- Making medicine from herbs. Where do we start? First you will need the herb. You can grow your, find them in the wild, own or even purchase online or locally. Just a word about wildcrafting. Take just enough and leave at least 90% to keep the species growing. many wonderful herbs have been over harvested and are now at risk for extinction.
- Dig roots of biennial plants in the fall of the first year or the spring of the second year.
- Dig roots of perennial plants in the late fall after 2-3 years of growth.
- Annuals should be dug in the early spring.
- If not used for an extraction right away the roots will need to be dried.
- When preparing roots for drying cut in such a way as to expose a large surface are.
- Harvest stems prior to flowering.
- Harvest bark in the early spring.
- Harvest leaves prior to flowering. Exception is ginkgo – they should be turning yellow.
- Biennial leaves should be harvested in the spring of the second year.
- Harvest flower just before fully developed and berries just before ripening.
- Seeds are harvested when fully ripe.
- Saps and pitches should be harvested in late winter or early spring.
Once you have your herbs you will need to process right away or dry them. Don’t dry too quickly or it will destroy the goodness in the herb. 85-100 degrees is the temperature needed. They can be hung in bunches or placed on drying rack.
Many ways of using herbs:
- Freshest is bestest
- Infusions and decoctions
- Baths, poultices, compresses
http://www.searchherbalremedy.com/ A great site to quickly look up what herb for what problem.