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Herb Drying Techniques

 

   Among Men, herbs were dried sometimes in windowsills, using the light of the sun to quickly strip away all moisture.  A manner used for garden teas and food herbs with the hobbits was also used by Men, and even more extensively by the Eldar.  To do this commonly known method, cut the herbs at the stalks, leaving about a finger to two fingers' length of stalk and leaves remaining, if possible, to allow for re-growth.  Harvest herbs in the season when they are at their highest healing potential.  With many, this is before flowering, but with herbs such as chamomile, they are best at work when in bloom.  Other herbs much be harvested after flowering, such as wild roses.  After cutting, wash the stalks carefully, then gather then in a band of string and hang them in a warm dry place with air circulation, as it shown here.  Aside from the benefit of quick drying, it was associated as "healthy" by Men to let the wind dry the herbs.

                                                                       

Fresh Herbs

 

   Throughout the methods of healers worldwide, the method of preparing fresh herbs is quite similar among all peoples.  Herbs were prepared fresh for use in teas, pastes, and poultices, though rarely is it better to use a dried herb in replace of the fresh leaf, flower, or root.  Gather the needed quantity of the fresh herb (use only those in season at a given time - For this reason, a widespread variety in an herb garden is ideal) and wash it thoroughly under running water.  Then proceed to take a knife and quickly crush the herb to be used in a poultice, cut the herb into pieces to be chewed, or grind the herb in a stone bowl with a stone mallet for a paste.  This method was reputed first used in the Second Age, and introduced by the Northmen.  In such cases as teas, often only a slight shredding of the leaves is necessary.