10 Types of Herbs: Benefits and How to Dry Store Them
Are you looking for information on the types of herbs and spices to grow in your herb garden Singapore? Want a list of herbs with pictures and uses?
You have landed on the right page!
What are herbs?
Herbs are small plants that possess aromatic properties. Herbs pronunciation in British English is with the 'H" included, i.e., "Herbs" while the Americans pronounce it as "erbs" with 'h" being silent.
They are the leaf part of the plant and may be fresh or dried. Herbs are used to make fragrances and flavour food; some even work as natural remedies for common health conditions. There are many types of herbs, in which this article will discuss some.
What is the difference between fresh herbs and dried herbs?
Fresh herbs contain more water. On the other hand, the dried herbs are free from moisture, giving out an intense flavour and are more potent than the fresh herbs. This is why you need to use dried herbs more sparingly than fresh herbs. While we can easily store dried herbs in a bottle, fresh ones have a short shelf life. So cut them from your herb garden or buy only as much as you need.
Here is a list of 10 types of herbs, their benefits and methods to dry them. This dried herbs list comes in handy when you want to dry and store different kinds of herbs/spices.
1. Cinnamon: Helps control Blood Sugar Levels and enhances Anti-Diabetic Effect.
Since more and more people today are developing diabetes, it is helpful to know about the natural remedies that help them maintain blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon tops the list of the most beneficial fresh herbs and spices. It has a delicate essence, which is why we use it in many cuisines to flavour food. It is not rich in minerals or vitamins but is rich in antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress. This potentially protects against diabetes. Cinnamon imitates insulin and promotes the transport of glucose to the cells. Studies have proved that it can increase insulin sensitivity.
According to several controlled trials, Cinnamon helps lower fasting blood sugar. It also lowers your blood sugar levels after meals, possibly by blocking the digestive enzymes and slowing the process of stomach emptying.
How to dry Cinnamon?
Cut a section or part of the cinnamon tree. Scrape it into layers and place them in a warm environment. Allow them to dry. Once they are dry and curled, store them in a dry bottle.
2. Sage: Enhance Brain Function and helps to Improve Memory.
You cannot miss out on Sage if you go through any herbs list.
This herb's benefits are aplenty. You will be surprised to know that people took sage to improve memory centuries ago. They also made tinctures and teas using the extracts of this herbal plant. According to researchers, Sage is believed to inhibit acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down acetylcholine; a chemical messenger. A drop in this messenger causes Alzheimer's, a common form of dementia. Currently, drugs used in treating Alzheimer's cause many side effects; this is where Sage plays an important role. Sage also contains active compounds that boost cognitive activity, including attention, learning, and memory.
How to dry Sage?
You can use a food dehydrator to dry Sage leaves. Simply spread them on the rack and dry them at between 95-1150 F. Check them every 30 minutes and dry them enough such that you can crush them easily. You can also spread the leaves on an oven tray and dry them for several hours. Another method is to bundle sage leaves together using twine, cover them with a perforated paper bag and hang them until fully dry.
3. Peppermint: Reduce IBS Pain and Easing Nausea.
Peppermint is one of the most common herbs you can find in any indoor herb garden. It has also been used in teas to flavour food since time immemorial.
Peppermint is said to reduce symptoms associated with IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. While its antispasmodic property relieves bloating and constipation, the menthol present in this wonder herb relaxes your intestinal muscles. This numbing and calming property is adequate for easing nausea.
When experiencing IBS symptoms, the nerve fibres in your colons become hypersensitive, causing abdominal pain. The menthol manages to excite TRPM8, the anti-pain channel, that temporarily reduces the sensitivity of your fibres. This is also an excellent plant to grow in your outdoor herb garden.
At Shiora, we have Sandalwood Peppermint scent reed diffuser that can offer a similar benefit when inhaling the smell.
How to dry Peppermint?
Peppermint can be dried using a dehydrator, which generates low heat while drying the leaves quickly. Oven drying is recommended if you want to dry the leaves very quickly. However, you must be careful not to burn them during the process. If you live in a place where there's a considerably warmer climate, you can air-dry the leaves.
4. Turmeric: provides Curcumin, a mineral that gives out Anti-Inflammatory Effects.
A turmeric is a remarkable herb among the many herbs and spices used for medical and flavouring purposes. It is one of the most commonly used herbs for cooking, and the health benefits associated with its usage are abundant.
Turmeric contains curcumin which is rich in antioxidants. This spice/herb also has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antiparasitic properties. It reduces the formation of free radicals and lessens the harmful effects of stress on your body besides lowering the risk of cancer. Additionally, this anti-inflammatory herb eases the aggravation arthritis patients experience in their joints. Lab studies suggest curcumin protects you against high cholesterol and stomach ulcers.
How to dry turmeric?
First, wash the turmeric and then cut it into thin slices. Load the sliced turmeric into your food dehydrator, set it to 1100F and there you go! Check whether the pieces are completely dry. They should snap and crack in half if you try breaking them. You can sun dry turmeric if you live in a place that receives a lot of sunlight.
5. Holy Basil: assist in Fighting Infections and improves Immunity.
Better known as 'Tulsi' in Indian culture, holy basil is a great herbal plant having astounding medicinal qualities. Since it holds a significant place in Indian culture and is perceived as a form of Goddess Laxmi, it is often referred to as "holy basil".
The leaves of the aromatic holy basil are very effective for digestion. They improve your respiratory system, boost immunity and aid in fighting infections. Because of their antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, they are widely used in making ayurvedic medicines.
How to dry holy basil?
If you are growing holy basil in your herb garden and looking for ways to dry them, we suggest you make bundles of the leaves and tie them using some twine. Find a dark and well-ventilated space to hang them upside down. Once the leaves are dehydrated, you can crush and store them in a clean container.
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6. Cayenne Pepper: provides Capsaicin, Which Helps improve Appetite and gives out Anti-Cancer Properties.
Native to Central and South America, Cayenne Pepper is extensively used to spice up several kinds of dishes. It contains Capsaicin, Vitamins C, E & B6, manganese, Potassium, and flavonoids.
Capsaicin offers multiple benefits. It boosts metabolism, clears congestion, and improves heart health. Further, it is anti-inflammatory and effective in easing joint pains. Additionally, Cayenne enhances circulation and aids the digestive process. It promotes the production of digestive fluids and helps improve your appetite.
According to several studies, Capsaicin also can help fight cancer cells in your body. This compound is said to be effective in treating breast, lung, prostate, and colon cancers.
How to dry Cayenne Pepper?
Rinse the peppers and make small slits in each one of them. Spread them on the dehydrator's rack and set the temperature at between 120-1400 F. Using a spatula, turn the peppers every hour to ensure even drying. You can follow the same procedure if you want to dry them in your oven.
You can also dry them outdoors if you are living in a hot climate. Simply slit the peppers on a drying rack in the hot sun, and cover them with a net or cheesecloth to keep insects away.
7. Ginger: helps to Treat Nausea and provides Anti-Inflammatory Properties.
How can you forget ginger when you are going through a herbs list? It should undoubtedly form a part of your herb garden ideas!
Native to Southeast Asia and India, ginger is one of the most widely used herbs for cooking. Most importantly, it effectively reduces nausea or calms an upset stomach. Ginger's anti-inflammatory properties improve digestion while it is a safe and natural remedy for regulating your blood pressure.
How to dry ginger?
The easiest way to dry ginger is to expose it to the Sun. Place it on a tray next to the window that gets plenty of Sun for 4-5 days. You can use a dehydrator or oven for quick drying, but the temperature should not exceed 1500F.
8. Fenugreek: Enhance Blood Sugar Control.
Fenugreek holds a prominent place among the many types of herbs for medicine. Fenugreek seeds have fibre and some chemical compounds that slow down digestion and your body's absorption of sugar and carbohydrates. They also aid insulin release, helping diabetic patients to a large extent. According to studies, consuming 10-15 g of soaked fenugreek seeds daily helps control or regulate type 2 diabetes. When taken as a supplement, researchers say, fenugreek has the potential to reduce fasting glucose.
How to dry fenugreek?
You can easily dry fenugreek at home. Remove all the leaves from the stem and wash them. Spread them on a clean cotton kitchen cloth placed on a tray and pat them dry. Roughly chop the leaves and then cover them with another clean cloth. Keep it in intense sun for 2-3 days.
9. Rosemary: Prevents Allergies and improves Nasal Congestion.
Rosemary is one of the essential types of herbs to grow in your herb garden Singapore.
This herb has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties due to its presence of rosmarinic acid. The acid suppresses allergic immunoglobulin and helps relieve symptoms associated with asthma. This herb can also be used in oil form. When inhaled, it works as an expectorant, easing your nasal congestion. TIt is also said to be effective against allergies, particularly the common cold and flu.
Skinsafe eucalyptus essential oil from Shiora (coming soon) offers relief from common respiratory symptoms, which is a ready alternative to the rosemary herb.
How to dry Rosemary?
To naturally dry Rosemary, make bunches of them, tie them using a string or twine and hang upside down in the sun for three weeks. You can store them in an airtight container once they are completely dry,
Are you living in a cold climate? Preheat your oven to 100C and spread rosemary leaves over baking paper on the baking trays. Bake them until the leaves are fully dry. Allow Rosemary to cool. Remove leaves from the stems, put them in containers and store in a dark place.
10. Garlic: assists in fighting Sickness and Enhance Heart Health.
This is one of the most commonly found types of herbs. Garlic has allicin, a bioactive antibiotic that fights sickness and infections. In fact, garlic extracts can control the growth of numerous bacteria, fungi and protozoa elements. Consuming two garlic cloves daily can protect you against common respiratory illnesses while boosting your immune system.
Garlic/garlic supplements can lower blood pressure. Researches also prove that this fantastic spice lowers LDL and total cholesterol by 10-15 per cent, thus boosting your heart health.
How to dry garlic?
Hang the garlic bunches in a warm, dry and well-ventilated place. You can also spread them on a rack and place them under the Sun for 3-4 weeks. Trim the roots before storing them in a cool, dark place. You can alternatively dry garlic using your food dehydrator.
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