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The Importance of Herb Freshness

I love to cook with herbs.  They give such amazing flavor and add to the health benefits of the foods being cooked.  I’m sure you like to use herbs for cooking too!  Have you ever used an old herb, something that’s been in your kitchen cupboard maybe a little too long?  How did it taste?  Probably ok, but not that great.  And maybe you couldn’t even taste it at all!  And now, have you used a fresh herb with your cooking?  Maybe something you’ve gotten fresh at the store or even picked out of your own garden?  It’s a HUGE difference in taste, isn’t it?  Well, this principle applies to medicinal herbs just like it does with culinary herbs – simply put, fresher herbs will give you MUCH better results. 

Old herbs will do very little (if anything) for you.  Herbs that are mass-produced (like many larger companies have to in order to meet minimums and cost projections) will have hundreds of thousands of a particular product made at a time.  This product is then stored on a warehouse shelf somewhere, which is eventually sold to a store where it sits on the store shelf until the consumer eventually buys it.  This is especially problematic for herbs that must be processed down to a very small particle to fit into a capsule or tea bag – it tends to lose its potency pretty quickly.  This is why we make small batches of our products at a time.  We know what a big deal freshness is – it’s one of those things that I’m a stickler about – one of my “things”.  It’s a lot more work for us and a bit time-consuming, but SO well worth it!

Here’s how you can tell if an herb is fresh:

  • Use your senses.
    • Does the herb look alive? 
    • How is the color?
    • Does it smell good?  Does it smell like the fresh plant should?
    • Even though an herb is dried, it should still have life in it that you can see, smell and taste.
    • If the herb seems dull in any way or has little to no aroma, it is likely old and not worth your money.

Hope that helps!

Testimonial

After giving birth to three petite little girls, my husband and I decided that for our next birth, we would go "natural" before and hopefully after the birth. Well, I gave birth to a very healthy baby boy, weighing 8 pounds! The birth was an easy feat without drugs, but afterwards was another story! I had always taken my Vicodin after the birth of my girls (I was not breastfeeding), but this time I was nursing and did not want to take a narcotic. My doula and midwife suggested I check out herbs available to me, and so I contacted Herb Lore. They took much time to suggest a wonderful remedy for me - Postpartum Sitz Bath Herbs. But instead of taking a sitz bath with them, I followed the instructions for making a "tea" of the herbs and using sanitary pads to soak up some of the brew. I then froze the pads and wore them throughout the day and night. (Complete instructions are on the product label.) It was a WONDERFUL relief. I took no narcotics and unlike medication, I could use the pads as much as needed. I wish I had known about this technique after I had my girls! Timmy was my biggest baby, most pleasant birth, and easiest recovery (thanks to Herb Lore's herbs!!!). J.Y.