Responsible Wildcrafting – Saving the Protected Plants from Over-Harvesting

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I sincerely hope you all take the time this spring and summer to hit the road, head for the hills, climb every mountain in search of herbs and medicinal plants.  But there is one thing that must always be in the forefront of your mind (aside from poison ivy avoidance).  Not all plants should be picked.  For instance, echinacea has been over-harvested in the wild and is dwindling.  Even though in some parts of the country you can still find it in abundance, you should not harvest any of the echinacea varieties in the wild.  However, it’s a breeze to grow in your own garden.  

Yesterday I wrote a post on the joys of harvesting herbs, and I touched briefly on harvesting from the wild (wildcrafting).  I have wanted to write a post for sometime discussing why it’s important to wildcraft responsibly, and one of my readers left me a great comment yesterday, leading me to a site that can help us all if we plan to trek into the woods for our herbs.  Deanna, owner of an impressive all-natural skin care company I’ve reviewed here called Alchemilla, recommended visiting United Plant Savers.  If you look in that site’s left-hand column, you’ll find a button “UpS At-Risk List” which will take you to a nice listing of at-risk plants and plants to watch.  

Many thanks to Deanna for sending the link our way!  I love hearing from all of you, so please don’t hesitate to email me at (themommyspot at gmail dot com) or comment if you also know something herbal we could all benefit from!