and loving because of you and your products. Thank you so much for making healthy organic natural remedies that really do work, and improve mine and my family and friends lives. I wish you many blessings.  Deep gratitude, TLC