An amazing feeling arises when collecting medicinal plants that have been growing on our land for many centuries. It is as if an invisible connection is established with the herbalists and medicine men of Ancient Russia, who knew many secrets of the miraculous power of nature. For example, how useful is Ivan-tea, how to collect and dry this herb.
The plant, known since ancient times, is famous for many valuable properties. With it, you can facilitate the treatment of serious diseases. This is an affordable and worthy alternative to citrus fruits, because the level of vitamin C content in it is very high. Thanks to flavonoids, Ivan tea helps to eliminate toxins from the body. And the presence of pectin in its composition brings significant benefits by reducing blood sugar and cholesterol. A great way to improve overall health is to use willow tea. How to collect and dry it? This problem can be solved independently, without resorting to pharmacy products.
The process of harvesting this medicinal plant begins with a walk through the pleasant, heated by the sun places. Ivan-tea (or fireweed) grows where it is dry and light enough. Such sites occur in the middle of a field, in a forest - at the site of felled trees or on the edge. Glade of these flowers is difficult not to notice, because they grow in large groups. Marvelous cloud of inflorescences recognizable from a distance thanks to a pleasant purple color.
A similar plant can be found in a rather damp area. In this case, most likely, marsh wormwood or small fry wormwood will fall. They are "relatives" of willow-tea, but their flowers are not so large, and their useful properties are different.
The buds help determine the right time to gather healing herbs: if they start to open, this is the best time for harvesting. There comes a period in different latitudes of our country not at the same time. In the south, Ivan-tea blooms since June, you can collect in July. Closer to the north, the plant-gathering season is open from mid-summer, and it continues until autumn comes.
Choosing where and how to harvest willow tea, you need to pay attention to the ecological location of the growing area. It is better to move away from roads and railways, industrial enterprises. Collected in a clean area of grass will bring maximum health benefits.
Experienced herbalists advised to cut the plant at a height of 5-20 cm above the ground, so as not to damage the root. It is advisable not to tear the stems with your hands, because of this, the original taste of the future tea may be lost. The leaves are also best neatly cut.
How to dry Ivan-tea at home?
Wisdom of properly drying the harvested plants a bit. There are 2 ways, the effectiveness of which is confirmed by time:
- dry in fresh air in a shaded place. It will take approximately 3-4 days;
- dry in the oven, setting the minimum temperature. Drying takes 40-45 minutes. Fermentation and leaf chopping is required beforehand.
The optimal storage tank is a tightly closed glass jar. Fresh, freshly dried tea brings the greatest benefit, so it’s best to hurry with its use.
Fermentation - the art of preserving aromas
For those who wish to enjoy the subtle flavors of aromaivan tea, there is a way to describe how to ferment a plant. After such a procedure, a pleasant flower smell is revealed, and the taste of drinks becomes richer. For fermentation, you need to perform the following actions:
- Carefully wash each leaf of willow tea under running water.
- The resulting raw material should be laid in even layers (no more than 5 cm) on clean paper.
- Leave the leaves for 1 day, periodically flooding and turning them over. It is necessary to ensure that the leaves are slightly wilted, softened, but not dry
- Fold the leaves into tubes, place in a wide container.
- Cover with a damp towel and leave in a warm (but not hot!) Place for 7-12 hours.
Ivan-tea is an extremely healthy and palatable plant. You can collect it yourself, during the flowering period, on environmentally friendly areas. To dry raw materials should be in a shaded place or in the oven. Especially fragrant and tasty drinks will be, if you are not too lazy to engage in preliminary fermentation of raw materials. Ivan tea helps with diseases and strengthens health!