If you have collected fresh medicinal plants and herbs it is time to dry them. How can we do it at home? Guide to get it easily step by step.
After collecting the medicinal plants or medicinal herbs comes the drying process, in case we were not going to prepare the home remedies with fresh plant or herb. On this occasion we provide you with the steps and instructions to carry out a perfect drying so that you always have medicinal plants at hand and prepare our home remedies.
Since ancient times and in many cultures medicinal plants were used to cure and treat many ailments. Before starting the drying process, we must bear in mind that some plants dry sooner than others and that the humidity of the environment will also depend on it.
To dry the plants, the surface on which we put them to dry is also important since it will be better to do it on metal racks, so the air will circulate well and drying will be faster.
If you don’t have racks, you may have your refrigerator racks on hand. It is also important for a good drying, to observe how the process is going, to look at them from time to time, to turn them over so that they dry well on all sides.
It is easier to dry the leaves and stems than the roots, since this part of the plants is the one that stores the most moisture and to which it usually has dirt that we must wash or brush so that no remains are left.
The best way to dry the roots once we have washed them and stripped them of the remains of earth is to cut them into small wheels, especially if they are thick roots. By cutting them into small wheels, the drying process will be faster.
How to dry medicinal plants step by step:
Carrying out the drying process of medicinal plants is very simple, we only need first of all and very important, to know the medicinal plant that we are going to dry, a well-sharpened scissors or knife and a metal rack.
To dry the aerial parts of medicinal plants, flowers, leaves, stems, we will follow these simple steps.
- The knife or scissors that we are going to use to cut must be well sharpened, in this way we will prevent the part of the plant that we are going to cut from tearing.
- We will carefully separate both the flowers and the leaves from the stem; we will cut all the aerial parts of the medicinal plant, flowers, and leaves, that we are interested in drying.
- If we are interested in drying only the stem and not the other parts, we will keep only the stem for drying.
- The parts that we have chosen or that we are interested in drying, we spread it well on a metal grid and separating well from each other.
- Then we put them to dry in the sun, and in a warm place, preserved from moisture.
- When we notice that when we touch them they have already acquired a brittle texture, the drying is ready.
Roots and rootlets drying
Before extracting the roots for drying, we must bear in mind that the leaves of the plant are not in their development moment since at that time the active principles are not at their maximum value.
- In the event that we are interested in drying the roots and roots of the plant, we must make sure that we completely extract the root from the earth so that the root does not break.
- Once the root and roots have been extracted, before drying, we must clean them well.
- If we have extracted the root from dry soil by shaking it well and scraping it a little, it will be in good condition for drying.
- On the other hand, if we extract them in humid or muddy terrain, it is best to wash them well with plenty of cold water.
- Once they are clean we will proceed to cut and dry them.
- To dry the roots that are thick we can cut them into wheels or cut them into strips of about 5 or 6 centimeters and lengthwise.
- Once cut, we spread them well on a metal grid and put them in the sun to dry.
- We will have the roots in the sun for approximately 10 or 15 days and we will turn it over from time to time.
- We will clean the finest roots and spread them on an uncut metal grid.
- Drying time will be the same as for thick roots.
- With the roots or small roots we will do the same, we shake them well or wash them depending on how dry or wet the soil is.
- Then we put them on the metal rack leaving space between them and we put them to dry in the sun for 10 days.
- The roots can also be dried attached by ropes or threads individually, one by one, in a warm place or in the sun.
- During this process we must control how the drying is going and turn them over.
- Once we have the parts of the plant that we have chosen to dry, dry, we have them ready to store and preserve them.
- We can keep them in dry and tightly closed containers; we will do this process very carefully to prevent them from breaking easily.
- We will store the containers in a dry place, without direct light reaching it and well ventilated. We can keep them for up to one year.
- It is also important to know when keeping them once dry if the plant that we have chosen to dry contains essential oils in its active ingredients. In the case of containing essential oils, we will keep them in plastic bags instead of containers.
- The days that we have been advised for drying are indicative, we must take into account turning them over from time to time and see if the indicated time is enough or on the contrary they need less or more drying time.