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Are Herbs in Vinegar Shelf-Stable? How Is Their Potency?  RSS feed

 
Nicole Alderman
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Erica (or anyone else)!

I’ve started making hair rinses with herbs like rosemary (for dandruff), horsetail (strengthening), chamomile (I read about it in your book, Erica!) and nasturtium (for hair growth) immersed in apple cider vinegar. Is this shelf stable? For how long?

Also, does the potency of the herb’s properties increase, decrease or stay the same over time?

Also, are the herbs more potent in a hair rinse tea made in water, or in vinegar?

I guess what I’m really asking is, how do I get the best “bang for my buck” from my herbs in terms of shelf-stability and potency.

Thank you so much!
 
Erica Strauss
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Erica (or anyone else)!

I’ve started making hair rinses with herbs like rosemary (for dandruff), horsetail (strengthening), chamomile (I read about it in your book, Erica!) and nasturtium (for hair growth) immersed in apple cider vinegar. Is this shelf stable? For how long?

Also, does the potency of the herb’s properties increase, decrease or stay the same over time?

Also, are the herbs more potent in a hair rinse tea made in water, or in vinegar?

I guess what I’m really asking is, how do I get the best “bang for my buck” from my herbs in terms of shelf-stability and potency.

Thank you so much!

Hi Nicole.

Yes, herbs in 100% vinegar are shelf stable. You should have no problem storing an herb vinegar for 3-6 months. If you refrigerate the vinegar, I'd expect an 8-12 month shelf life. Flavor extraction is highest after about 3 to 4 weeks. What you want to watch out for are signs of mold or fermentation - if you see anything like this, toss the infusion. These are very unlikely with well-dried herbs (and I mean here fresh herbs without any trace of moisture on them, not necessarily dehydrated herbs. Important safety note: the above does NOT apply to herbs infused in oil. Only vinegar.

It sounds like what you are asking about is more for body care though. Herbs infused in water will tend to mold or get icky faster than ones in vinegar. Vinegar is very good for haircare as an after shampooing rinse. I add citric acid to my hair rinse, but an herbal vinegar rinse is a great option too.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Ooooh! This is so great to know!

As for the well-dried part, is that because the additional water reduces the acidity of the vinegar? Or some other reason? My first attempt was a small batch in already slightly diluted ACV. Knowing what I now know, I'll make it in pure apple cider vinegar. Aaaaand, since the flavor (and maybe other qualities?) of the herbs is best after 3-4 weeks, I can make the batch now and let it sit while I use up my first experiment.

I actually read about you using citric acid in your rinse (I'm one of the lucky ladies that won it from you on facebook ), but went with the vinegar because I battle dandruff and psoriasis and the apple cider vinegar really seems to help with that.

Is there a reason you use the citric acid instead of vinegar?

(Speaking of citric acid, thank you for introducing me to it's wonders via your book--I just ordered some on amazon and look forward to using it to clean my toilets and the rest of my house! You've got me all excited about cleaning, and that's quite a feat. Thank you!)
 
Mike Harmon
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Keep in mind the strength of the vinager and also keep all herbs under it or after a while the vinager will dry and the herb will start molding. The same goes for foods in the icebox. If they stick up out of the canning liquid they will be the first to mold and cause loss of the whole container. Using 5% I think is the strongest though I am not for certain. To add acidity lemon juice works I am told.
 
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