Last month I was able to tour a natural medicine co-operative in northern Italy. It was truly a divine experience. The smells, the smells! They were simply amazing. I made a post about the essential oils distillery, and this one is all about their new dehydrator technology.
Processing Natural Medicine
In this facility they process herbs such as lavender, passion flower, peppermint, and even hops. In the past they used a dehydrator that was in the shape of a large room, we were able to peak inside of this dehydrator upon arrival. It was simply a box with a mesh floor. The plant product would be laid along the floor and it would take up to the 3 days for the product to fully dehydrate.
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The problem with the previous technology is that such a slow dehydration would sometimes result in the growth of fungus or bacteria – not what we want to be consuming with our herbal teas and herbal medicines.
Now, with their new technology, the are able to dehydrate plants in 3 MINUTES! This means the plant life is preserved in a state that more closely represents the nutritional value when harvested. Once a plant is harvested, it begins to slowly decay – this is why growing your own food is more beneficial than buying from the grocery store!
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The same applies for natural medicines – you want to consume plants at their point of peak nutrition. The longer you wait to dehydrate a plant, the more decay and less nutrient dense the plants become. So with the old method, the plants would have 3 days to slowly dehydrate during processing.
You can watch a video of the essential oils co-op in Italian here:
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Now, with this new technology, they are able to dehydrate plants rapidly, preserving the quality of her herbs and increasing their impact upon consumption. The opportunity for fungus, mold, or bacteria to grow is greatly reduced, and the quality of the herb is more greatly preserved.
I really enjoyed touring this facility and cannot wait to return to Italy to learn more about the culture of herbal medicine in the region!
Please check out my previous posts about my visit to Italy, and other natural medicine posts here: