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Fulgour
20-01-2005, 20:04
Drying Herbs & Flowers

How would someone from the Middle Ages up to the 1800s
and even today, using traditional methods, dry their herbs?

Drying Flowers (image)
http://www.gardenguides.com/TipsandTechniques/dryingflowers.jpg

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I ask because I think that in the Tarot of Marseilles the images
were intended to show cut flowers hanging upside down to dry.

4 of Swords, Tarot of Marseilles
http://www.tarotforum.net/attachment.php?s=&attachmentid=2409

6 of Swords, Tarot of Marseilles
http://www.tarotforum.net/attachment.php?s=&attachmentid=2444

1760 Nicolas Conver carved pear wood printing plate,
clearly showing (unmistakably) that the flowers hang:

http://www.camoin.com/en/conver/moules/moule_conver_10.asp

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Articles on Drying Herbs and Flowers

http://www.herbs2000.com/h_menu/1_garden_dry.htm

http://indianspringherbs.com/DryingHerbs.htm

http://www.motherearthnews.com/arc/1800/

Majecot
21-01-2005, 03:07
Those are some interesting articles Fulgour thank you.
I haven't dried any herbs or flowers since my kids were small. I used to have a large vegetable garden in those days, and canned all of my vegetables as well as drying some herbs.

I lived in an old house that actually had a root celler in which I kept my canned goods. But as for drying, I bundled them up the old fashioned way and hung them upside down.
My mother being from the south and a farmer had taught me the "proper way" of drying herbs and flowers. I never realized there was another method.
I had always invisigned large warehouses of herbs and flowers hanging upside down for commerical use. It kind of takes the romance out of it, reading how it is done on a large scale.

The food dehydrator was real popular in our house too. Dried fruit was a biggy for the kids.

I do see what you mean about the printing plate showing the plants upside down.

Fulgour
21-01-2005, 04:28
"Drying" herbs heightens the essential extracts available,
and preserves flowers, though I've read that it highlights
any imperfections. What an interesting twist on the some
of the meanings for Swords, cutting but harvesting too,
and all depending on Air ~ it makes me think of Memory.

TemperanceAngel
21-01-2005, 08:04
In my Herbal Preparation class at College this is how we learnt to dry herbs:

Get a clothes horse and a flat piece of wood to make a shelf or shelves (depending on how many herbs you have) and place fly wire or something similar over it. Place the herbs on that so they are spread out and not on top of each other. Leave them in a cool dark and do not cover them.

Easy and effective! Can be done at home if you have the room to leave a clothes horse out (shed's are great!)

Michelle
22-01-2005, 08:17
Hi Fulgour ~

Thank you for this information . I planted sage and lavender last spring and was wondering how to dry them . Now I know :).

I'm going to have to visit this board more often .

Mayet
18-02-2005, 16:34
Most of my herbs for medicinal use I cultivate after midnight before the sun rises, I find the potency at it's full strength at that time. Except if I am using the roots of the plant then I will cultivate that in the afternoon.

To dry I tie them in a bunch and hang them upside down in a dark pantry cupboard that is well ventilated. I have used drying trays but I prefer the upside down methos myself, it just feels and acts "right'

When completely dry I store them in dark glass jars and put them in the same dark cupboard. Some herbs can be kry-vac packed and vacuum sealed but I feel fresh is best. I try not to pre cut to many herbs and usually only harvest what I will be using in the next month.

Tarotphelia
18-02-2005, 17:04
I ask because I think that in the Tarot of Marseilles the images were intended to show cut flowers hanging upside down to dry.

Very interesting Mr. Fulgour ! Perhaps if you can identify the flowers, and whatever medicinal use or general symbolic floral meanings they had , there might be a link to actual pip card meanings. Which could raise the question of whether the cards might have been used to diagnose illness and treatment.

Diana
18-02-2005, 17:22
Perhaps if you can identify the flowers, and whatever medicinal use or general symbolic floral meanings they had , there might be a link to actual pip card meanings. Which could raise the question of whether the cards might have been used to diagnose illness and treatment.

This has already been done by Alain Bocher http://alain.bocher.chez.tiscali.fr/ and he did extensive research about this. (For the Nicolas Conver deck - that is the one he uses and specialises in.) His writings are in French (at present).