Wildcrafting: Medicinal Plant Gathering Guide

<p>1.  Make sure you collect the proper species. There are poisonous lookalikes for many plants. Use a good guidebook, or, better yet, take an herb walk with a local expert to identify species growing in your area.</p>
<p>2.  Be sure you collect the correct plant part.</p>
<p>3.  Leave endangered or threatened species alone.</p>
<p>4.  Ask permission before gathering on private land. Local, federal, and state parks often have limits on collecting wild plants as well.</p>
<p>5.  If possible, spray or water plants the day before collecting, or gather the day after a rain.</p>
<p>6.  Avoid collecting plants within fifty feet of a busy road and in sprayed or polluted areas.</p>
<p>7.  Never take more than one-tenth of any given stand of plants, unless what you’re gathering is over growing as an invasive weed.</p>
<p>8.  Gather leaves and flowers in the morning, after the dew has risen but before the sun is too hot.</p>
<p>9.  Replant seeds as often as possible, unless you are trying to eradicate the plant.</p>
<p>10.  Take a whole leaf rather than tearing a leaf.</p>
<p>11.  Collect plants in a way that ensures the continued survival of the species. For example, if all you need are the leaves and flowers, take only some tops. Cutting a plant back can actually help to promote new growth. Leave the roots intact to continue their growing cycle.</p>
<p>12.  Compost or use the herb parts not needed as mulch, compost, or use in herbal baths.</p>
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<em>Brigitte Mars is an herbalist from Boulder, Colorado. She is the author of</em> Dandelion Medicine <em>(Storey, 1999),</em> Addiction Free Naturally <em>(Healing Arts, 2001), and</em> Natural First Aid <em>(Storey, 1999). She teaches at the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies and also hosts Herb Camp for Kids</em>.</p>
<p>Click here for the original article, <a href=”https://www.motherearthliving.com/gardening/the-open-air-pharmacy.aspx”>Wildcrafting: Medicinal Wild Plants</a>.</p>

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