Collection, drying and storage of herbs
In one of the meetings of “Ishkashim Volunteers School” the intricacies of herbal medicine, its rules and traditions of collecting, drying and storage conditions in the Pamirs, were discussed.
In the following text some points of the outcome of the discussion can be found.
– Before heading to the collection of plants, it is necessary to wash yourself and put clean clothes on.
– Reaching the place where the required plants are picked, one needs to greet nature, ask the herbs for their help in healing diseases, and apologize for bringing them harm.
– It is not recommended to collect plants near buildings, in towns, inside a city, near roads, in or around landfills etc.
– It is not recommended to collect herbs during wet weather with high precipitation.
– Flowers and petals are best collected between 7 and 11 am during a period of full moon (biologically active substances at this time rise from bottom to top the top of the plant).
– Roots are best collected between 4 and 6 pm, and during the start of a new moon as well as in fall and spring (BAS concentrated in the roots).
– Fruits and seeds should be collected only when they are ripe.
– Buds and bark is to be collected in spring.
– Roots need to be dug up by shovel, then washed in cold water and chop up to a length of 3 cm.
– Flowers, petals, stems, fruits and seeds are to be collected manually or with scissors.
– Optimal temperature for drying plants is between 40 and 60 ° C. In the absence of a drying machine, fruits, roots and bark can be dried in warm weather under direct sunlight. Flowers, petals, stems and buds are to be dried in a shady place with good ventilation.
– Dried herbs should be kept away from moisture.
– They should be kept in a well aired room in paper, wood or glass packages. Always give an indication about when the herb was collected on the packaging.
– Flowers, petals and buds are stored from 1 to 2 years.
– Fruits are stored from 2 to 3 years.
– Roots and bark are stored from 3 to 5 years.