Drying Echinacea

iluvbonsai(z7b VA)November 10, 2009

I don't know that I placed this in the right catagory. Sorry if I did't.

So I was just thinking about how easy Echinacea is to grow. We have a few packs of seeds that we can use to grow them and get the plants. I Have known for a while that Echinacea is a good remedy for illnesses and such and started wondering how you use it. If I'm not mistaken, you need to dry the root before using it. I just don't know how to go about drying it. Can anyone tell me how I would dry it and what the best way to use it is?

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I am new to herbal medicine and have recently purchased two books which are very informative and which I recommend, "Growing 101 Herbs That Heal" by Tammi Hartung and "Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health" by Rosemary Gladstar.

According to Tammi Hartung, the roots of echinacea are harvested in the spring or fall when they are 2 1/2 to 3 years old. Roots can be left whole, chopped into small chunks (1-2 inches), or sliced. They are placed on a nonmetal screen out of direct sunlight and with good air circulation. The roots will take one week to several weeks to dry and feel brittle when they are completely dry. Ms. Tartung writes that aerial parts, flowers and seeds of echinacea can be harvested from the second growing season on. She recommends cutting the upper half to third of the plant. The plants are then tied into bundles and hung upside down for drying or placed on a nonmetal screen and turned frequently to ensure even drying.

Decoctions are prepared from the roots: 1 cup of water is brought to a boil in a saucepan. One teaspoon of dried root is then added to the boiling water, the heat is reduced and the root is simmered for 15-20 minutes. Strain and drink.

Infusions are prepared from leaves and flowers: 1 cup of boiling water is poured over 1 teaspoon of dried herb, covered and allowed to steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain and drink. Echinacea supports the immune system and helps in the prevention of colds and flu.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2009 at 7:39PM
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