Food Saver Series: Tea Herbs

Chamomile, Lemon Balm and Echinacea

I love to dry tea herbs – for one they are as easy to dry as regular herbs, and two I know with every batch that gets done I will have wonderful tea to enjoy all winter. Not to mention it also makes a great gift!

Drying Chamomile:

To dry Chamomile you can either snip off or pinch off the blooms. I find that just pinching them off is a whole lot easier, mainly because they are so small. After I harvest, I let them dry on a plate in a warm area – usually by an open window on a hot day. A couple times a day I will roll them around just a little bit to make sure they are drying ok. It usually only takes a few days for them to dry completely, and you can usually tell when they are done because they fall apart pretty easily. If there is any doubt, leave them out a little longer.

Drying chamomile flowers

Once dry I pour them into a pint mason jar and use them as needed.

dry chamomile ready to use

Lemon Balm

Drying Lemon Balm:

Lemon Balm is very easy to dry. I cut the leaves and lay them out on a plate. Since they are thin, within just a day or two they will be dry. I think it is very appropriate that they are easy to dry since they make a very soothing tea…

Drying Echinacea:

Drying Echinacea takes a bit longer. For Echinacea tea you can use the flowers, stems, leaves and roots. The roots are usually made into medicinal powders. I want the plants to return year after year, so I just trim the flowers and cut some leaves off.

The flowers of Echinecea can be quite large, but the petals and leaves dry fairly quickly. When I am harvesting Echinacea I use my cooling racks for baking, I cut the flowers off and stick the stem down through the wire, so that the head is up. This way when the leaves dry, they are a bit easier to pull off the main part of the flower.

After the flowers are dry you can also save the seeds and plant more next year.

drying Echinacea

dry Echinacea

Happy tea making!


Check back next Friday when I talk about how to dry and freeze summer squash!

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