5 Summer Herbs to Preserve Fresh


| 7/13/2015 9:50:00 AM


Tags: herbs, preserve, Herbal Academy of New England, Jane Metzger, herbalism, Massachusetts,

5 Summer Herbs to Preserve Fresh by Herbal Academy

Midsummer announces the arrival of an abundance of plant medicine for the herb gardener and wildcrafter to harvest and preserve. While many herbs can be dried and stored for later use in teas and remedies, some plants are best preserved fresh. St. John’s Wort, lemon balm, violet leaf, mullein flowers, and milky oats make powerful remedies when they are harvested at the peak of their potency and processed into tinctures, infused oils, and/or glycerites when still fresh to extract their pharmacologically active constituents as well as their vital energy.

5 Midsummer Herbs

5 Summer Herbs to Preserve Fresh - st. john's wort by Herbal Academy

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

The bright yellow five-petaled flowers of St. John’s wort are arranged in a flat-topped cluster at the top of a branching stem. Tips for a positive ID: if you hold a leaf up to the light, you can see tiny dots that appear to be perforations but are actually a translucent layer of oil glands; and the flowers are covered with tiny black dots that release a red oil, staining your fingers as you harvest. This red pigment is hypericin, one of the bioactive constituents in St. John’s wort, which is preserved in fresh extracts or oil infusions of the plant but not in the dried plant. While hypericin isn’t the only active constituent in St. John’s wort, Tillotson (2001) suggests that the hypericin content (and associated red color) can be used to evaluate the strength of St. John’s Wort preparations.

St. John’s Wort is a relaxing nervine well-known for its ability to relieve anxiety and tension and uplift the spirit. It has been researched extensively as an antidepressant, and is prescribed throughout the world for mild to moderate depression. St. John’s wort can also help those with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) due to lower sunlight exposure in the winter months. Its anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, astringent, and antimicrobial actions make it a powerful healer for wounds, bruises, burns, sprains, and muscle pain. Learn more about St. John's wort here.

jmherbals
7/27/2015 8:44:53 AM

Dear practicing herbalists. What herbs might benefit a friend suffering from Arachniditis, please? Problem areas are the drying up of cerebrospinal fluid, swelling of the nerve bundles, pain and headaches, as well as scar tissue on the nerves in the back. Supplementation is being investigated, and not a disregard for pharmaceutical medicine. Nothing found in my herbal medicine books or on the internet to date. Thank you





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