how to harvest and make echinacea tea

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                                 How To Harvest Echinacea For Tea


    Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) is both an ornamental and an herb. It grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 8. The large purple flowers add color to summer and fall gardens. Those left to mature will develop attractive cone-shaped seed heads that attract birds and supply winter interest. Coneflowers also provide a key ingredient in many herbal tea blends. Although all parts of the plant are edible, the leaves and flower buds are most commonly harvested for herbal tea.

    1, Harvest coneflowers beginning in their second year. Pick leaves anytime during the flowering cycle, or harvest the flowers when the buds just begin to open.


    2. Cut through the stem with a sharp pair of shears. Make the cut just above the lowest set of leaves for foliage harvesting, or cut above the topmost leaf set if you are only harvesting flower buds.


    3. Strip the leaves from the stem after harvest. Cut off the flower buds just behind the flower head. Dispose of the remaining stem.


    4. Spread the flower buds and leaves out on a drying screen. Place them in a warm, dry room with good circulation where they aren't exposed to intense light or heat.  Dry the coneflower parts for five to seven days, or until they feel brittle and papery.


    5. Store the dried coneflower leaves and flowers in a sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place until use.


    Things You Will Need: Shears, Screen, Storage Container

    Tip: Make tea by brewing 1 or 2 teaspoons of the dried coneflower in hot water. You can also combine coneflower with other herbs to make an herbal blend tea. Honey works well as a sweetener in herbal teas.





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