Fresh herbs you have grown yourself or purchased fresh from a reputable local seller is always the best way to go. But what if you must purchase them from a lesser known source and you have to use dried herbs?
There really is no need for concern if your only option is the use of dried herbs. With a bit of detective work and taking the time to choose your herbs wisely, you can create wonderful, effective remedies for all of your herbal needs. Dried herbs can be used for making teas, tinctures, lotions, soaps, poultices, etc… Basically, any creation you can make with fresh herbs, you can also make with dried ones. In some instances, you may even find that you prefer dried herbs over fresh ones because their properties are more concentrated so it takes less of the herb to fulfill your recipe needs.
The most important thing to remember when looking for quality herbs is that they should look, smell and taste like they are fresh, even if they are dried. Their effectiveness when you use them will also determine their quality.
Here are four tips to help you find quality herbs wherever you look for them.
Quality dried herbs should maintain nearly the same color as fresh ones do. The leaves, blossoms and roots should be bright, colorful and seem as though they are almost fresh. This is another time that it helps to be familiar with the herb’s appearance before it has been cultivated.
Herbal scents should be strong and distinctive and exude its own unique character. Not all herbs smell good, but the herbs with the best quality have very rich and distinctive odors.
The flavors should also be very distinctive to each particular herb. Quality of taste is determined by the herb’s potency. Look for these signs:
Is the herb fresh?
Is the herb strong smelling?
Does the herb offer distinct reactions from particular taste buds?
The most important function of a quality herb is that it must work effectively on the ailment you are treating. A quality product and well-prepared remedy is generally very effective in fulfilling its purpose. If within a reasonable amount of time and with proper preparation, the herb does not seem to be working the way it should, you may want to question the true quality of your choice.
Quality herbs are the key to effective and satisfying herbal remedies. Choose your herbs carefully and you will be very pleased with the results you find.