Fortunately there is an organization that is dedicated to preserving, conserving and restoring native medicinal plants and their habitats in the US and Canada. Since 1994, United Plant Savers has been working to educate and inform consumers and industry alike, and has set up a network of ‘botanical sanctuaries’ across North America to act as education centers for medicinal plant conservation and propagation. The organization also co-ordinates community grant programs, plant give-aways, and publishes the Journal of Medical Plant Conservation. We wish them luck in preserving and restoring North America’s botanical, medicinal and cultural heritage for many generations to come.
Many TreeHuggers are interested in ‘alternative’ and natural remedies. It is a shame, then, that some unscrupulous companies are over harvesting many wild plants used in such remedies, sometimes driving them to the point of extinction. American ginseng is a prime example of over harvesting. It is one of the most lucrative medicinal plants -- a single ginseng root can cost between 40 and 60 dollars ¬– and is thus in very high demand from wild crafters.