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8 forms of capital active hope agroecology agroforestry alder buckthorn Amazon anxiety apples arthritis back yard beans Bec Hellouin beech tree bees beneficial berries biochar biodigester biodiversity blackberries blackthorn book review brain brassica cage budget build building campesino capital card deck Celtic festivals change changes chemical-free chickens christmas circular clay pot cleansers cleansing milks climate change climate emergency climate grief climate solutions climbers climbing cob comfrey community compost compost teas connection consciousness conservation container cooking coppice coppicing cordial cosmology courgettes crafts crisis crop protection Cross Quarter Festival cultural emergence culture cycles degraded design diary diversity DIY do it yourself dryland earth care Earth's energy ecoculture economics ecopoetry ecosystem ecosystem restoration camps ecosystems edges edible edible flowers education efficiency elder elderflowers elements elixir energy equinox ethics face mask fair shares Fairtrade farming feedback feminine ferns figs film firewood flower essence flowers food food forest food garden footbath forage foraging forest garden forest gardening forests fruit fruit leather fruit trees fungi future future care gardening garlic gift economy gin Give Nature a voice Glennie Kindred global poverty glut grapes greenhouse grief groundcover grow grow food grow your own growing guilds habitat habits handcream harvest harvests hawthorn hazel hazelnut healing shrubs healing trees health healthy soil heart health hedgerow hedging herbal herbal remedies herbal teas herbalist herbs holistic holistic planned grazing home homeless homemade wine homestead hope Hugelkultur humanure hummus hungry gap IBC tanks Imbolc incense increase yields Indigenous inexpensive influence inspiration International Womens Day jam keyline kitchen garden lacto-fermentation Lammas land landscape landscapes life lifestyle limeflowers livelihood livestock living labs logs lotion low cost low-impact Lush Spring Prize macerations Mangwende Orphan Care Trust market garden market gardening marmalade marshmallow mass heater meadowsweet medicinal microbes microfarm mimic mindset mitigation money moringa Mother Earth mulch multifunctional mushrooms native plants natural natural building natural fertiliser natural skincare natural swimming pool nature nature connection nitrogen no dig no waste no-dig November nutrition nuts observe oca October off-grid oil cleansing orchard orchards organic organic gardening outdoor shower oven oxymel oyster pallets pasture-fed patterns people people care peoplecare perennials permaculture permaculture design permaculture magazine award permaculutre permayouth pesto pests philippines pine tree pips pizza oven plant profile plants pollinators pollution polyculture polycultures preserving principles propagating protection pruning prunings psycho-spiritual awareness psychospiritual transformation rainforest rainwater raspberries recipe recipes reduce reed beds regeneration regenerative regenerative agriculture relative location relative matter remedy renewable renewable energy resources restoration reuse revolution rhythms rootstock rootstocks roundhouse roundwood runner beans sage salad salve Samhain schools Scotland scotts pine seasonal seasons seeds selfcare Sepp Holzer september septic tanks sewage treatment shade sheet mulching shrubs skincare sloes slugs small solutions small-scale smallholding social justice soil health solar solutions sowing spiritual spring squash stacking functions stock-free straw straw bale summer sustainable Sweet Bay syntropic systems temperate terraces thistles thrutopia timber timber framing tincture tonic toolkit tools transformation trees upcycle urban veg garden vegan veganic vermicomposting vinegar walnuts waste water water cleansing watering weeds wellbeing wetland wild edges wild food wild garlic wildflower wildlife wine recipes wings winter winter greens winter salads wood stove woodburner woodland woodland management woodlands worms yarrow year-round food yield young people youth zai pits zone 00 zoning

Topics

8 forms of capital active hope agroecology agroforestry alder buckthorn Amazon anxiety apples arthritis back yard beans Bec Hellouin beech tree bees beneficial berries biochar biodigester biodiversity blackberries blackthorn book review brain brassica cage budget build building campesino capital card deck Celtic festivals change changes chemical-free chickens christmas circular clay pot cleansers cleansing milks climate change climate emergency climate grief climate solutions climbers climbing cob comfrey community compost compost teas connection consciousness conservation container cooking coppice coppicing cordial cosmology courgettes crafts crisis crop protection Cross Quarter Festival cultural emergence culture cycles degraded design diary diversity DIY do it yourself dryland earth care Earth's energy ecoculture economics ecopoetry ecosystem ecosystem restoration camps ecosystems edges edible edible flowers education efficiency elder elderflowers elements elixir energy equinox ethics face mask fair shares Fairtrade farming feedback feminine ferns figs film firewood flower essence flowers food food forest food garden footbath forage foraging forest garden forest gardening forests fruit fruit leather fruit trees fungi future future care gardening garlic gift economy gin Give Nature a voice Glennie Kindred global poverty glut grapes greenhouse grief groundcover grow grow food grow your own growing guilds habitat habits handcream harvest harvests hawthorn hazel hazelnut healing shrubs healing trees health healthy soil heart health hedgerow hedging herbal herbal remedies herbal teas herbalist herbs holistic holistic planned grazing home homeless homemade wine homestead hope Hugelkultur humanure hummus hungry gap IBC tanks Imbolc incense increase yields Indigenous inexpensive influence inspiration International Womens Day jam keyline kitchen garden lacto-fermentation Lammas land landscape landscapes life lifestyle limeflowers livelihood livestock living labs logs lotion low cost low-impact Lush Spring Prize macerations Mangwende Orphan Care Trust market garden market gardening marmalade marshmallow mass heater meadowsweet medicinal microbes microfarm mimic mindset mitigation money moringa Mother Earth mulch multifunctional mushrooms native plants natural natural building natural fertiliser natural skincare natural swimming pool nature nature connection nitrogen no dig no waste no-dig November nutrition nuts observe oca October off-grid oil cleansing orchard orchards organic organic gardening outdoor shower oven oxymel oyster pallets pasture-fed patterns people people care peoplecare perennials permaculture permaculture design permaculture magazine award permaculutre permayouth pesto pests philippines pine tree pips pizza oven plant profile plants pollinators pollution polyculture polycultures preserving principles propagating protection pruning prunings psycho-spiritual awareness psychospiritual transformation rainforest rainwater raspberries recipe recipes reduce reed beds regeneration regenerative regenerative agriculture relative location relative matter remedy renewable renewable energy resources restoration reuse revolution rhythms rootstock rootstocks roundhouse roundwood runner beans sage salad salve Samhain schools Scotland scotts pine seasonal seasons seeds selfcare Sepp Holzer september septic tanks sewage treatment shade sheet mulching shrubs skincare sloes slugs small solutions small-scale smallholding social justice soil health solar solutions sowing spiritual spring squash stacking functions stock-free straw straw bale summer sustainable Sweet Bay syntropic systems temperate terraces thistles thrutopia timber timber framing tincture tonic toolkit tools transformation trees upcycle urban veg garden vegan veganic vermicomposting vinegar walnuts waste water water cleansing watering weeds wellbeing wetland wild edges wild food wild garlic wildflower wildlife wine recipes wings winter winter greens winter salads wood stove woodburner woodland woodland management woodlands worms yarrow year-round food yield young people youth zai pits zone 00 zoning

Drying Herbs & Herbal Recipes with Glennie Kindred

Glennie Kindred explains how to dry herbs and then gives recipes for using your herbs teas and elixers, including an anti-stress elixer and calming one.

There are various methods for drying herbs but they all require that the herb is dried and stored out of the light. I prefer to use brown paper bags, other people hang them up in bunches or lay them between sheets of newspaper or brown paper.

• If using brown paper bags always label the bags with the name of the herb, the date and where you picked it. This is good practice and a good habit to get into as plants can change a lot in the drying process. Even if you think you will know what it is, it is surprising how you can forget, especially if you bag up several herbs over a period of a few weeks.

• Leave the bags in a dry warm environment for several weeks. Put them in the airing cupboard if you have one, hang over the wood-burner or leave them on top of radiators. Shake the bags and turn the leaves over with your hands every day or two. It is essential to do this to stop any mould getting in to the herbs while they are still drying.

• The herbal properties of leaves and flowers will deteriorate after 1 year so they need to be re-collected every year. Fruit, seeds, berries, roots and bark will last for 2 years.

Storing dried herbs

It is light that destroys the herbal properties of herbs, so at its simplest herbs can be stored all year in brown paper bags, although if they are kept in the kitchen they will need to be kept in a plastic container or airtight tin to keep them dry.

Keeping the herbs in a dedicated leather or cotton bag is the traditional medicine way and these are hung somewhere warm and dry, near a radiator or fire.

Putting them into dark glass jars is good in a kitchen because of the condensation.

Clear jam jars are fine if they are kept in a dark cupboard. At its simplest the jar can be kept in a brown paper bag or more creative ways can be found.

Making herb teas

Herb teas vary in taste and quality. Buying popular blends as tea bags is convenient, but be aware that the herbs may be old by the time you drink them, and the herbs may have been grown in monocultures and sprayed with petrochemicals.

It is infinitely better to make your own.

• Making herb teas is not an exact science, especially when using the common safe plants. Interestingly, different herbalists use different amounts. I use about a teaspoonful of dried herbs or a small pile that fits into the hollow of my palm, and between a half to a pint of water, depending on the need. Use less for young children and anyone who is weak and frail.

Dried herbs have twice the strength of fresh herbs, so twice the amount of fresh herb is used.

• As you make the tea, say thank you to the plant. This open-hearted attitude adds to the healing process. I like to picture the plant and affirm its healing qualities as I wait for the tea to brew, partly to affirm the healing I am engaged in and also as a memory aid. This way I keep learning and understanding more about the plants all the time and keep my knowledge strong. Many of the herbs are an acquired taste. Nurture an openness to these wild flavours and earthy tastes and give them a chance. More often than not, a taste you didn’t like at first becomes a taste that you find you love.

Making elixirs

These are also for adults only as they are a mixture of brandy and honey.

This makes them a most delicious way to take your medicine! They are especially good to use when travelling as they are kept in small dropper bottles and taken neat.

Elixirs are combination remedies, created for specific uses and personal needs.

Elixirs need to taste good so the addition of any aromatic herbs improves the flavour, but must also support the over-all herbal action. They are experimental and fun, as well as being extremely effective and I like to give them creative names.

Write up everything in your Herb Journal. This is especially important when you make combination elixirs. Recording the plants and proportions used is invaluable when you create something you want to repeat.

Method one

1. Half fill a dark jar with a herb or combinations of herbs: tear the leaves, crush the seeds or fruit, and chop the roots. Send your thanks to the plants. Add a little of something that will give it a nice flavour such as rose petals, sweet violet, lavender, rosemary, lemon verbena etc, making sure that their actions support the overall use of the remedy.

2. Cover the plant matter with clear runny honey and send your silent thanks to the bees. Poke well with a chopstick to get out any trapped air bubbles and break the plant matter up further.

3. Then top the jar up with brandy and

4. Put on the lid and label, date and shake well. Give it a poke and a shake frequently and keep out of bright light. They are ready in about a month, although they come to no harm if they are left longer.

5. Strain off the plant matter and rebottle in clean dark dropper bottles. Pour a little boiling water over the mash of herbs that are left over, getting every last bit of goodness out of them. Toast the plant and its medicine and have your first taste before returning the spent mash to the earth with thanks.

Method two

Create an instant elixir using the tinctures you have made.

1. Using a jug combine several tinctures that support the remedy you are making.

2. Mix in a similar amount of honey to tincture and mix the two together.

3. Pour into dark dropper bottles. Name and date and write up in your herb journal.

Their dosage is similar to tinctures, although I tend to use them little and often.

Combination elixirs

Here are some suggestions of plants to choose from, depending on what you have available. I have listed the native plants first and the aromatics at the end.

Anti-stress elixir

Hawthorn, cowslip, vervain, rose petals, lavender, borage.

Drops of calm

Hawthorn, elderflowers, cowslip, hops, valerian, vervain, rose petals, borage, lavender, chamomile.

This is an extract from Glennie Kindred’s Letting in the Wild Edges, which inspires us to celebrate the bounties of our wild native plants and find a richer relationship with the natural world around us.

Further Resources

Watch

How to dry herbs for winter

Books

Letting in the Wild Edges
by Glennie Kindred

Sacred Earth Celebrations
by Glennie Kindred

Walking with Trees
by Glennie Kindred

The Medicinal Forest Garden Handbook
by Anne Stobart

Articles

Living With the Seasons: Summer’s wild edge – June into July

10 Easy Herbs to Grow for Bees

Make Your Own Spring Tonic

About the Author

Glennie Kindred is the author of twelve books on Earth wisdom, native plants and trees and celebrating the Earth’s cycles, and is a highly respected teacher and much loved expert on natural lore and Earth traditions.