Drying herbs is a good method of keeping
them for future use. Although it may reduce their effectiveness, there are a
couple of ways to conserve them reasonably well.
- Spread the herbs
out in a thin layer on a clean surface or on paper.
- Hang them up in
In both cases, the herbs should be placed in a well
ventilated location with no moisture or direct sunlight. Use only the best
fresh plants, and do not over-handle them. Bruising will result in unsightly
discolouration in the dried product. Do not dry in temperatures higher than:
85 - 95 degrees Fahrenheit for plants and leaves; 115 degrees Fahrenheit for
roots; and 100 degrees Fahrenheit for bulbs. Large or long roots should be
cut into two or three slices lengthways and hung on a piece of string,
whereas small roots can be dried whole. For bulbs, remove the outer layer
and slice. Bark must have the outer layer scraped off, and be dried in
direct sunlight. Plants are fully dried when their stems are brittle and
To be stored, the leaves of the plant are stripped from
the stems or stalks. Once dried, it is important to store the herbs where
they are protected from light and oxygen. They should be kept in an
airtight, dark glass jar or in a tin, and stored in a cool, dry place. Dried
herbs will lose their effectiveness if kept for too long, so they should be
discarded after 13 months. If they are exposed to moisture at any time, they
can be re-dried at room temperature.