Herbs that Must Be Dried Prior to Use

eibren(z6PA)May 21, 2009

Are there many that should ONLY be used after drying?

My preference, with teas, especially, is to simply gather the fresh leaves and brew my tea in just-boiling water in the microwave.

In reading up on Bittersweet (not to ever be used as a tea--I would only use for external application purposes!) I noticed the emphasis on use only after drying--apparently, some harmful principle dissipates during the drying process.

This led me to wonder what other herbs should never be used fresh.

Does anyone know? What does drying do to make some herbs safer?

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Eibren, plants which contain anthroquinones should be dried and aged before use. The oxidation which occurs during the aging process makes the laxative effect of the anthroquinones much milder. You can become seriously ill if the herb isn't aged properly. Horrible griping through significant peristaltic action. Some herbs which contain anthroquinones are senna, cascara, rhubarb root and the skin of the aloe plant. Some plants contain tannins, which can counterbalance the effects.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 7:23AM
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Wild ginger comes to mind.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 9:24AM
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Thanls, Herbalbetty and Rockguy.

I wonder if there are any other harmful substances that are
inactivated by drying?


    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 8:11AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Stinging nettle is used either cooked or dried.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 8:34AM
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Just a note: "rhubarb root" should refer to Turkey rhubarb, not garden rhubarb. Different plants.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 2:09AM
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