According to a plant researcher at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños,

Laguna, to be more effective and to protect their “healing powers,” medicinal plants

should be harvested at the right time, then dried and stored properly.


Observe the following criteria in harvesting medicinal plant parts:


1. Collect flowers just before or shortly after opening or before they fully open.

2. Collect barks and wood during the dry season or before new leaves begin to grow.

3. Collect leaves when the plant is flowering or before the fruit matures. The leaves should not have signs of diseases or aging. Take note of this criterion especially when harvesting leaves of Lagundi (or Vitex negundo L.) which are reported good for fever.

4. Collect roots and underground parts during the dry season just when the aerial parts die or before new shoots start to develop from tubers or bulbs. This holds true when harvesting ginger or luya which is reportedly good for rheumatism.

5. Collect fruits when fully grown but unripe or when fully ripe as in Mangosteen or when fruits turn golden yellow as in Niyog-niyogan (Quisqualis indica L.).

6. Collect seeds when fully grown but unripe. In certain fruits, the seeds should be extracted prior to  splitting. Drying also affects the plant part’s medicinal properties. In most cases, the best drying temperature for leaves and flowers is 40° C while thaat for barks, roots and other woody parts, 65° C.


Source: Phil. Farmer’s Journal June 1982

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