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A walk in the beautiful winter outdoors can be combined with collecting medicinal plants - mistletoe or juniper. The end of winter is a very good period for obtaining bark, e.g. from birch and willow.

Medicinal plants from which raw materials are obtained during the winter months are usually used in the home medicine cabinet. Only some of them, such as juniper, can also be used in the kitchen. The individual parts of the plants are best harvested in relatively warm and sunny weather. The date and method of harvesting, of course, depend on the part of the plant that we intend to harvest.

Date of winter harvest of medicinal plants

JuniperfruitXI-XIIat temperatures up to 35 degrees C
MistletoeherbXI-IIat temperatures up to 25 degrees C
Pinebuds, young shootsII-IIIat temperatures up to 35 degrees C
WillowbarkII-IVat room temperature
Horse chestnutbarkII-IVat room temperature
KalinabarkII-IVat room temperature
KruszynabarkII-IVat room temperature
AshbarkII-IVat room temperature

The bark is best harvested when the plant releases its juices after the winter dormancy. Then a pulp appears between the bark and the wood, which allows the raw material to be separated more easily. Such a favorable period for harvesting usually falls at the end of winter (after the thaw) and the beginning of spring. The bark should be obtained from the younger branches by carefully removing it with a knife.

Unfortunately, according to the law, in the case of many trees and shrubs growing in a natural state, bark can be obtained only from branches cut after clearing, or you have to consult the forest services. Of course, you shouldn't overdo the debarking of the plants, as this may cause them to dry out.

Although this applies to only a few plants, you can also harvest fruit in winter. In case ofjuniper fruits should be fully ripe - then they fall off easily and harvesting proceeds without major problems. It is worse with mistletoe. Although mistletoe is easily knocked down or otherwise detached from the host plant, it usually grows high on the canopy of trees, unfortunately. So harvesting is done with the use of ladders, long secateurs and poles. However, the buds (in this case pine trees) should be picked when they have partially developed but have not yet started to crack. Then they contain the most valuable substances.

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Medicinal properties of juniper, mistletoe, pine, willow, chestnut, viburnum, buckthorn and ash

Juniper- the fruit has a diuretic, bactericidal, choleretic and disinfectant effect. They support the treatment of liver failure, inflammation of the urinary tract and digestive disorders. Just pour boiling water over a tablespoon of fruit and keep it covered for about 15 minutes. Juniper is also a valued spice.

Mistletoe- supports the treatment of hypertension, atherosclerosis and arrhythmias. Home-made macerate is prepared from the herb. Pour warm water over a tablespoon of ground mistletoe and macerate (e.g. by stirring) for about 20 minutes. After straining, drink a glass a day.

Pine- make a syrup from the donuts for bronchial, throat, larynx and cough ailments. 50 g of fresh donuts should be crushed and sprinkled with sugar. After 2 or 3 weeks, mix thoroughly and set aside for another 2 weeks. After this time, the syrup is ready for use.

Willow- bark decoctions are used for fever, rheumatism, flu, rhinitis and colds. A tablespoon of bark should be boiled in a glass of water and kept on low heat, covered for about 5 minutes. After cooling down, drink a glass a day.

Horse chestnut- horse chestnut bark is used in a mixture with buckthorn bark and pansy greens. The preparation works against hemorrhoids.

Kalina- bark is not only made into decoctions, but also tincture can be made. Drinking viburnum tincture helps with painful menstruation and ailments of the intestines, gall bladder and urinary system. 100 g of shredded bark should be poured with 0.5 liters of vodka and 0.5 liters of water. The whole is tightly closed in a container and shaken daily for 2 weeks. After straining, the alcohol-based medicine is ready for use. Please keep it in the refrigerator.

Buckthorn- Usually used as a natural laxative. A tablespoon of crushed bark should be poured with water and boiled for 15 minutes. After cooling down, the decoction prepared in this way is ready for use.

Ash- bark decoction is used in digestive disorders, against flatulence, as a remedy for fever and rheumatism. A tablespoon of crushed bark should be poured with a glass of water and boiled for 5 minutes. Drink a glass a day.

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