Feverfew, or Chrysanthemum parthenium, is a perennial herb with tiny, off-white flowers. You can dry and use the flowers to make tea, or dry or freeze the leaves to add to food. Feverfew has been sought after for its medicinal uses since ancient times. The plant has been used to reduce pain associated with migraines and insect bites. Feverfew has also been used for asthma, bronchitis, delirium tremens (withdrawal from alcoholism), rheumatoid arthritis, colds and fever (of course). Harvesting and preserving feverfew is quite simple.
Hose down the feverfew plants the evening before you plan to harvest them. A gentle spray of water will help to clean the plants.
Cut the feverfew when the flowers are in full bloom. Harvesting feverfew at full bloom produces a slightly higher herb yield than harvesting during early bloom. Cut no more than one-third of the plant so that the entire plant doesn’t die.
Tie the feverfew bundle at its stems with some twine and hang the bundle upside down to dry it. Feverfew will dry out best in a dark, airy and dry place.
Rapid dry the feverfew at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or field dry it at 77 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Field drying is simply hanging the feverfew upside down in a warm, dry room, and is usually your most practical choice.
Things You Will Need
- Gardening shears or knife
- You can use a food dehydrator if you have one to hasten the drying process of the feverfew.
- Harvest the feverfew in mid morning, when the morning dew has dried. Always use a sharp knife or gardening shears to harvest your feverfew, so you cut clean and don't damage the root systems by pulling on the plant.
- Don't use too much dried feverfew when making tea. Feverfew makes a strong tea, and the rule of thumb with herbs is to use half as much dried than fresh.