Harvesting and Preparing Herbs by the Lunar Phases
Stephanie Burgess (Tephyr) The Garden
The moons is a powerful influence on us whether we see it as simply gravitational influences or more Spiritual or Energetic. Either way there is an effect on the life on our planet.
When the moon is in the stage between the New Moon and The Full Moon it is called The Waxing Moon. This is a time of gaining and expanding. The Moon's gravitational force is pulling away from the earth. This is the time when the oceans are "pulled" away from the Earth and we have Low Tides. So in Harvesting, this is a good time to take the plant parts that are above ground as that is the direction their energies are being pulled and so enhances the plant's properties in those portions. This is also an ideal time to make or decant your preparations. In this instance, the moon's force is helping to pull the energies and chemical constituents out of the plant and into the preparation. If you want or can wait to decant your tinctures and oils just at the moment of the Full Moon or the last few hours before hand then you will have this added energy force pulling just a little extra out of the plants.
During the time of Full Moon to New Moon is called the Waning Moon. This is when the gravitational influences are pushing down and inward. The oceans are "pushed" downward and we have High Tide. This is the time that is ideal for harvesting below the ground: the roots of plants. The moon is pushing energies and chemical constituents down and inwards into the roots.
For preparations it is the ideal time to take down those bundles of herbs you have been drying. The energies are being "pushed inwards" and re ready for storage or final preparations.
A good rule of thumb would be; Harvest during the Waxing Moon and Storage during the Waning Moon.
You may want to also take into account what the herb will be needed for. Waxing Moon is "gaining and building"; so this is an ideal time to make or take tonic preparations or anything that is being used to build strength or energy. Waning Moon is "warding and loosing". This is a good time to make or take preparations such as detoxifying herbs or herbs to loose or remove anything unwanted such as weight.
You may want to consider plants ruled by the Moon also as well as diseases ruled by the Moon when taking or making your preparations.
Keeping the Lunar Phases in mine when Harvesting or Preparing your herbs also help you to focus your intent and needs from the plant you are using. Though it isn't absolutely necessary to incorporate this into your harvesting and preparations I feel that it is an added bonus in the energetic strength of your final product.
For educational information only. No parts of these documents on this site are to be taken as diagnosis or prescription for any illness. See your Medical, and Mental Healthcare Practitioner or Spiritual Advisor for any personal health and emotional concerns.