Yellow root is a wild perennial herb that has been harvested in the United States for more than 100 years. It is also known as goldenseal, ground raspberry, yellow puccoon, wild circuma, eye-balm, yellow paint, wild turmeric and yelloweye, according to Jeanine M. Davis of the North Carolina University. Uses are varied and studies are ongoing for its effectiveness as well as its safety. Preparation of the plant involves a few steps.
Soak the plants in cool water. Keep the skin on the roots intact and beware of injuring the plant with too much scrubbing. Generally, if you soak the roots immediately after harvesting while the soil is still damp, you will be able to easily remove the soil.
Cut the top leafy portion away from the roots. Once the leaves are cleaned, you can hang them to dry in the same manner as tobacco leaves. Bunch them together and hang them in a warm and dark place where there is good air circulation.
Place the roots on a flat screen. Spray them with a garden hose on a pressured setting to remove the soil. Turn the roots over several times until no dirt remains. Remove any small pebbles or chunks of dirt that didn't rinse through the screen.
Air dry the roots on the tray in a warm and well-ventilated room, such as a shed or barn. They dry best at about 95 to 100 degrees. At higher temperatures, the roots dry out too quickly, sealing the moisture inside.
Check the roots after about four weeks of drying. They should be much lighter in weight, and when you bend them, they should snap clean but not be brittle. These dried roots are now ready to be stored in a cool dark place in a cardboard box.