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Information @ a Glance

Production

  • Establishment of a herb production venture involves relatively high capital investment, particularly for plant material, irrigation, machinery and distillation or drying equipment.
  • The traditional paradigm of herbal usage in China incorporates three concepts that are relatively unfamiliar to Americans, but which can influence the way herbs are produced, marketed, and used in the US.
  • Herbs have cultural requirements similar to bedding plants and it should be easy for greenhouse growers to add herbs to their production schedule.

Growth

  • The most important requirements for herb plants are well-drained, rich soil and plenty of sunshine and adequate water.
  • The time to harvest herb seeds is when they have changed color-from green to brown, but before they drop.
  • Herb roots are most flavorful in the fall when fully developed, toward the end of the growing season.
  • The main requirements to produce medicinal herbs are the correct plant material, good horticultural/arable soils, irrigation, good shelter, harvesting equipment, a drier and drying shed, secondary sorting and processing equipment.

Process

  • Rack drying is recommended for short-stemmed herbs and flowers such as thyme, oregano, lavender and scented geraniums.
  • Any herb can be preserved by Freezing method.
  • When harvesting flowers and seed heads for herbal crafts it can cut any time they are ready.
  • Some herbs can be propagated by layering. This basically means, you take a stem from the main plant and cause it root, forming a new plant.
  • Herb and flowers seeds are produced in small quantity (and have small seeds) that it is impractical to use a machine for threshing.
  • The germination rate of many agricultural seeds may be increased if exposed to alternations in daily temperature.

Application

  • Medicinal herbs are widely used as diet supplements and in the treatment of illness.
  • Processing herbs to alter their properties is an ancient method used in TCM that is actually able to alter or enhance one or a number of specific biochemical constituents.
  • The floodplain forest of Litovelské Pomoraví is a semi-natural ecosystem endangered by human activity both in the past and the present. Its ecology has been investigated by analysing the herb layer.

Market

  • Approximately 37% of Canadian imports of medicinal herbs (excluding ginseng and licorice) in low quality.
  • Import substitution is an immediate growth opportunity for the medicinal herb sector in Canada. The Canadian medicinal herb market has grown the fastest in Saskatchewan, and has the most potential for future growth.
  • Interest in herb production in New Mexico has accelerated as a result of efforts by several organizations in the state.
  • Respondents for a questionnaire indicated they obtain herbs from U.S. suppliers (93.3%), although many could also be importing. The most common type of supplier used by respondents was specialty herb wholesalers, followed by growers and brokers.

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