Yes you can store herbs for long term! Our products (www.firmeadowllc.com) are Best by generally two years from date of manufacture although we have had customers use products up to seven year old with favorable results (not recommended!).
The enemies to your herb blends are heat, greatly fluctuating temperatures, light, age and moisture so those are the situations we want to avoid for them. For herbs to be used within the next month or two often keeping them in their packaging and in a cupboard is sufficient. Herbs and blends that you will be keeping for longer than two months I suggest that one pull out a couple of months worth and keep that in the barn in a sealed freezer bag, lidded canning jar (be careful around concrete!), or a sealable plastic jar remembering to store it out of direct light. Also be sure to use a clean spoon or scoop and do not get any moisture into either container. The remainder can be kept in the original packaging in the house in a cabinet.
For those that want to store herbs beyond a year or two or for seasonally used products (like Ewe-Ter-N) I suggest you double bag the product you don't plan to be using that year and place it in the freezer. Most herbs as long as you didn't introduce moisture to them will keep for years in that manner.
If one is making an infusion (strong herbal tea) any excess can be kept for up to three days in the refrigerator. Excess can be frozen in ice cube trays and double freezer bagged for later use. I would use twice the amount for any cubes that I pulled from the freezer. Always put the current date on any bags of cubes.
For those making dosage balls with black strap molasses, organic peanut butter or raw honey which do not have a water content you can keep excess balls in the refrigerator for approximately a week. I would store them on a lower shelf since cold settles usually making that the coldest area of your fridge. Any that you'd like to keep longer than that double freezer bag and keep in your freezer. You may want to freeze them on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet before you bag them so they don't freeze together.
Herbs can also be stored indefinately in alcohol and for multiple years in raw organic apple cider vinegar and then straining the liquid before using. They can also be kept in olive oil this way for approximately two years. Remember to keep these out of light, to use sterilized containers and to label them with a date.
I get this question frequently!!! I base my answers on the following list to sort through the hype, the big money and the fancy marketing to decide whether an herb merits medicinal use at commonly accepted doseages for herbs. Note that they must pass EVERY test.
1) Does it meet Hippocrates 'Do no harm"?
2) Does it work WITH the body to move it towards wellness (Vitalist)?
3) It must not be habit forming nor have that potential.
4) Is must not be poisonous.
5) It must not be toxic (cause side effects).
Here at Fir Meadow LLC we can guide you through the ins and outs of confusing questions and wellness protocols with alternative health for you and your creatures. Why? Because our Master of Herbology has the educational foundation to base our guidance on! You can select from a wide array of products and consultation services on our website. Blessings ALL :)
White Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) , Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber) at Fir Meadow. Photo by Katherine Drovdahl.
We like to say that livestock and humans should eat plants and plants should eat rocks and dirt. Why is this SO CRITICALLY important???!!! When we keep things in that order bodies do well. You see when a plant converts sunlight through photosynthesis it combines nutrients it uptakes from soil (broken down rocks & organic matter) with a carbon atom. It is that carbon atom attached to that nutrient that makes it bioavailable. That nutrient becomes fully utilizable by the body. It's able to uptake it into cells, use it fully for it's intended purpose and it is fully able to eliminate any excess that it doesn't want to utilize. This allows the ability to fully nourish the body and to not store toxic or structurally damaging excesses of copper, selenium, copper, fat soluble vitamins, etc. Some of these excesses can and do build up to cause liver toxicity (which can lead to death), stones such as urinary calculi, kidney stones, enteroliths, gall stones (which form in the liver and are there as well), bone spurs, hardening of the pituitary gland or brain tissue, etc.
So how on earth do we and our beloved critters end up eating rocks? Here are a few considerations.
Our wells and city waters are not soft water- they contain rock mineral particulate. When we lived in southern Oregon I could actually SEE the particulate from our high calcium well whenever water was brewed for tea. It also accumulated at the mouths of faucets etc. There were no dandelions or alfalfa plants growing in our well to contribute to this. The soils in that area contain high amounts of calcium.
Store bought food and feeds that have minerals added or are 'fortified' have rock or synthetic sources added. Read your label- if it doesn't say the magnesium is because whole alfalfa, stinging nettle or another plant is in the product then it's not from a plant! It's from a rock or a formulated fake from a laboratory. Why do companies do this? Because it's much less expensive to mine and purchase rock nutrients than it is to use whole plants that contain the nutrients. I can purchase a whole ten yard dump truck load of several tons of rocks or sand for the same price that some of the herbs that I work with cost me by the pound! Most calcium put into food and feeds in the US is mined limestone from the midwest. Chemical or synthetic derived nutrients are cheap too and are derived from oil. Kodak is or used to be one of the largest suppliers of nutrients for the food industry. Scary or interesting. I'm not sure which it is!
We provide wonderful high quality WHOLE HERB nutrition for you, your human and pet family, just as God intended!
Get those now at www.firmeadowllc.com (www.firmeadowllc.com)
Be ABUNDANTLY BLESSED :)
Whole herb products for your ENTIRE family!
Yesterday I was asked once again about wormwood. Many people have legitimate concerns, having heard that wormwood isn't safe during pregnancy. Due to the controversy about this herb I spend extra timing researching it when I was studying for my Master's Degree in Herbology. I can also throw in over a decade of personal use with this plant with humans and pets/livestock.
First the concern. It IS true that if your animals get out and scarf a large amount of wormwood at once that they may lose a pregnancy or have convulsions. The truth is that overeating on ANY plant can cause acidosis, entertoxemia or other problems specific to that plant. Also using this plant in tincture form or oil form highly concentrates the phyto (plant) chemicals in this plant- namely the thujone- greatly increasing the risk of having an adverse effect. Absinthe, made with wormwood as one of the ingredients for several centuries, caused many problems in those that became addicted to it.
However, used in it's whole plant form, and in quantities no where close to the 'goats got out and ate a big patch of it' situation this herb has much value to offer. It's helpful in gi and distresses, aids bile movement and liver function, helps protect the liver from plant toxins that are ingested around the same time, aids the body in oxygenating the uterus as well as having natural antibiotic properties. Most people are aware of it's anthelmintic (worm removing) properties. It's also historically used as a tanaecide to help the body kill tapeworms. It's a very valuable plant and I love using it with my pregnant goats, alpacas and horses due to the uterine enhancing and toxin protecting properties within my DWorm A herb blend that we sell on our website.
May you be fully blessed!
Katherine MH, CR, CA, CEIT, DipHIr, QTP has extensive alternative training in Vitalistic (cause oriented) wellness,including a Master's Degree in Herbology and has a heart to share with you so that you, your family and your creatures may achieve abundant wellness.