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Dry Herbs

     We as horse people, know all too well the importance of feeding quality hay to our animals. We cut the bale open, scrutinize the leave,  the stem, the general condition, odor,  and color. We check for mold and insects. This is why I dislike pelleted horse feeds. It is almost impossible to gauge the type of plants used in making processed feeds.  Medicinal herbs are no different. We need to assess the quality of herbs just as zealously as with our hay. Too often the herbs we use are already processed into products. The bulk dry herbs out there are often already processed in powder or cut/shift forms which makes judging quality very difficult. I tend to buy only whole herbs in most cases. The whole herb allows me to judge the quality of the plant, and I feel its medicinal properties will stay intact longer in the whole form, if left undisturbed by the chopping block or grinder until actually needed.

     The world wide web seems to lack a source where specifications are listed for what the dry herb should look like. I will attempt to transcribe photos and useful information here taken from the 1919 handbook:  Squibb's Atlas of The Official Drugs, by William Mansfield. It has long been out of print and a high premium is usually placed on used copies. This will be an ongoing project so be patient and eventually most of the important dry herbs will be listed here.

Contents:

Chapter 1............Roots

Chapter 2............Rhizomes

Chapter 3............Roots and Rhizomes

Chapter 4............Tuberous Roots, Bulbs, and Corms

Chapter 5............Barks

Chapter 6............Woods

Chapter 7............Stems

Chapter 8............Plants

Chapter 9............Herbs

Chapter 10..........Leaves and FLowering Tops

Chapter 11..........Leaf Buds, Leaflets, and Leaves

Chapter 12..........Flower Buds, Flowers, Flower Heads, and Parts of Flowers

Chapter 13..........Fruits and Parts of Fruits

Chapter 14..........Seeds and Parts of Seeds

Chapter 15..........Algae and Fungi

Chapter 16..........Spores, Non-Glandular and Glandular hairs and Excrescences

Chapter 17..........Starch, Gums, Sugars, and Mucilage

Chapter 18..........Resins, Gum Resins, Balsams, Balsamic Resins, and Oleo Resins

Chapter 19..........Latex, Dried Juices, Extracts and Camphors

Chapter 20..........Drugs of Animal Origin

 

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