The best method to preserve the unique aroma and natural color from the leaves and flowers of fresh aromatic plants is traditional air drying. The duration and intensity of drying varies according to the type of plant, the thickness of its leaves and the blooming stage of its flowers. In any case, we make sure that they do not dry out too much and lose part of their aroma, while at the same time no unwanted moisture remains that can gradually spoil them during storage.

A few words about our ways and practices!

Botany is a science-art that cannot be practiced far from nature.

Only through physical contact with herbs can we understand their mechanisms and how they work.

In every walk we take, nature has something the more we understand how little we even know about them and the more we understand how little we know about them, the more we understand how little we still know about them today.

Herbs can come into the hands of the botanist in three ways: collect them, grow them or buy them. Whichever of the three ways one chooses, one thing is certain: one must study herbs in their natural environment and observe them in all their phases.

The collection of herbs is a very important part, but nowadays it is a big problem, as uncontrolled overharvesting has brought about changes in ecosystems. Every year more and more people are collecting and uprooting huge quantities of herbs in order to sell them.

We all need to raise awareness on this issue and constantly inform collectors that respecting and properly collecting herbs is the only way to preserve and keep this precious gift of nature.

Many forestry departments, responding to the need to control and protect the aromatic medicinal plants of each region, have issued regulatory orders that set out precisely the framework.

In any case, we must contact the forestry office in question to be informed of the applicable provisions. There are, of course, some general rules, such as the fact that it is expressly forbidden to uproot plants, it is forbidden to collect in areas declared to be reforested, and it is also forbidden to collect herbs in national parks.

Only scientific research is allowed in them, always in accordance with the applicable provisions and provided that no degradation problems are created in the ecosystem. Furthermore, the collection of protected species is prohibited. If we want to collect some herbs, this is allowed only for personal needs and the correct cutting method (8-10 cm from the ground) must be strictly observed.

We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we inherit it from our children.

Indian proverb

After strictly following the above rules we can collect our herbs.

The place from which we collect is very important. We need to make sure that we are away from crops sprayed with agricultural drugs and away from pastures.

Also, a very common phenomenon is the collection near the roads. Pollution due to car traffic can make the herbs toxic.

Research has shown that plants near roads have up to 300 times the permitted limit of heavy metals. Collection should take place at least 200 metres from motorways, at least 100 metres from country roads and 50 metres from very low traffic roads.

Collection 100 meters from country roads, 2000 meters from highways. Plants near roads have up to 300 times the permitted limit of heavy metals.

Herbs, when cut, should be at their highest percentage of essential oils and micronutrients. The most suitable harvest time, as a general rule of thumb, is between 8 am and 12 noon, but it always depends on the weather and microclimate of the area.

What we try to achieve is to avoid the morning dew and high humidity and avoid the intense heat of midday, to reduce the evaporation of essential oils from the herbs.

We do not collect herbs if we have had heavy rainfall the day before or on days with heavy humidity. We always make sure that the collection does not exceed 1/3 of the plants from the area we collect and do not concentrate on one point. harvesting,

Best time for harvesting 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.

We do not collect herbs if we have had heavy rainfall the day before or on days with heavy humidity. 

Collection & drying of herbs

The season is also crucial for the quality of the herbs. There are a few basic rules.

For example, leaves, flowers and shoots are harvested within a short period of time from the beginning of flowering, which usually starts in May and ends in September, with each species having a different flowering season.

Seeds are collected after the end of flowering. The fruits are harvested in the autumn, after they have ripened, and the roots are collected at the same time.

Finally, we should be sure to identify herbs in nature, as many herbs are similar to each other.

If we don't have the experience, we can put ourselves and anyone who consumes them at risk. There is always the risk of mistaking ourselves for a toxic plant. Particularly at the beginning, it is advisable to consult a professional, for greater safety.

It requires great care because we may be mistaken for a toxic plant. 

Drying of herbs

Drying is considered an extremely critical process for preserving the bioactive components of herbs. A very good quality herb, if not dried properly, can lose a large part of its components and its quality can be seriously compromised.

The parameters that a consumer should consider before purchasing an herb are: its smell (which should be strong), its colour (which should be vivid and retain its natural nuances), its texture and its general aesthetic quality.

These are some easy ways to tell if an herb has been harvested and dried correctly. Drying is the fundamental technique for the proper preservation of herbs after harvest.

It significantly extends the shelf life of the product by removing water and inhibiting enzymatic reactions and the growth of microorganisms.

The drying stage can change the appearance, taste, colour and texture, as well as reduce the amount of essential oils, polyphenols, minerals and vitamins.

These changes can be significantly reduced by using appropriate drying techniques.

It has been found that the best way of drying is to dry the herb naturally in the shade. Herbs dried in a room with a humidity of 22-27% and a temperature of 28-35°C showed higher total phenolic content and retained their antioxidant elements and flavonoids than any herb dried by technical means or in the sun."

After collecting the herbs, we go as quickly as possible to the drying area

2: (Retrieved: 7-01-21 ). 

3: (Retrieved: 7-01-21 ). 

4: (Retrieved: 7-01-21 ).

5. We never wash the herbs after collection or before drying. Moisture will destroy them.

Be careful with the material on which you leave your herbs to dry.

It must be a non-porous surface that can be easily washed.

Sheets, pillowcases, beds, sofas or wooden surfaces are considered unsuitable.

Anything that can draw moisture can develop microorganisms and cause deterioration. We place our herbs in metal pans 

We can tell if the herbs have been dried and are ready for storage if the part of the herb in the middle can be broken without force.

Then store in glass jars We can use kitchen scissors to cut the herb into smaller parts

Basic conditions for drying:

Well-ventilated room. Room humidity 22-27% (if humidity cannot be naturally maintained at these levels we can use a dehumidifier).

Room temperature: 28-35°C.

It is advisable to have a thermometer and a hygrometer in the room to know the conditions of the room at any time. 

These are the techniques we use to have and offer you the best herbs, aromatic plants on the market!


The social cooperative enterprise of Epirus producers "ICHOR" is based in Ioannina and deals with the production of aromatic and medicinal plants as well as other local products of Epirus.