How to dry aromatic herbs

How to dry aromatic herbs

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How to dry aromatic herbs: all the methods for drying aromatic herbs (rosemary, basil, oregano, mint, parsley…). From natural drying to drying in the oven or with a dryer.

In this article we will show you how to dry herbs. A very useful operation for using medicinal herbs all year round, which are harvested only at certain times. Let's see, in detail, how to proceed withdrying of medicinal plants following our instructions step by step.

How to dry aromatic herbs naturally

After harvesting the herbs in question, here's how to proceed to provide natural drying, that is, without an oven and without a dryer. We proceed as follows:

  1. Prepare the aromatic herbs
    Clean the aromatic herbs to be dried. For cleaning, use a dry cloth to remove dust. Be careful not to wash the flowers, let alone the leaves, with water before proceeding with drying! The roots, on the other hand, can be washed, taking care to dry them well.
  2. Breathable paper or sieves
    Place the aromatic herbs on paper or on a very tight mesh sieve.
    You have to arrange the aromatic herbs in a scattered way but being careful not to create masses. Ideally, you should leave intermediate spaces in order to facilitate air circulation. In the absence of breathable paper, you can use clean tablecloths which, however, you will have to change several times during the drying period.
  3. Position
    Place the sieves or papers in a well-ventilated (but not ventilated), bright, cool (moisture-free) place but away from direct sunlight. Depending on the herbs you intend to dry, drying times vary from a few days to several weeks.
  4. Thoughtfulness
    Once the officinal herbs are completely dry and without the slightest traces of humidity, place and store in airtight glass or cardboard containers.

ATTENTION: for the storage of aromatic herbs, tin or plastic containers should be avoided.

How to dry aromatic herbs without an oven or dryer

Here are some tips for the natural drying of aromatic herbs

Many aromatic herbs (oregano, rosemary…) can be collected in small bunches. In this case it is possible to arrange (upside down)the bunches in a cool, shady place. In this way the drying times will be slower but it will take less space and less time for the preparation of dried aromatic herbs.

  • When choosing the place for drying it is good to prefer a rather warm but above all well ventilated and dry place, the attic will do just fine.
  • The best time for drying is during the waning moon, the plants dehydrate faster and evenly. It is good to keep an eye on the lunar calendar.
  • Keep away thedried herbs from a source of heat, light and humidity.

Not just aromatic herbs drying. You might be interested in: how to dry chillies.

Dry the aromatic herbs in the oven or in the dryer

Barks, roots, berries or other parts of the plant that are particularly rich in sap are difficult to dry naturally. For barks, roots and parts of the plant with a lot of sap it is preferable to proceed withdrying with controlled heat, i.e. in an oven or dryer.

For drying with controlled heat, you can use the classic domestic oven but you must pay attention to the temperature, it must NEVER exceed 40/45 degrees. Ideally, drying should be done at lower temperatures but with a domestic oven it is difficult to go below 40 ° C. With low temperatures, not only will aromatic herbs not run the risk of getting burned, but they will also keep intact the beneficial and therapeutic properties contained in them.

If you choose to proceed with a dryer, make sure you can adjust the drying temperature by choosing values ​​suitable for the herbs in question. Even with the dryer, above 40 ° C, there is an inevitable risk of compromising the nutritional and organoleptic properties of the aromatic herb. For the use of the dryer you may be interested in the article:how to dry fruit and vegetables.

Store the dried aromatic herbs

After drying, you can proceed to store the dried herbs in airtight jars or in vacuum bags. It is advisable to grind the aromatic herbs only at the time of use.

Aromatic herbs, dried and preserved intact, are able to keep the aromas longer. You can equip yourself with a manual grinder (if you have one at home for pepper or salt, it will be more than enough) where you can insert the roughly chopped dried aromatic herbs. In this way you will go to shred them or reduce them to powder only when needed.

When you chop or powder dried aromatic herbs, you damage the plant cell wall. This breakage causes the loss of precious aromatic compounds, those that give particular flavors and smells to our officinal herbs.

If you do not have a grinder at home, you can buy it at the local supermarket or on Amazon where a double grinder can be bought at the promotional price of 10.56 euros with free shipping. For all information, please refer to the grinder page:Double compartment grinder and grinder.

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