Hawthorn is a useful medicinal plant, widely used as an effective folk remedy for a variety of diseases. Its fruits have not only healing properties, but are also used for culinary purposes .To get the maximum benefit from it, you need to strictly follow the recommendations on how to collect and store. In this article, we consider the methods of harvesting and storage of hawthorn for the winter at home.
Hawthorn eliminates digestive problems, cleanses the blood, improves heart function, relieves insomnia. It is an excellent tool for the prevention and treatment of neurosis, cardiovascular diseases, arrhythmias, tachycardias, atherosclerosis and other ailments.
Table of contents
When can you collect hawthorn fruits, flowers and leaves for the future
How to save for the winter?
Storage of dried fruit
.The fruits are used for food and medicinal purposes, the remaining parts - only in medicinal. The collection of hawthorn fruit in central Russia is carried out in the period of their maturation. Hawthorn begins to ripen in autumn, around the end of September. Fully matured, it has the greatest concentration of vitamins.
It is important to have time to do this before the first frost, otherwise cold-damaged berries will be unsuitable for further storage of .In overripe condition they begin to become covered with mold. It is undesirable to collect hawthorn from bushes located close to busy highways or near an industrial area - they may contain high levels of harmful substances.
fruits The best weather to collect is dry and calm, time is daytime when the dew has time to dry. Ripe berries - an attractive treat for birds, so you need to have time to collect them quickly. Maturity is determined by the color of the fruit - it should be bright red .The berries are not harvested individually, but are cut off in clusters, and then carefully placed them in baskets or pallets. On-site rejection of damaged, unripe, rotten, over-ripe fruits is made.
The collection of leaves begins before the appearance of flowers and takes place during the entire flowering period, starting in mid-May and ending in early June. Leaves only clean, undamaged leaf blades, carefully cutting them off with the rest of the stem. For convenience, you can take a scissors.
Prepare hawthorn flowers at the initial stage of flowering, which occurs in different bushes at different times, starting in May and ending in June. You need to finish the collection within 5-6 days from the beginning of flowering of a particular bush. Inflorescences are carefully cut with shears or come off by hand, then placed in a dry container in such a way as to prevent their deformation.
The bark is collected during the active movement of the juice in early spring. If a liquid starts to stand out from the incision made on the plant stem, the time is right and the bark will easily separate from the wood. Collection of raw materials produced from young shrubs, whose age does not exceed 4 years .On the surface of the trunks make transverse annular cuts, connecting them with a straight longitudinal. Then the bark is carefully removed. To carry out this operation in the summer will not work, because in this season the movement of the juice in the plants is slow.
Hawthorn contains a huge amount of beneficial vitamins: in its composition you can find vitamins C and P, thiamine, carotene, choline, riboflavin. There are organic acids in it - malic, citric, amber. It also contains a considerable amount of sugar in the form of fructose. As for trace elements, they are represented by zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, molybdenum, magnesium and cobalt.
How to save for the winter?
Long-term storage is carried out in one of 4 states:
conserved in the form of aqueous or alcoholic tinctures
In the first case hawthorn thoroughly dried , and then stored in a clean container, the reach of moisture and sunlight, ventilated room. Storage is carried out in canvas bags or glass jars. In the second case, it is well washed, is placed in a food container and frozen .Procurement for the future can be carried out by canning - in the form of jam or jam . is also stored in the form of various kinds of tinctures, sealed in an airtight container.
Dried fruit storage
A popular way to store hawthorn is drying. There are two ways to do it:
The first method, , takes much longer but also allows you to save more vitamins, due to the lack of heat treatment, which destroys some of the nutrients. Carefully washed and sorted raw materials are laid down in a thin layer on paper or cloth. After which it is left for a few days in the attic or in another clean, ventilated place, protected from moisture and sunlight. In the process of drying, the hawthorn is periodically turned over for uniform drying of the .It is especially important to do this for the berries, in order to avoid their rotting. Fully dried fruits - light and wrinkled, not sticking to each other when squeezed, decreased to 4 times compared with their previous size, have a specific bitter smell and taste.
The second way is very fast, but at the same time reduces the beneficial effect of hawthorn. Prepared raw material is laid out on a baking sheet and sent to the oven or electric dryer. The temperature is maintained at 40-60 degrees, or 30-40 degrees, if you need better, but at the same time a longer drying. It is not recommended to raise it above the specified threshold, otherwise the hawthorn can be burnt or baked. If drying is carried out in the oven, it is important not to forget from time to time to open its door, removing moisture from the cabinet. It will not be superfluous to mix the fruits regularly, thus ensuring the uniformity of their drying. The whole process, in contrast to using the first method, takes several hours, not days.
You can store dried hawthorn in a wide variety of containers: