Powdered herbs are simply whole herbs that have been ground into a fine powder. You can powder the herbs yourself at home or purchase them already powdered. There are benefits and drawbacks to both of these methods. Herbs can easily be powdered at home with a spice or coffee grinder, or in a mortar and pestle if you have a bit of nostalgia in you. The benefit of this is that they will be very fresh and potent, since the more the herb is exposed to air and light once it is powdered, the more quickly it will lose potency.
If you are new to powdered herbs, consider trying one of these preparations. These are all rather simple and really allow the character of the herb to shine.
1) Food preparations: Powdered herbs can be added to smoothies, sauces, spreads, and even cookies.
2) Capsules: Encapsulating your own powdered herbs at home does take time and patience, or a special encapsulator that makes the job easier. However, when you do it yourself, you can then be certain that the contents of the capsule are 100% herb and no filler. These capsules can then be taken with liquid to consume the whole herb.
3) Electuaries: When powdered herbs are mixed with honey or glycerine until a paste forms, an electuary has been made! These can be thick or thin, but the thicker the electuary, the more potent and herbal-tasting it will be. This is a good preparation for children, since the sweet taste of honey and glycerine will help the medicine go down.
4) Pastilles: When a thick electuary has been rolled into small individually-dosed balls, pastilles have been made. These are a good preparation when an herb is best taken slowly, like for a sore throat or tummy ache. Powdered slippery elm bark or marshmallow root are often made into sore throat pastilles with honey.
5) Poultice: A poultice can be made with an herbal powder and liquid (usually water) to form a paste which is then applied topically to the skin. Poultices are beneficial for skin conditions, like with the herb plantain. See?
These five preparations aren't complicated at all! Powdered herbs can be very beneficial when used in one of these ways.