TIPS ON HOW TO PROCESS HERBS
The time to process herbs shouldn’t be protracted. It’s always better to chop plants immediately after the collection and about 5-10 mm long. The chopping will stop life processes, which will help to keep all the important active components of an herb, furthermore, it’s easier to dry and dose chopped herbs.
Use sieve for drying the herbs, you can set one sieve above another. It’s better to lie out the chopped herbs in layers; each layer should be no more than 10 mm in thickness. Stir them once in 24 hours. Dry herbs in a dry place avoiding direct sunlight. Ultraviolet energy decomposes molecules, destroying biologically active substances.
The optimum drying temperature is 40-50 degrees Celsius. Plants, which contain essential oils, should be dried at a temperature of 30-35 degrees Celsius. Such plants as chamomile, cat's paw (Anigozanthos), and strawflower are better to dry in the cool place. But some people say that drying in the cold is also possible.
The plant is considered to be dry when it’s losing its elasticity and gets broken while bending, does not bend.
When the medicinal herb is ready to be used it becomes a medicinal remedy. It is called “raw staff” in the drugstore. It’s recommended to store such medicinal herbs in the glass or chinaware, paper bags, cardboard boxes or in canvas bags. Plastic bags are not recommended. Even though the plant is dried, it still needs to “breathe”. Herbs may become damp or lose flavor in plastic bags. Avoid sudden temperature changes, especially from plus to minus and vice versa. Such changes condense moisture, lead to the loss of taste, aroma and appearance of mold. The practice shows that sticking self-adhesive labels on bags helps to remember what you have and where.
Poisonous plants require special attention. It is extremely important to store them in a separate place or room. Be very careful and don’t confuse them with another product. Keep them out of reach of children.