Drying Herbs - in this case Yellow Dock -

to make a tea


Freshly Harvested Dock Leaves arrive in the processing area - these have been cut from the roots while the plant is in the ground.

The next step is to individually check each leaf for blemishes and health, only those which are strong and vital will be used for drying.

 


Freshly harvested Dock leaves




washing Yellow Dock roots

 

The first step is to vet the leaves and root material and exclude anything which has signs of disease, ill-health or weakness (such as insect damage).

Root material is thoroughly scrubbed in rainwater to remove all traces of dirt and foreign matter. No cleaning agents are used - just old-fashioned "elbow-lather".

Leaf material is visually inspected for foreign matter and once clean and pure. is prepared for drying in the kiln.

We aim to harvest leaf material on a sunny day following rain so that the leaves are cleaned naturally and the sun ensures an ample level of sap and vitality in the harvested material. We also prefer to pick around the new moon or the full moon - depending on the properties we are looking to optimise in the herbal tea.


This is a bin of Yellow Dock roots, having been washed and scrubbed, waiting to be chopped into pieces suitable for drying.

 


scrubbed Yellow Dock roots




selected Yellow Dock leaves in the kiln

 

Dock leaves contain a large amount of sap in the stem which needs plenty of air-movement to carry away.

The selected and vetted Dock leaves are suspended from drying racks in the kiln to maximise the movement of air over the leaves' surface.


After 2 hours in the kiln at around 121º the leaves are well on their way and the inside of the kiln is saturated with moisture - see the drops on the door in the left of the picture.

 


Leaves after 2 hours of drying




oven door wedged ajar for air circulation

 

You can use a domesic oven to dry the herbs - you will need to take measures to ensure there is adequate air circulation to dry the plant material rather than slowly cook it.

This can be done by wedging the door ajar with something that is non-flammable to create a 25mm (or thereabouts) air gap.

Here we've used a couple of coasters to keep the door ajar so that the heat doesn't build up to a temperature which might damage the medicinal qualities of the Dock material.


Setting the oven to it's lowest temperature setting will prevent the material being hurt by excessive warmth which can damage or disperse the valuable phytochemicals.

The important thing to remember is that you only want to dry the material - not cook it!

 


oven temperature set at lowest




Yellow Dock roots after chopping up

 

Once scrubbed the Yellow Dock roots are chopped by hand to a uniform consistency. Hand chopping offers another opportunity to visually inspect the material for optimum vitality.

The root material is dried on trays with frequent turning to prevent moisture build-up.


Once dried, the material is crumpled into a suitable consistency for the desired end result.

 


dried Yellow Dock ready for packaging




Mixed dried Yellow Dock root and leaf material

 

Here we have remixed the dried root and leaf material to create a mix which contains the potent properties of the Yellow Dock from the above-ground and below-ground parts of the plant.

This is the basis of our Rumex Mix - a potent herbal tea with potent blood-cleansing properties and a host of other beneficial effects.


And here is what it is all about - Middle Path's Rumex Mix - a herbal tea containing pure Yellow Dock roots and leaves.

 


Packaged Yellow Dock root and leaf material
Middle Path’s renowned Rumex Mix


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