Harvesting of medicinal plants
Nature took care of us by giving many different medicinal plants . including vegetables. They are close to the person. We learned to grow and prepare for the future.
When summer in the gardens and orchards there is an active harvesting. But not too late to think about harvesting medicinal plants.
Medicinal value of herbal raw materials is determined by the amount of the contained biologically active substances. Therefore, it is extremely important to the proper conduct of procurement process of raw materials, starting with harvesting and ending with the organization of proper storage.
Before proceeding to the collection of medicinal plants, it is necessary to know the rules of harvesting herbal raw material and strictly adhere to them:
you must accurately determine the type of plants that must be collected;
it is important to know what part of the plant, in which phase of development (SAP flow, flowering, etc.) and how to harvest;
when harvesting annual crops it is necessary to leave some of them untouched for seeding. In the harvesting of perennial plants should be left the root system, parts of plants and separate plants entirely — for vegetative and seed reproduction. In one area the harvesting of this rasterimage to repeat only a few years;
raw material should be carried out only in dry clear weather, and at certain hours of the day, depending on plant species;
you cannot collect too much dust or contaminated aboveground parts of the plant: roadways, near industrial enterprises, etc.;
freshly picked plants are not recommended for tight stuff in containers, as raw materials samosogrevaetsya, compressed, loses the inherent smell and color of the plant and becomes unfit for medicinal use;
do not fold in one container of different kinds of plants, since they can manifest negative or positive interaction.
The collection of the kidneys.
Kidneys harvested in early spring, when they swell, but covering the scales have not yet dispersed. The collection is stopped, when the buds begin to unfold. Technique: most often young twigs with buds (birch, aspen, poplar) is cut, and it is better to harvest during the harvesting, tied into brooms and dried at a temperature not exceeding 30°C. After drying, they are threshed and passed through a special sieve to free from bark, earrings, remnants of twigs. Pine buds, sitting at the ends of branches several pieces, cut with scissors with small areas of twigs.
The collection of bark.
The bark is harvested during the growing season, with young branches in early spring, before leafing. With a knife make deep circular cuts at a distance of 30 cm from each other and then connect them one or two longitudinal cuts, after which the bark is easily removed.
The collection of leaves.
The leaves are harvested during budding and full flowering plants (except leaves mother and stepmother, which is harvested after flowering), some plants (lungwort, plantain) leaves are harvested throughout the summer. Leaf collection is made by hand, rarely cut with a knife or scissors. It is impossible to prepare heavily soiled, wilted, yellowed or turned brown, infested by insects the leaves. Nettle leaves, mint, bearberry harvested in the following way: cut the whole plant, slightly dried, pluck the leaves and dried. Leaves mother and stepmother are harvested when they are still relatively small and the upper side is almost bare. Very young leaves with pubescence on both sides, should not be collected.
The word “grass” means the aboveground part of plants, mainly flowering tops and leaves. The grass most of the plants are harvested during flowering, cutting off at a distance of 15-20 cm from the top. At the beginning of flowering collect grass centaury, wormwood, motherwort. During budding collect grass series.
The collection of flowers.
The flowers are harvested in early flowering, immediately after blooming, during blooming period, with the exception of hawthorn and inflorescences of most species of the family Asteraceae (Helichrysum, tansy, yarrow, etc.), which produce up to their full blooming. Taking into account the biological features and chemical composition of raw materials determined the optimal drying conditions for each type or group of medicinal raw materials, providing maximum preservation of active ingredients during the drying process and during storage of dried raw material.
During the drying of medicinal raw materials it is necessary to maintain certain temperature:
– raw materials containing balsams and essential oils, dried at a temperature of 25-30°C;
– raw materials that contain gum and mucilage, — at 30-40°C;
– raw materials containing alkaloids, 40-60°C;
– raw materials containing glycosides, — at 50-60°C;
raw materials containing ascorbic acid at 80-90°C.
Raw material is spread in a thin layer and drying it periodically tossing 1-2 times a day.
Raw materials containing essential oils, put a thicker layer, placed on the lower tiers of the racks in the drying process do not mix. Drying should lead to the complete drying of all parts of the plant.