How to prepare herbs for winter?
If you prefer to treat themselves with herbs than swallow pills, it should 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 brew dried resumes active substances.
When is the best gather herbs?
Best to collect them in late spring and throughout the summer. Search their only clean place, away from busy roads, cities, factories and crops that are fed with artificial fertilizers or spraying.
Note! Herbs collect a flat basket or a breathable bag. Avoid plastic bags is 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 kind of herbs can break the whole herb leaves themselves, 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. Nuns doctors, chamomile), or in full bloom (cornflower, mullein). Some herb cuts in its entirety, in full flower, or at a time when the fruits are formed (eg. Heartsease, thyme, knot-grass). Shear them over woody part of the stem.
Note! On the set of seed and fruit decide only when they are mature (wild rose, cumin, coriander, black cumin, hawthorn).
When you pluck herbs?
Note! Any herbs you gather, they should be dry, because wet rot easily, moldy and dark. Therefore, select the following is not 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 cover up mold. Scatter them (like leaves and flowers) freely on paper, canvas or wooden pastry board, covered with gauze.
Note! Select airy place, would not "strangled".
Fruits should be dried in a special oven or heated to 30 degrees. C oven when the repealed door (if necessary, this method can also be used for preparation of the whole herb, leaves and flowers).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 herbs?
The best will be cardboard or wooden boxes or jars of dark glass. They should be tightly closed so that no moist herbs 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 keep them separately or at once to prepare them medicinal mixture. For containers with herbs should attach a label, because sometimes the wrong tea drinking can harm rather than help.
Are 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 (coneflower, yarrow, juniper, rue).
Do not use herbs if:
- taking steroid medicines (herbs inhibit their action);
- eki antifungal 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.
Some herbs can be toxic. Jimsonweed, sage bard or henbane raise blood pressure, impair heart function and can lead to disturbances of consciousness and even coma.
All herbs drink in moderation - no more than 2 cups a day, because overdose can at best cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.