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The herb serial!

April 18, 2010

Press picture to see all posts in the herb serial

Since every other Sunday, I will be writing about my hair washing test, I figured I should have something else to offer you on the other Sundays, so you won’t die of boredom in waiting for the next hair washing review.

Speaking of which, remember to check back next Sunday to find out how we did on the conditioner only-wash. I just went and bought four different kinds of conditioners today for the second week. Since I make most stuff myself, I don’t have the opportunity to go shopping for beauty products every day, so it was kind of exciting 🙂

Anyways, back to today. I decided to start a serial on herbs. Not only are herbs great for cooking, they also make a lovely addition to most skin and hair care products. Today I will write a little bit about how to pick herbs, and next week about some of my own favorite herbs. Then, in the upcoming posts I will write about some ways to preserve and use herbs for different kinds of products and as natural remedies, including herb oils, herbal infusions and herb honey.

PICKING HERBS.
The perfect time to go out herb picking would be the middle of a sunny day. Then the herbs should be dry enough and also have a high concentration of essential oils. Also, remember always to pick the plants at least 100 meters away from any large roads, and make sure that the area has not been sprayed with any kinds of chemicals.

What you pick and how much depend on the herb. Sometimes, you want the flower, sometimes the leaves, and sometimes both. Usually, the younger shoots are the best, and always remember to leave at least half of each plant left, so it has a chance to regrow.

PRESERVING HERBS.
You can use the herbs fresh, dry them or freeze them (or make different kinds of extracts, that I will talk about in the upcoming posts).
When freezing, one convenient way is to mix them with a little bit of water and pour in to ice cube trays. Then just take one when you need it. This is great especially when cooking.
If you decide to dry the herbs, put them on a sheet of newspaper and leave them somewhere dark, dry and well ventilated. A cupboard is fine, better yet would be in the attic or a stairway, or in a heated place like on top of a fridge or a heated floor (that doesn’t get wet). The herbs will need to dry for some days, up to a couple of weeks. When they are dried enough, the best way to store them is in a colored paper bag, or a colored glass jar or bottle. Dried herbs work well for most kinds of things, but especially as teas or infusions or as ingredients in scrubs etc.

Check back in two weeks time to see which herbs you should pick!

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