How to dry herbs

There are many ways for you to dry herbs. You can air dry them, oven dry them or even microwave dry them. The leaves should not be wet. Rinse them if necessary, and let them air dry.

Air drying: Simply tie them in bunches (about 5-6 flowers in every bunch) and hang them upside-down in a dark and dry place, about 70 F. Depending on what kind of herb you are drying it can take a few days and up to weeks for them to dry completely. For thicker parts or heavier roots it may take more than a year.

Oven drying: Put the herbs on a sheet in a thin layer and place them in a low setting oven (less than 180oF) for about 2 to 4 hours.

Microwave drying: Put the herbs on a plate between dry paper towels and set the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Let the leaves cool. If they're not dry reheat for an additional 30 seconds. According to your microwave and how much herbs you have in it, it can take about 2-5 minutes.

To dry leaves and flowers: Spread the leaves and flowers in a basket. This will take about 1-2 weeks before it's dried.

To dry seeds: Hang bunches of flowers inside a paper bag. The dried seeds will fall down to the bottom of the bag.

How do I know the herbs are dry? The herbs are ready when they are as dry as paper and they crumble when you rub them between your fingers.

How do I store my herbs? Once the herbs are dry, store them in ceramic containers or in dark glass jars with tight-fitting lids because herbs will deteriorate when they get exposed to oxygen. Don't forget to put labels on your containers! Keep the herbs in a dark and cool place like a closet or a cupboard. Dried herbs can retain their medicinal value for years.

Can I freeze herbs? Some herbs can also be frozen. Specially herbs with soft leaves like Comfrey, Basil, Borage, Fennel, Dill and Parsley.

Herb's Tips and More

  • Do you want to learn more about different herbs? Here is a list of books that I recommend.

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  • Did you know that you can make soap, candles and lotion with your herbs?

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  • Never take any herb identity for granted. The best way to be sure that you are using the right kind of herb is by buying it.

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