• Goldenseal
  • Black Cohosh
  • Laddy Slipper Orchid
  • Trillium

Celebration of the Cohoshes’ was a celebration indeed. On September 28, 2013, researchers, medicinal herb growers, herbalists and students alike gathered in the spirit of medicinal plant conservation and were kept company by the warm autumn sun and brilliant glow of the hills at the Goldenseal Botanical Sanctuary in Rutland, Ohio.

The event hosted classes in wild-simulated cultivation, propagation techniques, and herbal medicine therapeutics and use of black and blue cohosh (Actaea racemosa and Caulophyllum thalictroides). Folklore and history surrounding these Ohio natives were also celebrated, providing a well-rounded educational experience on not only conserving and perpetuating the source of these native medicinal plants but also cultivating a better understanding of the consumers of these herbs, their therapeutic value, and their demand in the natural products marketplace.

CelebrationAlthough the event was structured around the conservation and use of black and blue cohosh, many of Ohio’s native medicinal plants were also attended to throughout the conference. Tanner Filyaw, Forest Botanicals Specialist from Rural Action taught on the cultivation of Ramp (Allium tricoccum ) as a non-timber forest product. There were also classes in wild-simulated cultivation and propagation of American ginseng taught by Chip Carroll of Woodland Wise Botanicals and Ed Flecther of Stategic Sourcing. These classes on American ginseng, whose conservation continues to be of high priority to United Plant Savers, were able to create more momentum from the current national media attention to the plight of American ginseng (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505269_162-57601454/ginseng-poaching-threatens-survival-of-plant-species/) and the United Plant Savers ‘Save American ginseng’ petition through change.org (http://www.change.org/petitions/save-american-ginseng-panax-quinquefolius). The Goldenseal Botanical Sanctuary was also honored by a visit from Adam Seitz of Pennsylvania Certified Organic, who came to speak to the organization and our presenters about a 3rd party verification program for growers and processors of forest-grown American ginseng that is being launched in 2014.

CelebrationThe Goldenseal Sanctuary (https://www.facebook.com/GoldensealSanctuary) is a special place. And like all special places it harnesses the ability to inspire hope and purpose in the lives of those who come here. We had the opportunity to engage and speak with some of our members who attended the event. One member in particular had a very poignant and humble truth to share. “This place is special’ she says, “and it special because you have to seek it out. Therefore, the people that come here to participate in these events do so earnestly. “

There is no doubt that smiles of fulfillment and furrowed brows of pensive thought were expressed by all. One of the most exciting observations from the day, from both presenters and our executive director Susan Leopold, was the amount of younger people who attended this event. Their presence at events such as this is what drives the mission of United Plant Savers and the work of medicinal plant conservationists and growers. In the mission statement of United Plant Savers, we make a vow to future generations. Their presence at this event lets us know that they are hearing us and feel inspired to seek us out. We would like to cordially thank Molly Jo Stanley and Hocking College of Nelsonville, Ohio, one of our Partners in Education, for continually encouraging their students to join our organization and participate in our events.

United Plant Savers was also significantly excited by the attendance of many of our local community members from Athens and Meigs County, Ohio. These are exciting times for our organization, inclusive of the recent move of our ‘base of operations’ from Vermont to the Goldenseal Botanical Sanctuary in Rutland, Ohio. There are so many fantastic organizations and proactive individuals within the SE Ohio Appalachian region. We are very much looking forward to engaging and building reciprocal relationships with our local community as we move forward…’Planting the Future’.
United Plant Savers and Goldenseal Botanical Sanctuary would like to thank our presenters for donating their time, resources, and knowledge to providing participants with such a rich educational experience. Ed Fletcher (http://www.strategicsourcinginc.net/Strategic Sourcing Inc.), Amanda Vickers (http://www.bentcreekinstitute.org/Bent Creek Institute), Betzy Bancroft (http://www.vtherbcenter.org/Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism), Caty Crabb (Wildfire Herbs), Rebecca Wood (Hopewood Holistic Health), Mimi Hernandez (http://www.americanherbalistsguild.com/American Herbalists Guild), Marlene Waechter, CPM (Ohio Midwives Alliance), Tanner Filyaw (http://ruralaction.org/Rural Action), Maureen Burns-Hooker (http://www.herbalsage.com/Herbal Sage Tea Company), Chip Carroll (Woodland Wise Botanicals), Robert Eidus (http://www.ncgoldenseal.com/North Carolina Ginseng and Goldenseal Co.), Sasha White (United Plant Savers), and Marlene Waechter, CPM (Ohio Midwife Alliance).

United Plant Savers would also like to take the opportunity to thank our national and regional sponsors for assisting us in producing such a fulfilling event: Mountain Rose Herbs (http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/), American Herbalists Guild, Herbal Sage Tea Company, the Farmacy (, Chelsea’s Real Food, and Rural Action. We would also like to thank Controlled Folly (https://www.facebook.com/controlledfolly.muka?fref=ts) from Athens, Ohio for providing great music for all as we watched the sun set over the hills of Meigs County. What an incredible day!

Help Save the Plants! by One Percent for the PlanetHelp Save the Plants! is Reprinted with Permission by OnePercentforthePlanet.org As the medicinal herb industry grows and the habitat for native plants diminishes, these plants are at-risk of over harvesting and potentially disappearing completely. Meanwhile, the health care industry is realizing just how important regional herbal medicine is to the vitality of local communities. Did you know that goldenseal is a powerful agent against the deadly bacteria that causes MRSA infection? Not only are people losing access to vital regional medicine, but the world is losing the plant diversity that is critical to ecosystem services, like processing carbon, and food for pollinators. United Plant Savers (UpS) is the only organization advocating for the sustainability of native medicinal plants and encouraging conservation through cultivation. Placing plants on an At-Risk List has been a great first step for protecting these plants; however, shifting land use practices and the increasing demands of the natural products industry require additional effort. UpS empowers its members to make a difference by creating native plant Sanctuaries in their own backyards and by promoting the responsible purchasing of herbal medicines. “It takes a lot of maturity, a maturity that the human species is still working toward,


Gaian Mind with Stephen BuhnerI spent a weekend with Stephen Buhner, wordsmith, storyteller, poet, and teacher, at a class organized by Kathleen Maier's herb school, Sacred Plant Traditions. Stephen impregnated ideas of oneness, providing insight into the inner workings of the "Gaian Mind and the Secret Teachings of Plants", going back to the very life form and function of bacteria to the rich cultural diversity of plants. We were asked to open our hearts to what is termed the invisibles of communication, sitting with a plant and being open to the thoughts and feelings that immerge in the present moment. I sat with what looked like a variegated wild ginger, commonly knows as Virginia Heartleaf (Hexastylis virginica), and a member of the Aristolochiaceae family. I was drawn to the unusual patters of the flower and the heart shape of the leaf. Each of us in that class had our own unique story of what we encountered that afternoon as the cicadas sung their 17-year love song. Those who participated left with the task of following their heart and tapping deeper in Gaian awareness. Kathleen Maier's herb school www.sacredplanttraditions.com To find out more on Stephen's Books and Teachings.. www.gaianstudies.org A wonderful


Elderberry an abundant native medicine[SIZE=4]Celebrating our Native Herbal Heritage: Sambucus canadensis[/SIZE] by Rob and Hilary Templeton Equinox Botanicals recently embarked on a mission to create a line of herbal syrups composed entirely of plants native or naturalized to North America. While developing the line’s ambassador, an Elderberry Syrup, following that criteria led to some encouraging discoveries that seemed to echo the project’s mantra: “Celebrate our native herbal heritage”. Sambucus nigra, the European black elderberry, has centuries of recorded history. It is known as a plant that possesses the power to ward off evil spirits. It has been utilized as a food, a wine, a dye, and for a variety of medicinal applications, especially with symptoms presenting as the onset of a cold or flu. Modern studies are now validating folkloric medicinal use of the plant. S. nigra contains abundant quantities of anthocyanins, the anti-oxidant pigment that is responsible for giving the berries their purple-blue color. Our bodies use antioxidants to neutralize harmful free radicals and protect us from disease. According to the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity) method, elderberry’s “Total Antioxidant Capacity” is one of the highest of all small fruits, having nearly two times the value of cranberry and more than twice that of


At-Risk Tool presented in Texas!The Powers of the Prairie and the Texan Inmortal aka Asclepias asperula…. This Texas milkweed, a uniquely beautiful Asclepias, is commonly known as “inmortal” for its seriously strong medicinal value. The milkweed’s name, inspired by the Greek physician who became known as the “father” of medicine, makes sense when thinking of the value of pleurisy root (Asclepias tuberosa), another potent medicinal milkweed. I was taken in by this native prairie medicine while exploring the LBJ grasslands in Texas, since I had never heard of the “inmortal”. The dried root is noted for being used in small doses to assist in stalled childbirth and to treat enlarged, or congested hearts. Highly toxic as well, this BIG medicine is not for the inexperienced. Milkweeds are known not only for their medicinal value, but also as critical food for various pollinators and their unique role in the prairie ecosystem. Asclepias asperula…. This brings me to my visit to the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, known to most as BRIT (www.brit.org). I was thrilled to be able to visit the state of the art LEED certified solar powered, native prairie plant roofed botanical library and herbarium collection that has become globally famous


Spring Seed Give Away 2013 (ARNICA AND ARNICA ANALOGUES)DATE EXTENDED TO FRIDAY, MAY 3rd 2013 Spring Seed Giveaway, Arnica and Arnica Analogues by Richo Cech A vibrant patch of arnica, with flowers radiant in the summer sun, is a lovely focal point of the apothecary garden. In herbal medicine, arnica is among the most useful of remedies. The tincture or oil infusion of the dried flowers, applied topically, is an effective treatment for blunt traumatic injury, strains and sprains. The herb is an effective discutient, increasing circulation and helping dispel morbid matter--swelling goes down, bruises dissipate. Since antiquity, arnica has been combined with calendula and Saint John's wort, a dynamic threesome that assuages pain, fights infection, promotes nerve reparation and speeds healing, a formula that proves useful to this day. Arnica montana (mountain arnica), the endemic European species, is considered official. However, other species of arnica (there are 28 in North America) are used by local herbalists and appear to be medicinally interchangeable with the official species. Arnica chamissonis (meadow arnica) enjoys a wide distribution in North America and Europe and is listed in the German Commission E Monograph as a viable substitute for A. montana in herbal medicine. Finding substitutes for the official species is a worthy goal,


The Hawaiian Sandalwood Video Project This past fall United Plant Savers co-organized the International Sandalwood Symposium that took place over four days, with over 30 academic presentations on the following topics: local and global markets and threats, chemistry and genetics, cultivation and propagation, ecology and environment, regional use and development, regulation and sustainable management. Speakers were from several countries including the United States, Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Tonga and Vanuatu. Three take home points of the ISS gathering: beginning with the fact that the sandalwood story of Hawaii is one that is sadly playing out in island nations throughout the Pacific as small fragmented populations that are left of endemic species and varieties are struggling to survive due to an increase in price as supply shrinks. Secondly it is important for consumers to understand that nearly half the world’s global supply is being poached and that adulteration of sandalwood products is taking place. Third is that sandalwood as a value-added product has the potential to be an economic contribution to remote, rural island nations if efforts are invested in research, education, conservation and cultivation. In the winter of 2012 before the ISS gathering I traveled with my three kids to the


Ginseng Expo UpS was one of the many sponsors of the Ginseng gathering December 7th-8th at the Mountain Horticultural Research Center in NC. Andy Hankins sadly passed away recently; he was an advocate for ginseng conservation, helping stewards of small farms like myself learn about planting ginseng. He also taught at UpS events and as an agricultural extension agent provided valuable information to many. The Ginseng Expo was dedicated to Andy Hankins and his efforts to help landowners grow wild-simulated ginseng in Virginia, which is now a key strategy for taking the pressure off of wild populations. Andy was a great teacher, a true plantsman and a strong advocate for helping small farmers make a living off their land. You can download his valuable research on ginseng and on growing cut flowers at this site: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/author/h/hankins-andy-res.html The Ginseng Expo was organized with valuable panel discussions and in house voting on important conservation issues. You can hear short interviews about the expo at: www.oursoutherncommunity.org. Many important topics were discussed on the great need for conservation of ginseng, including where it is disappearing from our national parks. To find out more download the following .pdf of


The Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies along with Tai Sophia Institute has recently published two plant monographs based on the UpS 'at-risk' list: Black Cohosh and Goldenseal.The following plant monographs are soon to be published (False Unicorn, Stone root, Wild Yam, Boneset, American Ginseng, Blood root, Slippery Elm, Wild Indigo, and Pipsissewa) The Mission of The Appalachian Plant Monographs project is:
  • To preserve Appalachian culture by documenting the traditional uses of native Appalachian plants. This aspect distinguishes this project from many other monographs.
  • To encourage the cultivation of economically important plants and insure sustainability by providing resources for growers and harvesters. To provide resources for students, practitioners, researchers, and the general public.
  • To integrate indigenous knowledge with modern research by providing access to both aspects of understanding.
To view monographs visit: http://www.frostburg.edu/aces/appalachian-plants/


Upcoming Events


United Plant Savers will be in Ashville at the North Carolina Ginseng Association, 2017 Ginseng Market Place

November 11th, 2017


Gift Memberships Available!

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PO Box 147, Rutland, OH 45775
Tel. (740) 742-3455
Email: office@UnitedPlantSavers.org



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