HEIRLOOM GARDENER

United Plant Savers   A Nonprofit Making a Difference for Medicinal Plants

THOUGH THEY’VE BEEN on the planet far longer than any human, medicinal herbs are still a tantalizing mystery to millions of people. Carefully comb modern drugstore shelves, and you’ll notice more products than ever that rely on wild plant derivatives for their natural health benefits. What you won’t see, however, are the thousands of pounds of plants required to make them.

Across the country, more than 100 varieties of wild plants are harvested for medicinal purposes — but increasing demand is putting intense pressure on natural spaces, often to the point of critically endangering the plants within them. Struggling with habitat destruction, pollution, and invasive species, native medicinal plants have never worked harder to survive.

For wild herbs to retain their place in the American healing tradition, better standards are needed to preserve and protect them.

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