How to collect and dry herbs?
If you prefer to treat themselves with herbs than swallowing pills, you might want to learn to collect and dry. Summer is a good time to enrich the herbal medicine cabinet.
Note! Drying allows you to disable (inactivate) enzymes by the evaporation of water from plants and thus for months they do not lose their medicinal properties. Only infusion of dried resumes active substances.
When is the best to gather herbs?
Top collect them in late spring and throughout the summer. Search their only clean places, away from busy roads, cities, factories and crops that are fed with artificial fertilizers or spraying.
Note! Herbs collect into a flat basket or a breathable bag. Avoid plastic bags for it, because they do not breathe and cause the infusion of the plant, and then they lose their beneficial properties.
What parts of herbs collect?
Depending on the type of herbs you can pluck the whole herb, the same leaves, flowers or seeds. Leaves collect young, even before flowering plants, because then they are most valuable.
Note! Choose only those green and healthy, with no spots and raids.
Flowers break up or at the beginning of flowering (eg doctors dandelion, chamomile), either in full bloom (cornflower, mullein). Some herb cuts in its entirety, in full flower, or at a time when their fruits are formed (eg violet tricolor, thyme, allseed). Shear them over woody part of the stem.
Note! For a collection of seeds and fruit decide only when they are mature (wild rose, cumin, coriander, black cumin, hawthorn).
When you pluck herbs?
Note! Any herbs you collected, they should be dry, because wet rot easily, moldy and dark. Why not choose the best in the middle of a sunny day, when the morning dew had already of them dry.
Plants must also be reasonably clean. Shaking it with sand, dirt and dust, and loose cable in the basket.
How to dry herbs?
Herb should not be dried in bundles, because the compressed may rot or mold. Scatter them (like leaves and flowers) freely on paper, canvas or wooden pastry board, covered with gauze.
Note! Select airy place, would not "suffocate".
Fruits should be dried in a special oven or heated to 30 ° C oven for at repealed the door (if necessary, this method can also be used to formulate the whole herb leaves and flowers).
Note! Properly dried herbs will have a natural color (should be black), the leaves can be crushed but the stem is not.
Where to keep the herbs?
The best will be cardboard or wooden boxes or jars of dark glass. They should be tightly closed so that the herbs did not damp or absorb any odors.
Note! Herbs should not be stored for more than a year, because over time they lose their valuable properties. Especially those that contain rapidly weathering essential oils such as lemon balm, mint or sage.
You can stick them separately or at once to prepare them therapeutic compounds. For containers with herbs should attach a label, because sometimes the wrong tea drinking may harm rather than help.
Do herbs can harm?
For herbs must be careful people suffering from cancer, because they too strongly influence the exhausted body treatments, as well as inhibit the action of certain drugs.
In pregnant women, some medicinal plants can cause cramps or suppress immune tolerance to the fetus (echinacea, yarrow, juniper, rue).
Do not use herbs if:
- taking steroid drugs (herbs inhibit their action);
- antifungal drugs, or anti-arrhythmic (can damage the liver).
Note! Do not drink without consulting your doctor infusions of digitalis and lily of the valley, because they can cause dangerous slow heartbeat and circulation stop.All herbs drink in moderation - no more than 2 cups a day, because overdose can at best lead to nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.