Drying herbs from cuttings - This method includes cutting the herb stalks close to the base, tying them in a bunch, and hanging the herbs upside down to dry.
Drying herbs on a screen - This method is for the leaves of herb garden plants only. They are spread on a screen and placed in a dry place out of the direct sun and turned regularly until they are dry.
Drying herbs in oven - On a low heat, leaves of herbs are placed on a baking sheet and turned regularly until dry
Why should you dry herbs?
Drying herbs, stops the clock for your herbs and makes it possible to store your herbs for weeks and months, so they can be used all year. But there is another reason that we haven't talked about that I think you should know. Drying herbs actually increases their strength, but only if you understand how to dry herbs properly.
How can herbs get stronger just by drying them?
First, understand and imagine what is inside the leaf and foliage of an herb plant. Like us, herbs are mostly comprised of liquid. Herbs contain water, of course, but also essential oils and minerals, etc. Together they are a complex and powerful blend that, through the ages, has been our natural disease fighting partner here on earth.
When herbs are dried gently and gradually, what we are doing is letting most of the water within the herb evaporate naturally. We do this because once herbs are harvested, water quickly becomes an enemy of freshness as the moisture attracts bacteria and decay. The clock begins to tick the minute after your herbs harvest.
After we have removed the water from the herbs, what remains are the herbal essential oils, minerals, salts and other nutrients. Without the moisture, these essential oils etc... are concentrated in every leaf. As you have no doubt noticed, the aroma and flavor of dried herbs is far different and more intense than a freshly picked leaf. Without the water content, the essential oils are very slow to decay and because of this the dry herbs will last for months.
However, how dry herbs are achieved is very important. Excess heat as well as dampness when using the methods above can cause the essential herbal oils to break down, leaving you with a bunch of stale dried leaves.
What about drying herbs in the microwave?
I do not recommend the drying herbs in microwave method. There is no real control with this, and because you are basically cooking the herbs from the inside out, I believe that not only is the water removed, but the essential oils of the herbs are also degraded.
In my next article I'll talk about more herbs and growing tips and also provide more information on how dry herbs can be used in your new healthy life.
I invite you to continue this article for more detailed information about how dry herbs [http://www.herbsandgrowingsecrets.com/how-dry-herbs/] are made properly including my free 10 part mini-course and my exact step by step blueprint for growing the absolute fastest and healthiest herb garden, guaranteed.
Melanie Stark has been growing fresh herbs and creating home herb gardens for 30 years. For more information about Melanie and her gardens, visit [http://www.herbsandgrowingsecrets.com/how-dry-herbs/]
Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Ancient-Wisdom---How-Dry-Herbs-Lock-in-Essential-Oils-You-Need-For-Your-New-Healthy-Life&id=3067759] Ancient Wisdom - How Dry Herbs Lock in Essential Oils You Need For Your New Healthy Life