- Basic Equipment: As Close As Your Kitchen
- Base Ingredients and Carriers
- Which Herbs to Use?
- The Spirit of Medicinal Herbalism
- The Traditional Apothecary
- Homespun Alchemy: Making Medicinal Wine
- My Favorite Medicinal Recipes
- Medicinal Vinegars
- Bittersweets: Making Syrups
- Making Sugar-Free Syrups
Excerpt from page 8 - Which Herbs to Use?
Whether you forage for herbs in the wild or raise your own, plan to prepare them for storage immediately after you gather them. Herbs left to sit even overnight will degrade in quality. Shake off the dirt. Sort out dead leaves and debris. Separate stems from leaves and seeds from chaff. Wash and blot dry roots, then spread them out to dry. Roots will need to be chopped into pieces about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick; leaves and flowers are best left as whole as possible. There are many ways to preserve your harvest: Drying and freezing are just two of the options you may want to pursue in addition to making the herbal remedies discussed here.
Buying Your Herbs
Of course it isn't always possible to have your own herb garden and grow every plant you would like to, in the quantity you want. If this is your situation, it is usually fine to use a dried, purchased product. Always get the freshest dried herbs you can. Although dried herbs last longer than fresh, they do continue to gradually lose their essential oils - and with them their scent, flavor, and ability to heal. The best place to find bulk herbs is in natural food stores.
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