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hi james herbs how to best store it
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cdog Offline
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hi james herbs how to best store it
hi both of my herbs came in a big bag but I opened it wrong now its a big rip can I put my herbs in a closed plastic container how to best store them and when the herbs come in a powder are all the nutrients still present in the herb
06-01-2013 06:48 PM
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James Offline
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RE: hi james herbs how to best store it
(06-01-2013 06:48 PM)cdog Wrote:  hi both of my herbs came in a big bag but I opened it wrong now its a big rip can I put my herbs in a closed plastic container how to best store them and when the herbs come in a powder are all the nutrients still present in the herb

Herbs vary a lot in their stability. Some herbs degrade very quickly, such as yohimbe, while others such as pau d' arco are still effective after a decade. On average though, most herbs will have a shelf life of at least 5 years if stored properly.

Proper storage means keeping them in an airtight container and out of the light and heat. For short term storage, in other words you will be using the herbs soon, a plastic bag or container is fine. If storing the herbs long term airtight glass jars are best.

A dark cabinet is a good place to store them. I do not recommend storing them in the fridge or freezer because taking them in an out can lead to condensation build up in the containers, which can make a mess.

Herbs are adversely affected by moisture so you want to keep them dry as much as possible. If adding them to a drink make sure to drink the drink right away. Don't add the herbs then let them sit for hours to drink later in the day. The water speeds up the oxidative destruction of many of the active compounds. Same reason I never recommend liquid vitamins and one of the reasons I rarely ever use tinctures.

http://www.MountainMistBotanicals.com
06-05-2013 04:23 PM
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James Offline
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RE: hi james herbs how to best store it
(06-01-2013 06:48 PM)cdog Wrote:  hi both of my herbs came in a big bag but I opened it wrong now its a big rip can I put my herbs in a closed plastic container how to best store them and when the herbs come in a powder are all the nutrients still present in the herb

If storing herbs long term they are best stored in glass jars, not plastic. They should also be stored out of the light and at room temperature. Normally I do not store herbs in a fridge or freezer since this can lead to condensation.

I actually prefer powdered herbs to cut herbs. There is a common misconception that the nutrients are lost from the heat of grinding. This is misleading. First of all the main nutrients prone to loss from heat, which promotes oxidation, are vitamins. Other nutrients such as minerals and amino acids are not lost at all with that minor heat, and vitamin losses also tend to be minimal. Some manufacturers though are going to cryogenic grinding, which prevents heat formation during the grinding.

Another common myth that keeps getting perpetuated is that powdered herbs are more prone to oxidation due to their increased surface area. Powdered herbs may have more surface area, but less exposed surface area compared to cut herbs.

During storage the cut herbs are more prone to vitamin loss than the powdered herbs for several reasons. Both surface area exposure and light promote oxidation and thus vitamin loss. Cut herbs are going to be more prone to these problems than powdered herbs. A simple way to understand this concept is to imagine two jars. One is full of large marbles and one filled with fine sand. Which jar has more free oxygen in it? The marble jar. Just like cut herbs the marbles do not pack tightly and thus leave more oxygen in the jar as well as more exposed surface area thus leading to more oxidative deterioration of the herbs. The gaps also allow more UV light to penetrate deeper in to the herbs as well thereby increasing nutrient destruction. Since powdered herbs are more compact this displaces oxygen and reduces exposed surface area as well as reducing the penetration of UV light all of which decreases deterioration of the active constituents within the herbs.

A somewhat related point is about tinctures. A really persistent myth is that the alcohol acts as a preservative and therefore tinctures never go bad. The reality is that tinctures are generally very unstable and have an extremely short shelf life. Studies have shown that most of the tinctures tested lost their potency within 3 months. Compare this to most cut or powdered herbs that when properly stored have an average shelf life of 3-5 years. The reason tinctures tend to have such as short active shelf life is because most contain water, which promotes oxidative destruction of the active components within the herb. We can look at it this way. When we juice fruits and vegetables they say it should be drunk as soon as possible. Why? Because the water in the juice promotes oxidative destruction of the vitamins and some other beneficial phytochemicals. This is one of the reasons I ted to avoid tinctures in most cases and rarely use teas for medicinal properties unless the phytochemicals within the plant are stable against oxidation.

http://www.MountainMistBotanicals.com
08-31-2013 12:18 AM
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Anderson Offline
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RE: hi james herbs how to best store it
That was very useful information James. Thanks for sharing!
08-31-2013 02:50 AM
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