If you regularly use medicinal plants and herbs, did you know that you can easily collect them too? We explain when is the best time and how.
Collecting herbs and medicinal plants, an activity that is very entertaining and pleasant, especially if you are passionate about nature and the natural remedies that Mother Nature offers us through many herbs and medicinal plants.
Whether we grow them at home, in our garden or if we go to the mountains in search of them, it is quite an entertaining activity.
Before dedicating yourself to cultivating medicinal plants or collecting them in the bush, it is very important to know them, to know what each medicinal plant contains in its biochemical composition, since the active principles appear in different concentrations depending on the time of day, month and cycle vegetative, the climate is another aspect to take into account in this process.
When is the best time to collect medicinal plants?
The active principles are found in greater proportion in the plants in the morning. When collecting them, we must do so at the end of the active growth period of the plants since it is at this time when the active principles are in greater concentration.
To collect leaves the best time is before flowering. In the case of collecting the flowers, at the same time of flowering. We will collect the fruits when they are ripe.
For the roots, rhizomes, bulbs, or tubers we will harvest in autumn or early winter.
As we have indicated previously, another important aspect is the climate, therefore we must take it into account these tips that we cite below:
- We must avoid collecting medicinal plants on rainy days, since some plants, especially those with thick leaves, retain moisture and this can favor the appearance of mold.
- It is also not advisable to collect them when there is fog or humidity.
- The days when it is very hot are not ideal for picking medicinal plants either, because with the heat the essential oils contained in the medicinal plant in the leaves disappear and become volatile.
In nature there are many species of herbs and medicinal plants, but not all are available at the same time of year.
When we go to collect only the leaves of the medicinal plant because it is what we are interested in drying at that time, we will choose the greenest leaves, we will do the same for the other parts of the plant that interest us.
How to collect medicinal plants and herbs?
When cutting the parts of the plant we must take into account that the tool with which we are going to cut it, either a knife or scissors, is well sharp.
In this way we will make a clean cut without producing tears, in this way we will avoid damaging the plant, since by damaging it we would delay its growth period or the plant could be affected by fungi or insects when they get into the badly cut area.
If we are going to collect medicinal plants in the mountains, fields, or roads, we must take into account where we do it, check first that they are not contaminated areas; for example, do not collect them on the edge of roads or highways where there is an influx of traffic.
Also check that the land where we are going to collect them has not been fertilized with chemical compounds or treated with them, these compounds will remain in the plants and will then be passed to the infusions or decoctions that we prepare with them.
The most appropriate place is in the bush, mountains, or forests away from possible contamination. Once we have collected them we will try not to pile them up so that they do not spoil.
Then we will clean them well of soil, weeds, rootlets if we are not interested in the small roots, and once they are clean we will proceed to carry out the process of drying and conserving the herbs and medicinal plants.