Messages: 32 Date of registration: 2013-06-12
Collection and storage of medicinal plants
For the medical (medical) purposes collect:
Flowers, leaves, fruits, seeds, buds, bark, grass (stems with leaves and flowers), roots.
Roots and rhizomes
- When collecting medicinal raw materials, it is necessary to select parts of plants of the same size and age, and immediately reject parts that are underdeveloped or damaged by insects, fungi and other diseases.
- From plants in which the stems are hard (succession, meadowsweet, etc.), the leaves and flowering tops are collected separately.
- In small shrubs (lingonberries, bearberry), first cut off the aerial part, then dry, and only then cut off the leaves and flowers.
- Annual plants with a very weak root system (dried marsh) or, on the contrary, with sufficiently developed, thick roots containing many active substances (dandelion, celandine), are harvested in their entirety (grass together with the underground part).
- Herbs that have a lot of stems (thyme, oregano, St. John’s wort), after drying, thresh, and throw away the stems.
Proper drying of medicinal herbs
- Freshly harvested plants for a long time to keep in bags or heaps – it is impossible, otherwise they will become unsuitable for further processing.
- Those medicinal plants that grow under the forest canopy can not be dried in the sun, because in this case they will lose their natural color and a significant amount of active substances. In the sun, they can only be slightly worn, and then be sure to move into the shade (under the canopy) for final drying. The room should be well ventilated.
- You can not dry poisonous plants in the same room with non-toxic;
- You can not dry the roots and rhizomes without odor, along with those that have a strong peculiar smell.
- Dried medicinal plants containing essential oils should be stored in glass or ceramic jars, and those that do not contain essential oils – in wooden cloth bags made of natural fabric in cool, well-ventilated rooms. The shelf life depends on the type of raw materials and plants and usually ranges from a year to several years.
Properly dried plant parts should have the following characteristics:
- Flowers: should be tough to the touch, and with a light touch, disintegrate into its component parts (do not crumble!), The initial color is only slightly darker;
- The leaves should be twisted, easy to crumble, the color, as a rule, remains unchanged;
- The roots and rhizomes should be strongly shriveled, easy to break when trying to bend them; thick roots and rhizomes should break badly, and if broken, they should crack, giving off white dust;
- Fruits, like roots, must be strongly shriveled, darkened; do not paint the hands when squeezed, and the seeds are easy to crumble;
- The bark and kidneys after drying practically do not change. When bent, the bark should break easily and with a bang, and the kidneys crush when squeezed.
Precautions when collecting and processing poisonous medicinal plants
- Such plants as lily of the valley, wild rosemary, celandine and others are poisonous, therefore, collecting them by hand, you can not touch the mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, nose), as well as take food without thoroughly washing hands and face with soap.
- Dried poisonous plants need to be processed in such clothing, which will exclude the ingress of crushed plant parts on the skin and mucous membranes of the body. Also, wear gloves and goggles.