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Herb Storage


Post Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:52 am

Posts: 57
I was wondering if it's ok to store herbs in the plastic zipper bags i buy from Mountain Rose herbs?. Or is it better to store them in sealed glass jars?. Will my herbs go bad or lose potency if store them in the zipper bags it comes with?.

Post Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:48 pm

Posts: 3
Location: Troy, ID

I store all of my herbs in ziploc-type bags in large sealed bins at a cool temp (~50-60F). In general, the idea is to keep herbs from being exposed to light, heat and moisture. Any/all of these can rapidly degrade the quality of an herb and reduce its potency. This is why you often see bulk herbs in clear jars that look anemic.

FWIW- I would be happier to use glass rather than plastic, but at my scale of business I can't afford it and it is highly impractical.

Post Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:54 am

Posts: 57
That's exactly what i do, i use the same bags i get from Mountain Rose Herbs and store them in a closed storage container. I wonder if oxygen will degrade the herbs in those bags?. I don't have room for large glass jars to store pounds of herbs. Hopefully the herbs will be ok.

Post Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:07 pm

Posts: 225
I have stored herbs in plastic baggies, only to discover the got moldy. It is possible that they were not completely dry as I thought, but now I don't trust baggies. Now I use jars, and yes my shelves are pretty crowded.

Post Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:08 am
IdahoHerbalist User avatar
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Posts: 1098
Where did the plants that molded come from?

Post Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:26 am

Posts: 225
The wild, around my community. Gumweed was one (one that needs more drying time, to be sure.) Dandelion flowers was the other. Again, probably needed more time to dry.

Post Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:53 pm
IdahoHerbalist User avatar
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Posts: 1098
Yes, drying time is critical.

Forgot to mention this:

When I first started working at HGH we would store our herbs in large plastic bags. We would have the odd mold and mildew issues. Because of this we have started storing our material in brown grocery bags. They are completely opaque (light) and absorbent (moisture). Being exposed to the outside it is my theory that they wick away moisture and transfer it to the surrounding air. We have not had one issue since we started doing this.

Another thing I just thought of: are you chopping your plants up before drying? This helps them to release their moisture faster and more thoroughly. Flowers are a bit tougher for this, ESPECIALLY gumweed.

Post Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:25 pm

Posts: 15
I store all my herbs in glass mason jars with the oxygen removed. I use a vacuum sealer to remove the oxygen from the jar and seal the lid tight. Food saver sells both regular and small jar lid size gadget for sealing. It can be opened and resealed. It does take up a lot of room to have so many jars, but it keeps herbs and dry foods fresh for years. I put them all in the root/wine cellar.
I have opened up jars that were sealed 10 years ago and they taste exactly like the day they were sealed.

Post Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:27 am
IdahoHerbalist User avatar
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I would be interested in some testing to see if the potency is still there.

Post Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:47 pm
Doc Jones User avatar
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Posts: 978
laughingfrog wrote:
I store all my herbs in glass mason jars with the oxygen removed. I use a vacuum sealer to remove the oxygen from the jar and seal the lid tight. Food saver sells both regular and small jar lid size gadget for sealing. It can be opened and resealed. It does take up a lot of room to have so many jars, but it keeps herbs and dry foods fresh for years. I put them all in the root/wine cellar.
I have opened up jars that were sealed 10 years ago and they taste exactly like the day they were sealed.



I used to do a lot of vacuum sealing in the old days. I think it does help with preservation. Our scale is such these days that nothing is around long enough for vacuum sealing to make a difference.

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