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Fresh vegetables can go off. So do fresh herbs, flowers and leaves. They can rot, grow mold, and become a magnet to microbes, due to its water content however little iit may seem.
This is why water-based products need broad spectrum preservatives (we will go there on another article): water is a wonderful medium to grow bacteria, microbes and fungus, even the one inside plants.
This is also why you use dried herbs, leaves and flowers on natural cosmetics, more often than not. Once dried, plant material usually has a shelf-life of one to two years: they last much longer than with water content.
Dry the plant material in a food dehydrator, on a drying screen, hanging them on a rack.
As a last resort, and only if you really need the herbs in a very short time, you can use the oven on very low-heat. If you’re using the oven method, make sure to keep the oven door open a little to let the water vapor escape. Please, be aware that this method destroys some of the herb’s properties.
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As a DIY practitioner, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to encourage you to make your own drying rack, if you wish to do so:
This video teaches you how to dry herbs properly:
At the end, the herbs need to be crispy and bone dry. Store it at room temperature (not hot) in sterilized jars or ziplock bags.
Shelf life of dried herbs is usually between 1 to 3 years.
If you prefer, you can buy online already dried herbs:
If you have a question or would like to share your experience with dried herbs, please leave a comment below.