Introduction: Collecting and Drying Wild Herbal Remedies

How to find and store herbal remedies.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Find out what plants grow in your area, and what locations to search for them.

Step 2: Have a Bag for Your Collection

I carry a small spade, and some zip-lock baggies.

Step 3: Locate Your Medicinals

Go for a walk around your neighborhood. You'll be surprised how many plants you think of as weeds, actually have beneficial medicinal purposes, and aren't eyesores to be eradicated.

If you're going to be picking for medicinal uses, please do it away from traffic or pollution. You want the most natural herbs available. In other words, don't pick on the side of the highway, or street. Get into a local park, the countryside, a friend's land, or a wilderness area.

A few of the local plants I was able to identify and gather are:

Yarrow

Mugwort

Fireweed

Wild Chamomile

White Clover

Red Clover

Step 4: Dry Your Harvest

The best way to dry your wild medicinals is slowly and naturally. Unfortunately not everyone has the room or time to do the best job. That said, even fast dried medicinal plants have their uses.

When using a dehydrator, follow the instructions for that make and model.

Step 5: Store Your Medicinals

You can store your herbs in mason jars.

Step 6: Links to More

Comments

author
-Flow- made it!(author)2016-09-27

Wow. I'm jealous. How pro.

author
PaulGetson made it!(author)2016-09-01

Someone just recently posted this Instructable for a large solar dehydrator. This would work well in dehydrating medicinal herbs.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Heated-Large...

author
soapmakingmom made it!(author)2016-08-26

Nice pretties! Another tip for newbs would be to not gather from the side of the road due to exhaust and other pollutants. :) Happy foraging!

author
PaulGetson made it!(author)2016-08-26

Yes, good advice. I was thinking of that and will add it in an edit.

I gathered some mine on the plateau overlooking town ... mind you that's also the area around the airport. Not a busy airport, but we do have a few dozen jets a day taking off from there.

Locally, we have areas where man may have never trod, or may have only been past that location many years previously, and that's just in the city limits. Wilderness city to the max.

author
jessyratfink made it!(author)2016-08-26

Look at all those goodies! I live in the Rockies and have been meaning to do this, we have so many medicinal plants around. This ible is a good reminder. :D

author
deankosmac made it!(author)2016-08-25

Nice work collecting the herbs! I would suggest drying them without using dehydrator (the heat is causing evaporation and breaking apart some alkaloids and essential oils). I personally use mosquito net stretched out on a woden frame - that way air is circulating all around. Drying proces is normally 7 days in a dark room with 21°C - shorter drying in my experience lead to worse taste. For really intense flavor i would recommend curing the herbs in glass jars.

author
PaulGetson made it!(author)2016-08-25

Thank you for the advice on drying the herbs. I would like to dry them that way, but with limited space and time, I decided to use the dehydrator. It's still better than nothing, but I will keep that consideration in mind in the future.

By using the timer and doing shorter periods of heat, I'm hoping to limited the loss of effectiveness of the herbs.

author
deankosmac made it!(author)2016-08-26

Actually I would dis-advise longer exposures to heat, if you must use heat do it fast! It's like pressure cooking - cooking on higher temperature (110°C instead of 100°C) with slower cooking time preserves more vitamins in the food!

author
PaulGetson made it!(author)2016-08-26

Thank you.

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