Mother Earth Living

Herb Basics: Collecting Plants with the Environment in Mind

Replenish your garden after each harvest with these herbs and tips
By The Herb Companion
July/August 2004
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In her book Walking the World in Wonder, herbalist Ellen Evert Hopman reminds us to use “green etiquette’’ when gathering plants. When harvesting, be sure there are at least seven others of the plant left behind so the species can continue to reproduce — this ensures that enough plants will remain to form seeds. Never take more plants than you can use, even if there are plenty. Some plants are in danger of becoming extinct and should never be harvested from the wild. They are good choices for growing in your garden. These herbs include the following:

• American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)
• Arnica (Arnica spp.)
• Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)
• Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
• Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)
• Echinacea (Echinacea spp.)
• Gentian (Gentiana spp.)
• Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
• Eyebright (Euphrasia spp.)
• Helonias root (Chamaelirium luteum)
• Lomatium (Lomatium dissectum)
• Oregon grape (Mahonia spp.)
• Osha (Ligusticum porteri)
• Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)
• Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra)
• Sundew (Drosera spp.)
• Trillium (Trillium pendulum)
• Yerba mansa (Anemopsis californica)

Sources: Hopman, Ellen Evert. Walking the World in Wonder: A Children’s Herbal. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 2000.
United Plant Savers,

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