The healing power of roots
In late autumn, the vital juices begin to withdraw from the plants. Also, the healing agents retreat from the above-ground parts of the plant into the roots. It is therefore the best time to harvest roots for medicinal teas, knows Radio Burgenland health expert Miriam Wiegele.
In a number of medicinal plants, the important active ingredients are found in the roots. When the above-ground parts of the plant begin to die, i.e. dry up, the best time to harvest these roots begins. This requires some work, as these roots have to be dug up. Roots should not be harvested if it has rained beforehand, as they are then difficult to clean.
The best time is late afternoon, when the concentration of active ingredients in the root is highest. If it is compatible with weather conditions, a time during the descending (not waning) moon would be best. After digging the roots are rinsed under running water. Possibly cleaned with a brush. Then chop according to the form of the root: taproots cut into slices, rhizomes halve.
"Radio Burgenland Morning," 20.10.2015
Either string the roots on a thread and dry them in a warm room or place them on a grid and dry them in the oven on the lowest setting. Drying time varies depending on the root, roots containing mucilage, such as marshmallow and comfrey, need a little longer. They are dry when the root pieces can be broken. Keep in dry jars and label them.
Valerian helps people who are in danger of losing their footing. Application: Nervous-induced difficulty falling asleep, restlessness, flight of thought, also relaxes before exams. Application best in the form of valerian tincture.
The name already introduces the healing effect – comfrey can make bones "heave", which means it has a stimulating effect on callus formation in case of bone fractures. It is not advisable to use the root as a tea, because liver-damaging pyrrolizidine alkaloids have been found in minute traces. These substances were also the reason why comfrey was removed from the pharmacopoeia. The use as an ointment is allowed again according to the German Medicines Act, in Austrian pharmacies you can buy thanks to EU regulations comfrey ointments from German manufacturers, in which the pyrrolizidine content has been lowered. In Austrian pharmacies you can get comfrey ointment with Symphytum D2, i.e. homeopathically prepared comfrey.
Ointment preparation: Dig the roots, clean them, chop them, put them in olive oil, let them strain out for three weeks, filter them off. Heat the oil extract in a water bath, add beeswax in a ratio of 3:1, mix and fill into ointment jars.
Soft velvety leaves and delicate pink flowers, so the marshmallow shows its soothing irritation-relieving effect. It is mucilages that protectively cover irritated mucous membranes, which the marshmallow contains. Marshmallow root is a real tea for cold and damp winter days, to be used whenever you notice that your throat starts to itch.
Tea preparation: 2 tsp with ¼ l of cold water pour over, infuse for at least 2 hours, strain and warm to drinking temperature.
Primarily, the tea from the root has a digestive effect as an aromatic bitter drug. The stimulating effect of the bitter substances also helps with any states of weakness, especially when they are age-related. When overtired due to occupational stress, angelica provides endurance and steadfastness. The essential oil has a strong antibacterial and defense strengthening effect. Angelica therefore already helps preventively in times when infections such as colds or flu are threatening.
Burdock root tea helps "thin-skinned" people to become "thick-skinned" like a bear. It helps especially with neurodermatitis, when any emotional conflict is carried out through the skin. Already Hildegard von Bingen recommended burdock against "grindige" skin diseases. In traditional Chinese medicine, the tincture from the seeds is used against psoriasis. In domestic folk medicine, burdock roots are considered to stimulate hair growth, which may well be due to the metabolism-stimulating and skin-strengthening effect.
Application: Stimulates metabolism, helps with skin diseases such as eczema, neurodermatitis, psoriasis, generally with dry, scaly skin, also in the head area, against hair loss. The tea is not very pleasant tasting, there is burdock in the pharmacy also in the form of capsules.
Burdock root oil: Put the fresh, cleaned roots in a container and pour oil over them (grape seed oil is best), leave in a warm place for 3 weeks, then filter off. Before washing the hair, apply the oil on the bottom of the hair, let it act for 1 hour, then wash the hair.
For the tea the root is used, which can be harvested now. Dandelion is strongly diuretic, which is why it is called "piss-en-lit" (in Styrian "Bettsoacher") in France. At the same time, it also stimulates the liver and pancreas and has a bile fluid stimulating effect. Dandelion is one of the plants whose metabolism activating effect is so strong that the tea should be used wherever the metabolism threatens to be derailed.
Application: Supportive for rheumatic diseases, gout, diabetes and for flushing the kidneys.
The bitter tea stimulates the function of liver, gall bladder and spleen. Thus, chicory not only promotes metabolism, but also mobilizes intestinal activity. People with weak digestion and a tendency to constipation should always drink the tea or have a glass of chicory wine after a meal. From the flowers of the chicory is produced the Bach flower remedy "Chicory", which is needed by those who want to hold on to everything they love, for example, chuckling mothers. Constipation is psychosomatically also a form of "not wanting to give up". That's where chicory can help you let go.
Application: Digestive disorders, constipation, supportive in rheumatism and diabetes.
Chicory wine: 1 l good red wine, 1 handful of chicory roots, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 tablespoons orange peel (unsprayed). Mix all ingredients and leave in a screw-top glass for 3 weeks, then filter and pour into a dark wine bottle.