Recommendations for Sustainable Collection​

  • Part of the plant that is collected: Parts above ground, stem with leaves and flowers (Sideriti herba)

  • Harvesting period: The plant is collected in June and July, during its blooming period

  • Tools for harvesting: Knife or scissors

  • Method of collection: Only the stem with flowers is cut with a sharp blade. The leaves are not collected. It is cleaned off of dirt and earth. Plants that have bloomed more flowers than necessary do not need to be collected or plants that are infected by diseases. The plant should not be pulled from roots. Mountain tea should be collected in sunny weather.  

Pulling the plants from its roots is prohibited. It is necessary to leave at least a third of the plant in order to ensure it is able to seed. Collection in the same spot is allowed after two years. Collection is not allowed in areas where samples are rare.

Cultivation

Seeds collected in nature show a low level of germination in laboratories and under natural conditions (germination is at around 5%). In order to improve the growth process, different treatments are used. The best results have been achieved by spraying the seeds once with a gibberellic acid (1 and 1.5%) and copper sulfate (0.001%) in order to increase the rate of germination to 80%. After the treatment, the seed’s development is characterized by an intense growth in roots, stem and leaves.

It is recommended that cultivation be done in open fields in autumn and spring from February to March. Seeds germinate slowly and require stratification. Stratification is the process with which seeds are under cover of soil in low temperatures for several days. The space between rows should not 10 cm, and seeds should be planted 1-2 cm deep into the soil.

Three grams of seeds are required for a square meter of earth. After the seeds have been planted, the areas in which the seeds are planted need to be regularly watered. Plants begin to sprout in spring or autumn, and need to be regularly watered and fertilized.

Production and Processing

During the first year, this culture with only produce basal leaves. After the second year, it will begin to regularly bloom.

The most intensive growth of the stem and formation of biomass above ground is visible during the third and fourth year after the seeds have been planted. The number of flowers will begin to increase, as will branches.

Collected plants are immediately transported to be dried. Plants are dried in dark, ventilated rooms, In artificial dryers, the plants are dried at a temperature of 40°C, providing better quality tea. 2.5 kg of fresh plants results in 1 kg of dried plants (herb). Antibacterial and antiviral effects are confirmed in cultivated plants.

Treatment After Collection

The leaves collected from the stem of the plant are cleaned from soil or infested parts. Plants with dark leaves and without flowers have no commercial value. It is recommended that plants are dried in a dark and ventilated room. Use of synthetic materials that reduced the quality of the collected plants is prohibited. During the drying process, the plants need to be regularly rotated, depending on humidity and weather. The plant is considered dry when the thickest part of its stem breaks once it has been bent. Collected plants can also be dried in a dry at 40°C with good ventilation. The dried tea is grouped into bunches of 25 small stems. These bunches are stored upside-down in a dry area where they will hang for 2-4 days.

Packaging and Preservation

The dried tea is packaged in clean cotton or paper bags and left in a clean, dry, well-ventilated room, away from direct sunlight, humidity, dust and debris, insects and rodents, and away from toxic or aromatic plants.