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Basically, the woodruff can be collected from spring to autumn for use as a medicinal and aromatic herb. However, harvesting before flowering is recommended due to the sharp increase in coumarin content afterwards.

Woodruff can be preserved in a variety of ways

Harvest and process the woodruff correctly

As a rule, the fresh stalks of the woodruff are harvested shortly before the flowering period in April and May, which has also given the woodruff punch the traditional name May punch. In addition to the woodruff punch, the following products can also be refined with the characteristic taste of the woodruff:

  • Berliner Weisse
  • woodruff syrup
  • woodruff lemonade
  • woodruff ice cream

In commercially produced desserts and drinks, however, the use of real woodruff has been prohibited for several years, since excessive and regular consumption could lead to health problems in children and adults. The harvest of the woodruff in the spring is so important because the content of the medicinally effective coumarin in the leaves and stems increases with the flowering. When used sparingly, this substance can also have a positive effect on health and help relieve headaches, for example. Only let the woodruff steep in the woodruff bowl or in other liquids for a maximum of 15 to 30 minutes to prevent overdosing.

Drying Woodruff

To dry, a few stalks of woodruff are usually bundled with a thread and hung upside down in a well-ventilated place. The drying process in the oven is faster, but the temperature should not exceed around 40 to 50 degrees Celsius and the oven door should be held slightly open with the handle of a spoon so that the escaping moisture can escape from the plants. A short wilting of the woodruff overnight is also recommended for fresh use, as this intensifies the aroma.

Freeze or freeze the woodruff

The aroma-enhancing effect of wilting can also be achieved by briefly freezing the leaves. You can take advantage of this if you don't have enough time to wither overnight. While dried woodruff leaves only retain their aroma for about a few months, you can store portioned woodruff in the freezer for up to a year.


If your woodruff has already flowered, you can still use it. But then make sure you use a correspondingly more economical dosage.

The garden journal freshness ABC

How can fruit and vegetables be stored correctly so that they stay fresh for as long as possible?

The garden journal freshness ABC as a poster:

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