Ma Huang Harvesting
Answered by: Zhongfa Wu
Question from: Sandra De Pew
Posted on: August 18, 2009

How I know my Ma Huang herbs (ephedra sinica) are ready for harvesting? They seemed to have stopped growing at about 3 inches and are getting very frail and yellow looking. Does that mean they are getting too much water? I am trying to grow them in shallow pots in my sun room. Also, how do I harvest these herbs and prepare them for use?

Ma Huang is an herb with herbaceous stem. In China, it only grows well in northern region. It is a key step for the grower to know how to control water. Ma Huang is a plant that doesn’t like too much water. Usually, water one or two times after plant grows above soil and water one time soundly before winter is coming.

Ma Huang grows well in the sand soil with fine draining condition. So, I don’t think it is a good idea to grow Ma Huang in a shallow pot. It can be harvested after it grows 2-3 years. It will grow again with the root underground. But you must leave 3 centimeter high apart the ground when you harvest. The medicinal material is collected in fall, dried in shade and cut into pieces. Its commonly used form is crude one or the one prepared with honey.

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