people who enjoy making their own herbal preparations usually find pleasure gather their herbs in the wild. If you have access to land gases away from the road and agricultural chemicals, you can be found many of the medicinal herbs used in that place. banana leaves for insect bites, burdock leaves for burns, black walnut hulls for parasites and fungi, weeds or the jewel of poison ivy are just a few examples of herbs that have harvested from the wild. However, wildcrafting herbs requires technical knowledge, care for the environment, and processing and proper storage of herbs once you bring them home.
Get knowledge of herbs
Before harvesting and ingesting any herbs, you should know what you are picking. A lot of poisonous plants resemble herbs you may want to collect; and the harvest of bad things could be disastrous. For example, Devil Cane berries have been confused with the common elderberry; however, they are poisonous. Buying a pair of field guides. My favorite is Peterson Field Guide to medicinal plants and herbs by Steven Foster and James A. Duke. The images are especially useful; but it is also necessary to read the descriptions of the plants. It is best to consult more than one book if you are unsure. My favorite way to learn to identify new things, however, is to ask someone to show you. A person who has been wildcrafting long not only show you what plants look like, but also where to find them.
Once you are sure you have the right plant, there are some methods to follow in collecting samples. First, you want to harvest your herbs at the right time of the year. If you are picking flowers or aerial parts, which contain most of its medicinal properties in the spring and summer. If you are collecting fruits or berries, of course, you have to go when the plant is producing the fruit. But if you are gathering the roots or bark, which will do everything possible to get them in the fall after the plant sending all its energy for flowers and fruits is done.
Then make sure that there are many of the same plants in the area that is harvested. Many medicinal herbs are in danger of extinction due to overexploitation. Never take the only plant that looks. If no other plants at least 3-5, keep looking. Just collect material from healthy-looking plants that are free of insects and their damage or disease. Bring in an open basket or a cotton bag to avoid damaging them; and use sharp scissors or a knife to prevent damage to plants. Finally, label the samples to avoid confusion in the future.
If you are digging roots in the fall, plant the seeds that may still be clinging to the top of the dry flower in the hole you dig to remove the root. This will encourage more plants to arrive in the spring. At harvest the bark, never cut a ring around a tree trunk or branch. plant nutrients travel to the trunk or stem and leaves would cut the way for these nutrients. Just cut strips along a branch. If you need a lot of bark, just cut a branch of the tree and take it all bark.
Proper storage of herbs
Once home with their generosity, which wants to ensure that store herbs properly to avoid spoilage. If picked to make tinctures , by all means make the tincture while herbs are fresh. If you need to dry them for storage, make sure it does not store the herbs with moisture still in them. That will make it spoil. In addition, stored covered in amber glass jars in a cool place. Heat and light will cause them to lose their medicinal properties. Stored in this way, herbs can be maintained for approximately 12 months after harvest. You can also choose to freeze your herbs in plastic bags with zipper closure. They can be kept in the freezer for 6 months. Also, remember to label and date all containers.
Wild plants offer a free source of drugs for the individual herbs mind. They also have higher concentrations of active ingredients than their cultivated counterparts because they are growing in their preferred environment. So I encourage you to try the art of herbs wildcrafting.
Photo by cachemania
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