Storing Herbs

This happens to me a lot. I go to the occult shop or the herb store and I have to buy a large quantity of an herb.  Some places only sell herbs by the ounce and often we need a pinch. In the occult shops they are often sold in bags that cannot be properly sealed. Buying glass jars can be expensive, especially when you need many of them. This is when I use baby food jars. Whenever I know anyone who has a baby, I ask them to save the jars for me. These jars have good tight fitting lids and can be easily labeled.

Steam the labels off and boil them for a few minutes to sterilize them (don’t forget the lids!) and there you have the perfect jar.

If you can’t get a hold of used baby food jars, you can look for jars at second hand stores for canning jars. I usually don’t recommend dollar store jars because they can’t be boiled. But if you are storing an herb you won’t ingest, then these are okay to use. (Be sure to label your jars well!)

If you are using herbs you aren’t going to ingest, you do not need to sterilize the jars. Just wash them out with hot soapy water and let dry thoroughly. (Usually overnight).

Second hand stores often have very interesting collections of herb jars. These are usually cast offs from someone’s spice rack. I love these too because you can scrub them and they are easy to label.I just found a set of  apothecary jars for $1.99 for six. Very cool find.

Photo by Lady Black

If you are blending your own essential oils you can buy amber bottles with droppers to start, but as you use up essential oils, wash out those bottles, steam off the labels and then you won’t have to pay for bottles for your next blend. Some oils such as myrrh are hard to get out of the bottle as they are resinous and thick. If you can’t get these ones clean just recycle them and move on. Essential oil bottles are great for on the go healing. For example you can fill the bottle 2/3 full with a carrier oil (such as jojoba) and add a few drops of peppermint essential oil and you have headache relief in a small, easy to carry bottle. Shake and then massage a few drops of your mixture onto your temples. Repeat as needed.

When reusing bottles whose labels could not be removed be sure to make a label large enough to cover the old one so it fits over top. this way there is no guessing at what’s in the bottle. It would be terrible to think you are taking a gem elixir and wind up with a headache remedy under your tongue instead.

There are many wonderful ways to label your jars. You can use a traditional label maker or you can check out craft stores and dollar stores for other sticker labels. I found some nice labels that look like old fashioned apothecary labels at a craft store. If you are the type to not spend money on jar labels, masking tape and a black sharpie will do the job nicely.

Many blessings,

Lady Black


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