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Harvesting & Using Angelica in KNF

Harvest & use angelica for KNF
Angelica Roots

Best Practices for Harvesting Angelica Roots for KNF

Choose Mature Plants

Select plants at least two years old to ensure the roots are fully developed.


The best time of year to harvest Angelica roots is in the fall, after the first frost but before the ground freezes.

The best lunar phase to harvest Angelica (like all medicinal plants) is the phase right after the full moon, known as the La’au days in Hawaiian culture. This is when medicinal constituents in plants are known to peak.

The time of day does not matter much in this case.

Prepare the Plant

Trim back foliage to make it easier to access the roots and help the plant conserve energy after harvesting.


Carefully use a garden fork or shovel to loosen the soil around the plant's base, digging wide and deep to avoid damaging the roots.

Once the surrounding soil has been softened, gently pull roots up, carefully preventing bruising or breaking.

Cleaning the Roots

Once harvested, brush off all dirt, but do not wash if used for Korean Natural Farming (KNF) inputs, such as Oriental Herbal Nutrient (OHN). You want to keep the roots' microbiome intact for wild aerobic fermentation. Washing will eliminate the wild microbiome. If the dirt is moist, let it dry to make it easy to brush off all dirt without washing.

Trim by cutting off small, fine roots and removing damaged or discolored parts, keeping only healthy primary roots.

Saving for Replanting

Set aside some of the roots to be replanted for future harvests. This is much more effective than starting from seed each time, saving time and money.

Drying and Storage

When using KNF inputs, it is best to use fresh roots. Instructions are given in KNF for using dry roots because most people are not growing Angelica when they start KNF. The farmer buys roots (only available commercially in dried form) until they can harvest their own fresh roots.

If you do want to dry and store Angelica roots, lay cleaned and trimmed roots in a single layer on a clean surface in a well-ventilated area. Allow roots to dry completely, several days to several weeks, depending on humidity levels and temperatures.

Store dried roots in airtight containers away from light and moisture. Label the container with the contents and harvest date.


Use Fresh

If you plan to make Oriental Herbal Nutrient (OHN), use the roots fresh, ideally right after harvest. OHN is the tonic in the Korean Natural Farming (KNF) system and is added to basically every formula. Angelica is the main ingredient in the OHN recipe.

Each ingredient in the OHN recipe first undergoes aerobic fermentation, which increases bioavailability, and then is extracted using alcohol. The best results come from fresh ingredients.

Using dry ingredients requires an extra step to rehydrate the plant material. Using the root fresh eliminates both the dehydration and rehydration steps and avoids any possible degradation. When using fresh Angelica root for KNF inputs, clean dirt off the roots, but do not wash them.

Besides adding OHN tonic to formulas for plants and animals, it makes an excellent tonic for people. The two-step process, fermentation and then extraction, brings out the most medicinal constituents, making them the most bioavailable.

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