Just knowing the names of plants, where they belong in the ecosystem, how to harvest them in keeping with the natural cycles of both the plants and the region, how to mix and match to ease discomfort, return health or increase comfort is more than half the value of wildcrafting. The spiritual enhancement of working with the natural world to heal and benefit the body and the being is equal to the intense satisfaction that comes from knowing that if you were ever lost in the wilderness, alone and without aid, you could keep yourself alive. Anywhere in the world in any season (if you are experienced enough). There is also the quiet delight of knowing that you are working with the earth and not against it, as we so often do in being human, and the privilege of recovering a lost art form in the natural techniques of healing and harvesting. Self-reliance is part of self-identity which boosts self-esteem and all of that is part of satisfaction which leads, inevitably, to happiness. Not to mention pleasure in sharing the beauty of the outdoors with yourself, rarer and rarer in this internet age.
posted 12 years ago
Late 1990's Media Hostility Towards Wildcrafting Aggressive and sometimes larcenous thorough harvesting of high-price, high-demand, high-profile wild medicinal plants, in particular ginseng roots, goldenseal roots, Echinacea roots, black cohosh roots and saw palmetto berries, has resulted in negative media attention for wildcrafting and wildcrafters (SEE: The Ethics of Wildcrafting, L Thomton, The Herb Quarterly 79:41-46, Fall I998). Much of this media exposure has been prompted by United Plant Savers, a well-intentioned non-profit organization dedicated to protecting wild medicinal plants and their respective habitats (United Plant Savers Newsletter 2: #1-Winter I999; UpS POB 98, E. Barre, VT 05649). "So-called "overharvesting" is 99% an economic phenomenon: usually relatively poor harvesters accessing a "free" resource to supply demand created by successful marketing. Price drives decisions." Most wildcrafters harvest wild herbs because they need the money, not because sick people need the herbs. Most personal herb consumption is a waste of herbs at about the 80% level. What is usually needed is personal lifestyle change. Wildcrafters are relatively innocent, supplying demand created by those often more economically advantaged. Harvesting, legal and otherwise, will continue as long as the market supports it. Better education of herb consumers would probably be a better remedy than more onerous laws and rules for punishing wildcrafters. As long as we have private land some medicinal plant wildcrafting can be expected. - [fr:Wildcrafting Medicinal Plants; ryandrum.com]
Something to think about when it comes to shelves of herbal remedies in Health Food Stores.
posted 12 years ago
Which flowers are edible?
Among the most common edible flowers are peonies, pansies, carnations, chamomile, chrysanthemums, dandelions, daylilies, gardenias, geraniums, gladioli, lavender, lilies, nasturtiums, primroses, roses, squash blossoms, sweet violets, pot marigolds, and yucca blossoms.
-The Farmer's Almanac
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