Botanical poachers

rusty_blackhaw(6a)August 11, 2006

Herbs have been harvested to the point of near-extinction in some areas (examples include goldenseal and ginseng). Poachers are also targeting slippery elm trees on public lands.

Buyers of herbal products need to ask 1) is this product made from a commercially grown, renewable source and not destructively ripped from wild habitat, and 2) if the source is undetermined, is the herb sufficiently valuable medically to risk its extinction as a species through overharvesting?

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poor slippery elms! I don't use it, because it kills the trees. I think in our world, if you can make money from it, people will steal it.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 11:57AM
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We really do need to be responsible when we purchase herbs. Or better yet, everyone grow their own! An organization that really is into preserving medicinal herbs is United Plant Savers. They have a lot of information on how to grow endangered species so they don't become extinct. We plan on becoming a botanical sanctuary.

Slippery elm bark can be harvested in a way that does not kill the trees. A responsible harvester will use only smaller limbs, not girdle the main trunk!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 9:02AM
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Betty wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone grew their own? :o) I WISH! But I can't grow most of the 'forest' herbs like bloodroot and etc. I've TRIED... I got meadowsweet to live 3 years, but it never bloomed. too hot and dry here.
sorry, I digressed.
I HOPE my co-op is fairly wise about this sort of thing, they DO put whether the herb was wildcrafted or not on the container....

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 2:38PM
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Heathen, it would be better! I know, I don't have much luck with desert plants up here in the northeast. But, if everyone grew what they could...

BTW, wildcrafted doesn't mean ethically wildcrafted...

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 5:28PM
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Yeah, as I typed that, I realized that... I will have to ask... though it seems that a concientious co-op would be on top of that, since they are into fair trade. I will have to ask.
If I had my druthers, I'd grow everything... but I am a plant addict. I can grow tropicals, so of course, what is out of reach is what I'd REALLY like to grow! :o) I'd like to try Black Cohosh ONE MORE TIME.
With Global Warming, and the way I've heard your Eastern Weather's been, pretty soon, you might be growing what grows easily here! I was amazed... it's mighty rare when it's warmer there than here in california!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 6:09PM
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