Why Take Powdered Herbs
By Jennifer Dages - October 07, 2015
Powdered herbs are one option for your use as you implement different herbs into your diet. There are many different ways you can use them and they have a number of benefits and options associated with them. One benefit is that you can hide the taste of not-so-great-tasting herbs by mixing powdered herbs in foods, drinks, or putting them in capsules. It's easy to hide a small amount of herbs in applesauce, yogurt, or a smoothie without your kids even knowing it.
Why Take Powdered HerbsPowdered herbs can be used in a variety of ways. (Growing Up Herbal)
- in foods when cooking
- in herbal smoothies or herb balls
- in other herbal preparations like poultices, electuaries, salves, capsules, and teas (although it is difficult to strain the powder out of the water so this is not recommended).
- on wounds to slow bleeding or keep infections at bay
- to make percolated tinctures (tincture within 24 hours)
Powdering your ownPros You know they are very fresh because you have ground them yourself. Cons It can be hard to get the powder ground fine enough for some of the uses. It is very difficult to powder herbs that are roots or resinous (like myrrh) because of the nature of the form of the herb.
Purchasing powdered herbsPros It is quicker and easier because it is done for you. The powder is also finer than home ground. Cons The powdered form does not retain its potency, flavor, or aroma very long and does not store well (in most instances). If you powder your own herbs, start with quality herbs and store them in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer to lengthen their shelf-life. (Growing up Herbal)
Nutritional Value of Dried Spices and HerbsAlthough fresh picked and cut herbs do tend to have the most potency and flavor, the dried forms often still have much value in their use.
- Dried spices like cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper all have high ORAC scores, which indicate antioxidant potential. A teaspoon of these spices is comparable to a serving of blueberries or strawberries. (Nutritionovereasy.com)
- One ounce of fresh basil provides 30% of the DV for vitamin A, 145% of the DV for vitamin K, 8% of the DV for vitamin C. It contains 88mg of omega-3 fatty acids and has an ORAC value of 1200.
- One tablespoon of dried basil (which is roughly the same amount) provides just 4% of the vitamin A, 43% of vitamin K, and only 2% of vitamin C. It only has about 33mg of omega-3 fatty acids. (NutritionData.self.com)
- Ginger, onions, and garlic all have benefits if used as a root or as a powder.
How To Powder Herbs At Home
- Most spices can benefit from a slight toasting before the grinding because it will bring out their flavors more. Toast 2-3 minutes in a small pan (cast iron works well.) (Spices 101)
- Start by placing your dried herbs in a coffee grinder and setting the grinder on “fine”. Grind off and on in short 30 second bursts so you don’t overheat the herbs as you grind them as heat can destroy the herb’s properties.
- Once herbs are ground you can use your mortar and pestle to grind them even finer if you wish. (Or you can skip the coffee grinder and just use the mortar and pestle for small amounts or for using spices in pestos or sauces or pastes.)
- Once herbs are powdered to your liking (or as good as they’re going to get), bag/bottle, label, and store them correctly. (Growing Up Herbal)