Five Ways to Dry Herbs

If you’re following along with our herbal remedies series that just started (check out the intro here), you may want to grow your own herbs (learn how to grow and harvest herbs, here!). If so, you’re going to have a ton of herbs- far more than you’ll be able to use fresh. You’re going to need to preserve them to use throughout the rest of the year. One of the best ways to preserve herbs is to dry them. Here are five drying methods that you can try.

Hang-drying: This is by far the easiest! As you harvest your herbs (post coming soon!) you simply bunch together the bottoms of the stems/branches, tie them tightly with twine and hang the bunches of herbs. There are a few considerations when deciding where to hang them. ~Dry area– if you put them in a location that is often damp, such as a […]

Growing and Harvesting Herbs

Have you thought about growing your own herbs to dry? If not, I would really like to encourage you to consider it. Not only can you grow organically, you will be amazed by how much more flavor and potency your dried herbs will have when compared to store-bought ones. We love being able to use our home-grown and dried herbs in our home remedies, which I’ve started teaching about here on my blog!

Some of our favorite herbs to grow are chocolate mint, lavender, lemon balm, thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage and dill. You can learn more about each of those herbs in this post.When it comes to actually growing the herbs, you have three choices for getting started.

Starting Herbs Seeds: This is a cheap way to go, though it can be more difficult. I’d recommend finding a good website or book on starting plants from seed. I’ve found […]

DIY Herbal Fire Starters

The girls and I had such a blast perfecting these! So, here’s the deal. I told you last week about my favorite herbs to grow and my guest post on Modern Alternative Mama was all about how we created our awesome raised bed herb garden. Did you look at those pictures?! That’s a whole lot of herbs to use! Even when I do find some wonderful uses for my herbs, like my herbal bath salts, there’s still all of those dried stems that were going to waste. No longer!

Here’s the perks of making my herbal fire starters: Waste not, want not, right?? These are very frugal and they leave you with a “look at this totally cool thing I made” feeling! There’s no petroleum jelly or wax or other funky chemicals that you really shouldn’t be breathing. Herbal smoke purifies the air if you’re inside– during […]

My Top 10 Favorite Herbs: Part 2

Last time I shared the first five of my top ten herbs. Here are the rest…

 

6) Eucalyptus: This is another one that we love to have essential oil of on hand. When we do get colds, I usually boil water on the stove and frequently add drops of eucalyptus essential oil. It not only helps open up stuffy noses, but it also helps prevent secondary infections since it is antibacterial. I also put several drops in a carrier oil (we like grapeseed oil, as it is not greasy like most other oils), and rub it into the chest and throat. It’s like a homemade Vicks, but without the nasty petro-chemicals! We are currently growing some small eucalyptus plants in the garden (yep, that’s my eucalyptus in the picture!) and we will dry it to use during the winter for tea. The tea can help open up congested […]

My Top 10 Favorite Herbs: Part 1

Although I had casually dabbled in a few herbal remedies over the years, my interest was piqued just after our daughter was born in March of 2008. One of the nurses in the natural birth unit told my very sleep deprived husband that he HAD to get me some comfrey. Okay… He did, and it sat on a shelf for several weeks before it occurred to either of us to figure out what to do with it. Honestly, I have no recollection of the nurse saying anything at all, so maybe she did tell us how to use it, but neither of us remembered. I looked it up and learned, with my mind a foggy haze of sleep deprivation, that I should have been making a strong tea out of it and using it in the sitz bath that nobody bothered to send home with us. What was a […]