Why And How I Always Harvest St. John's Wort And Nettles For The Winter. Beneficial Features. Collection. Drying And Storage

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Why And How I Always Harvest St. John's Wort And Nettles For The Winter. Beneficial Features. Collection. Drying And Storage
Why And How I Always Harvest St. John's Wort And Nettles For The Winter. Beneficial Features. Collection. Drying And Storage

Video: Why And How I Always Harvest St. John's Wort And Nettles For The Winter. Beneficial Features. Collection. Drying And Storage

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Video: Foraging and Harvesting St. John's Wort 2023, January
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Today in pharmacies you can buy a lot of all kinds of medicinal preparations for general strengthening, tonic action that help with colds. Despite this, I, like our great-grandmothers once, always harvest nettles and St. John's wort on my own for the winter, as I consider them indispensable herbs for the prevention and treatment of colds and many other diseases. Why these particular plants are valuable, how and when to collect, dry, store and prepare healing infusions, I will tell in the article.

Why and how I always harvest St. John's wort and nettles for the winter
Why and how I always harvest St. John's wort and nettles for the winter

Content:

  • St. John's wort - "herb for 99 diseases"
  • Nettle - "worth eight doctors"
  • How and when to harvest nettles and St. John's wort for drying
  • How I Dry Herbs
  • Storage of medicinal herbs
  • Preparation of extracts from St. John's wort and nettle

St. John's wort - "herb for 99 diseases"

It is not for nothing that St. John's wort is considered "a herb for 99 diseases," so rich in composition. St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum L.) is a very common perennial herb with yellow flowers covered with black dots. It grows along edges, roads, on the outskirts of fields.

Its aerial part is considered medicinal. It contains flavonoids, essential oils, tannins, alkaloids, resins, carotene, vitamins C and PP.

When properly dried, St. John's wort has a balsamic smell and a bitter astringent taste.

St. John's wort is used as an astringent, anti-inflammatory, stimulating tissue regeneration, antimicrobial, diuretic. Hypericum infusion has a calming effect on the central nervous system. Most often, St. John's wort is used as a general tonic.

Infusion can be used to rinse the mouth with stomatitis, it also eliminates bad breath and strengthens the gums.

In official medicine, St. John's wort is used both independently and in collections. It is absolutely non-toxic. There is a version that the name of this herb comes from the Kazakh word "dzherabay", which means "healer of wounds".

Nettle - "worth eight doctors"

There is a proverb - "one nettle is worth eight doctors." Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.) is a herbaceous, well-known plant, with a stinging stem and creeping root. It can reach up to 2 meters in height. The flowers are inconspicuous - green pendants from the mouths of the upper leaves. Grows everywhere. Or rather, wherever it grows!

The most valuable thing in nettles are leaves. They contain the most vitamins (C, K, B 2, B 6), carotene, tannins, organic acids, all kinds of sugars, trace elements, gum and many, many other useful substances. Nettle hairs contain formic acid (which is why it burns).

Nettle has hemostatic properties. It is very useful to take it in case of hypovitaminosis and simply when the body is weakened for some reason. It also promotes an increase in hemoglobin and an increase in red blood cells, and lowers blood sugar levels.

Nettle is a natural and very effective anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and diuretic.

The most valuable thing in nettles are leaves
The most valuable thing in nettles are leaves

How and when to harvest nettles and St. John's wort for drying

It is very important to correctly collect medicinal herbs and know the timing of their collection. It should also be borne in mind that herbs in dry form without loss of quality are stored for no more than 1 year, and then all the useful substances in them begin to break down. Therefore, it makes no sense to make very large stocks.

Different parts are harvested from medicinal plants: the aerial part (grass), root, flowers, fruits, seeds, bark and buds. But in the case of St. John's wort and nettles, I collect and harvest only the aerial part of the plant.

When I go for herbs, I always take with me scissors or pruning shears, gardening gloves (for nettles) and a basket where I will put the herbs (you can just use a rag bag).

When cutting, it is necessary to leave at least 30% of the plant untouched so that there is something to harvest the next year. Collect herbs in dry weather in the morning after the dew has dried. If it rained on the eve, then it is better to postpone the collection, it is necessary to let the plant dry out.

There are general rules about which parts of medicinal plants to collect at what time. This is important to ensure that the harvested plants contain the maximum amount of nutrients. Therefore, flowers are harvested during mass flowering, fruits - after full ripening, the roots are dug up after wilting of the aboveground part of the plant.

St. John's wort and nettle are harvested during flowering, while cutting off the top of the plant with a pruning shears about 30 cm long. The flowering time of St. John's wort is July-August, nettles - May-October.

Nettles are harvested during flowering by cutting off the top of the plant with a pruning shears approximately 30 cm long
Nettles are harvested during flowering by cutting off the top of the plant with a pruning shears approximately 30 cm long
St. John's wort is harvested during flowering - July-August
St. John's wort is harvested during flowering - July-August

How I Dry Herbs

Upon returning home, the grass must be sorted out. If there are any sick leaves, spoiled, I remove them, thus preparing the grass for drying.

Drying is a very important process, you need to carry it out so as not to lose healing substances. There are iron rules for drying medicinal plants - plants must be dried in the shade, in a ventilated room. It could be some kind of shed, attic.

Sometimes plants are dried in the oven. For this purpose it is necessary to expand on grass pan lined with paper and put in an oven at a temperature of 40 of C for 2-3 hours.

Special dryers are now on sale for this purpose. But I use the simplest method - I do not tightly tie the plants into small brooms (2-3 plants each) and hang them outside, on the summer veranda. The main thing is to find a place so that the sun does not fall on them, and that the weather is dry.

So they hang for several days until they dry. How can you tell if a plant is dry? When bent, it should break, and the leaves, when pressed with fingers, crumble.

Storage of medicinal herbs

The next important step is proper storage. I grind dry St. John's wort and nettles with pruning shears and put them in a cardboard box, after signing them.

You can also store them in glass jars, just tie the jar with a cloth instead of a lid. You can - in a paper bag. Storage place - dry, cool, it is permissible to store medicinal herbs at room temperature in a ventilated area.

I use the easiest drying method - I loosely tie the plants into small brooms and hang them outside, on the summer veranda
I use the easiest drying method - I loosely tie the plants into small brooms and hang them outside, on the summer veranda

Preparation of extracts from St. John's wort and nettle

Making an infusion of St. John's wort or nettle is a very simple matter. To do this, I take 20 g of chopped grass (about 2 tablespoons), pour it into an enamel saucepan and pour boiling water (200 ml). Then I close it with a lid and put it in a hot, but turned off oven (100 ° C) for infusion. And so the pan should stand there for about 15 minutes.

Then I take the infusion out of the oven and cool it at room temperature. Now it must be filtered, and if its volume is less than 200 ml, then add boiled water.

The infusion can also be prepared in a water bath (over low heat), but here it is important to ensure that it does not boil, otherwise all useful substances will be destroyed.

Even at home, an infusion of St. John's wort or nettle is very easy to prepare, if the dried herb in the same proportions as described above is folded into a jar, filled with boiling water and insisted until completely cooled at room temperature. In this case, it is not necessary to heat on the stove. By the way, you can use a thermos for this.

It is believed that decoctions and infusions can be stored in the refrigerator (or some cool dark place) for 2-3 days. But I prefer to cook and consume them only fresh.

An infusion of St. John's wort or nettle is great in case someone from home has a cold or just came home drenched, frozen and tired. Then I do not wait for the illness, but immediately steam the nettle or St. John's wort in a thermos - the best solution to help the weakened body quickly and without chemistry.

John's wort infusion should be consumed 20-30 minutes before meals - 200 ml per day, divided into 3-4 doses. Nettle infusion is also used. Still, this is not tea, so you need to drink these herbs as a preventive medicine in cases of hypothermia, stress, fatigue, at the initial stages of influenza and acute respiratory infections, to raise the general tone of the body.

Dear Readers! I sincerely consider stinging nettles and St. John's wort "king of herbs." And they are always at hand. And what medicinal plants are "on duty" in your home medicine cabinet? Share your experience in the comments to the article.

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