Cultivation and planting
It is best to plant medicinal plants during the rainy season.
What to collect
Collect only the recommended plant part.
When to collect
Collect ingredients in the morning or on a sunny day.
How to collect
· If the part to be used is seed, the fruit must be fully ripe before harvest.
· If the whole fruit is to be used, it should be collected before reaching maturity.
· If the underground part is to be used, collect the plant part before it starts flowering.
· The bark should be collected from the trunk and branches when the plants are in bloom or in vigorous growth.
· Collecting should be done by handpicking.
· Avoid collecting plant parts that are discolored, have insect bites and have other signs of injury.
Use containers like earthenware pot. The most common way of preparing herbal medicine is to boil the plant material in water for 15-20 minutes after the water has started to boil. The fluid is called a "decoction" and should be used within 12-24 hours.
· Use only the prescribed dose. Dosages given are in ranges (e.g., 2-3 liters). The lower number applies to young animals while the larger number to adult animals.
· Use only one plant at a time.
Drying and storage
Properly dried leaves crumble easily.
FIG. 1. Properly dried leaves crumble easily.
Herbs can either be air- or sun dried. Small amounts can be dried in large transparent containers. Large amounts can be hung in bundles or baskets outdoors. Protect herbs from molds, insects or rodents by puffing them in glass containers. Write the plant name and date of collection on the containers.