Herbology – Gathering and Storing Herbs: Collecting and Drying Herbs – Flowers, Seeds, Leaves, and Roots

Herbs are also used in aromatherapy oils and preparations, in essential oils, body sprays, room sprays, and also for helping and healing people. You should always be cautious about using herbs medicinally, as some herbs can be poisonous, or have quite dramatic side-effects if used incorrectly.

Identifying Herbs

Try to learn to identify herbs, go out into the countryside and see what you can find growing naturally in the wild. Collect samples of herbs from various places. Use a notebook to document what you find, where you find it, and how you would identify it if you saw it again. It is very easy to build up a vast knowledge of the different types of herbs.

You may be lucky enough to have your own olitory / herb garden – All you need to know next is how to collect and store your herbs.

Collecting and Storing Herbs

Flowers – Collect herbal flowers when they are in full bloom. Dry them as much as possible, and press them between two sheets of greaseproof paper. Store in a dry place.

Seeds – Collect herb seeds when they have ripened. Place in an airtight glass jar, or alternatively take a square of greaseproof paper, place the seeds into the middle, bring up the edges and corners of the paper, and twist them at the top (as though making a filo pastry parcel).

Leaves – Choose the largest, most colourful leaves to collect. They should not be damaged or discoloured in any way. Dry them on a window-sill or in a greenhouse. Press between two sheets of greaseproof paper, and store in a warm, dry place.

Roots – Do not use roots that are rotten. Only collect healthy looking, fresh smelling roots. They should be quite dry when gathered. Dry thoroughly in direct sunlight, and store in a dry place.

Properties of Herbs

Different herbs have different properties, so try to learn about how herbology can become a part of your everyday life, as well as an enhancement to your cooking.

Here are some of the properties of some herbs to get you started.

  • Bay leaves – Can increase psychic abilities, and have good healing properties.
  • Bistort – Helps fertility.
  • Black Cohosh – Helps prevent night sweats and hormonal problems.
  • Chamomile – Relaxant.
  • Cinnamon – Good for love and lust.
  • Dandelion – Good for contacting spirits.
  • Dock – Has healing properties, good for stings or mild burns.
  • Henna – Relieves headaches.
  • Hops – Induces sleep.
  • Lavender – Aids restful sleep.
  • Mint – Helps with digestive problems.
  • Onion – Gives prophetic dreams.
  • Peppermint – Good healing qualities.

Every herb has individual properties that it possesses, that if used correctly could benefit you and your family. It is only a question of learning a little bit more about them. It doesn’t mean an expensive trip to the shops either. Once you have done some research, you can go for a nice walk in the woods, or in a nearby meadow / field, and find just what you need completely free of charge.