Morgan Botanicals

  (Loveland, Colorado)
Herbal Information and Recipes

Fall is Time To Harvest Herb Roots

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

Here's a great list of herbs I found that are ready to be harvested now. Some general guidelines to use for herb harvesting:

Harvest herbs grown for seeds as the seed pods change in color from green to brown to gray but before they shatter (open). Collect herb flowers, such as borage and chamomile, just before full flower. Harvest herb roots, such as bloodroot, chicory, ginseng, and goldenseal, in the fall after the foliage fades.

Herb roots ready for fall harvesting include:

Angelica: Collect the root in the autumn of its first year.

Barberry: Collect roots by November.

Bayberry: Collect root, remove and dry root bark.

Beth Root: Harvest root and roostalk in early autumn.

Bistort: Collect root and rootstalk in autumn.

Black Cohosh: Dig up root and rootstalk in autumn after the fruits have ripened.

Black Haw: Collect the bark from the roots in the autumn.

Black Root: Unearth the root in the autumn and store for a year before use.

Blood Root: Harvest the rootstalk in the autumn when the leaves have dried.

Blue Cohosh: Collect the roots and rootstalks in the autumn.

Blue Flag: Dig up the rootstalk in the fall.

Burdock: Harvest the roots and rootstalks between September and October.

Calamus: Collect the rootstalk between September and October.

Carline Thistle: Unearth the root in the autumn.

Comfrey: harvest the roots in fall when allantoin levels are highest.

Couchgrass: Harvest the rootstalk in early autumn.

Cranesbill: Collect rootstalk between September and October.

Elecampane: Dig up the rootstalk between September and October.

False Unicorn Root: Collect the root and rootstalk in autumn.

Fringetree: Harvest the root and peel the bark in the fall.

Garlic: Unearth the bulb in September when the leaves begin to die.

Gentian: Root and rootstalk should be dug up in autumn.

Ginger: Dig up roostalk in fall after leaves have dried.

Ginseng: Harvest root in the fall.

Golden Seal: Root and rootstalk from three-year-old plants should be harvested in fall.

Gravel Root: Root and rootstalk should be harvested in autumn once plant has stopped flowering.

Greater Celandine: Unearth root in autumn.

Hydrangea: Harvest roots in fall.

Liquorice: Collect roots in late autumn.

Marshmallow: Dig up root in late autumn.

Mountain Grape: Collect root and rootstalk in autumn.

Parsley: Collect the root in the fall from two-year-old plants.

Poke Root: Harvest root in late autumn.

Senega (Snake Root): Collect roots and rootbark in September and October.

Skunk Cabbage: Unearth root and rootstalk in fall.

Soapwort: Harvest between September and October.

Stone Root: Dig up the root and rootstalk in the fall.

Tormentil: Collect the rootstalk in the autumn.

Valerian: Unearth the roots in late autumn.

Virginia Snakeroot: Collect the underground parts in the fall.

Wahoo: Harvest the root and strip bark in fall.

Wild Indigo: Unearth the root in fall after end of flowering.

Yellow Dock: Collect the roots between August and October.

Once the herb roots are dug up, they must be thoroughly washed and dried. After scrubbing off all residual dirt, spread the roots out on shelves or tie them on strings and hang to dry. Some extra-thick roots, like Licorice and Burdock, should be cut vertically to speed drying time.

Drying can take several weeks and is complete when the roots are brittle. Roots that are fully dry can then be stored in glazed ceramic, dark glass or metal containers with air-tight lids. Keep the containers away from direct sunlight or heat.

As always, please email any questions to

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.




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