Wildcrafting herbs is one of my favourite things to do although I do find it hard to get the time. We have an abundance of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) growing wild on our property but lately it has been encroaching too close to our home so not wanting our darling 2 year old grandson to get stung I harvested the wild plants. It pained me to see them lying in a heap so dropping everything else that had to be done I gathered them up, washed the roots and laid them on a table in the shade near the kitchen. It was glorious weather with low humidity so the water dried off the roots quickly. When the they were completely dry I took the plants inside to start the drying process.
Here they are hanging on a rack in my dispensary - I could have used the dehydrator but prefer the old way. One of my most useful tools is a broom handle - it's portable and can be used anywhere. I not only use it as a drying rack to dry herbs when I get the chance but I also use it (after giving it a good clean) to dry pasta and to hang clothes that must be dried in the shade. They are cheap to buy and are readily available at hardware shops.
I use riggers gloves to harvest and handle nettle plants - they are great for avoiding the sting as the tiny hairs can go through the material in ordinary gardening gloves which has been an unpleasant experience for me in the past. Fortunately whenever I or a family member get stung I have liquid extract of burdock that I immediately apply to the area and the relief from the sting is almost instant - burdock is the antidote for nettle stings and usually grows near it in the wild; isn't nature marvellous?
When drying herbs keep the bunches small and well separated to allow for air-flow around them otherwise they will get mouldy and will have to be discarded.
Proprietor, author, and tutor of The Home Herbalist Online Course.