Whether you have some leftover store-bought rosemary from yesterday′s meal of roasted veggies, a garden overflowing with lemon balm, or a large backyard patch of wild stinging nettle, drying herbs is a great option for preserving this abundance for a year-round supply of cooking spices and herbal preparations.
Drying herbs effectively is a key step in getting the most out of your wildcrafting experience! Find five ways to dry herbs below, an excerpt from the online Botany & Wildcrafting Course, which takes students on a captivating voyage through the science of botanical identification and the art of wildcrafting edible and herbal botanicals.
A Guide to Drying your Herbal Harvest
Drying methods depend on many factors, including the herb(s) in question, the plant part(s) to be dried, the temperature and humidity of your drying space, the equipment available, and how the herb(s) will ultimately be used (i.e., home use versus commercial distribution).
Most herbalists will dry their herbs in one or more of the following ways:
Herb Drying Method 1: Outdoors on a clean surface, shaded from direct sunlight
Spread fresh herbs on a tarp, cloth, or other clean surface on the ground. To keep plant material out of direct sunlight, choose a naturally shaded area or create shade with a canopy, shade frame, or hoop house.
Herb Drying Method 2: In layers on drying frames or screens
This method maximizes available space much like an urban skyrise: spread herbs on screens or drying racks that can be stacked on top of each other in a frame. If your drying room is small enough, use a dehumidifier to speed up the drying process (this applies to any indoor drying method, including the next method below).
Herb Drying Method 3: Bunched for hanging or drying in paper bags
Collect herbs into small, loose bundles, and hang from nails or a string (much like a clothesline) in an out-of-the way location away from light. Bundles may be tied with string, twist-ties, or rubber bands (the last option keeps individual stems from slipping out of the bundles as they shrink with drying). Alternatively, bundles may be placed in paper bags to prevent contamination by dust or other particulate matter. When drying herbs in paper bags, the bags should be left open or have holes cut into them to allow air to circulate.
Herb Drying Method 4: In dehydrators
Layer herbs on racks in an appliance designed to maintain air flow and control temperature. Dehydrators range from standard home food dehydrators (choose one with an adjustable thermostat) to larger, specially designed cabinets.
Herb Drying Method 5: In an oven at a very low temperature
Spread herbs on trays or oven sheets, and place in an oven that can be set to a temperature below 100 degrees Fahrenheit (gas ovens can be kept off with only the pilot light lit; the light bulb in some ovens may provide enough heat), and monitor for dryness. If needed, the oven door can be left ajar to increase air circulation and ensure that the temperature doesn′t rise too high.
Next time you′ve got an overabundance of fresh herbs on your hands, give one of these herb drying methods a try! And for more details on drying and the pros and cons of each drying method, along with a wealth of information on plant biology and ecology, botanical terminology, field identification, wildcrafting techniques, and more, sign up for the Botany & Wildcrafting Course, curated by the Herbal Academy′s team of expert herbalists and botanists.
Why You Need to Start Combining Avocados and Peaches
4 Superfoods for a Healthy Looking Skin
Ways to Use Honey for a Glowing Skin
5 Tips to Take Care of Your Sensitive Skin
Research reveals surprising health benefits of chewing your food
Why most people use emotional words to persuade others
Face Open Pores
9 Simple Yoga Asanas & Tips for Weight Loss
★10 Ways To Use Sesame Oil For Beautiful Skin
★How to Do Face Cleansing at Home?
★Five-second rule for food dropped on the floor approved by germ scientists
★The Diabetes Diet
★Natural and healthy effects of Aloe Vera!
★The best effective and natural plants for a good memory
★Using Kalonji Seeds for Weight Loss
★How to Set Weight-Loss Goals You Can Actually Achieve
★8 Best Foods to Eat for Weight Loss
★Learn How To Do Pearl Facial At Home To Get Naturally Glowing Skin Instantly
★Scientists found effective dandruff treatment
★Could laser hair removal give you CANCER?
★Growing Propagating and Using Aloe Vera
★Legumes, nuts and kale can help you get big muscles
★The Key to Healthy Aging
★Fruitylicious cure for ageing skin
★8 Fruits that Burn Fat: Include Them In Your Diet For Great Health Benefits
★Manage oily skin in winters with these steps
★Aerobic training can help reverse ageing
★9 Super Simple Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat
★The health benefits of popular foods
★Can high heels give you cancer?
★How to Make Elderberry Syrup
★Take care of your coloured hair with Wella
★Humans evolved to benefit from fermented foods
★Breathe Right to Live a Healthier and Better Life
★Yoga Asanas To Prevent Hair Loss
★5 Hot Yoga Poses For Rapid Weight Loss
★Is there a way to combat greying?
★Eating cheese does not raise cholesterol, study finds
★12 Benefits of Hair Spa Treatment
★Top 10 Homemade Fruit Packs for Glowing Skin
★15 Best Heart-Healthy Foods
★Dairy and vitamin D supplements protect against bone loss
★Top 10 Unknown Beauty Tips and Tricks
★Study finds dramatic weight loss can be achieved WITHOUT counting calories
★15 Kitchen Herbs and Spices with Powerful Health Benefits
★6 Foods You Can Incorporate In Your Fat Burner Diet For Best Results
★Top Fitness Stars Share Their Most Common Workout Habits
★Why You Probably Shouldnt Take Diet Advice from Your CrossFit Coach
★Sari saga from Bengal
★Why most people use emotional words to persuade others
★Making handloom accessible
★Carbohydrates and sugars
★Mushrooms could prevent risk of Dementia, scientists say
★10 Surprising Things That Can Cause You to Lose Muscle
★The Best Breakfast Foods for Weight Loss
★Why and how exercises reduce the risk of CANCER?
★Exercise can help boost memory through bone hormone: Study
★Top 10 Fruits To Eat To Lose Weight Quickly