• Goldenseal
  • Black Cohosh
  • Laddy Slipper Orchid
  • Trillium

Help 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, to see that we’re here to give out as much as we receive. The launch of United Plant Savers is the herbal community maturing and working hard to give back to the earth by being a voice for protection of the native plants.”

– Rosemary Gladstar Founder of United Plants Savers.

Meet the Supporters:

United Plant Savers collaborates with many state and federal agencies such as Fish and Wildlife, Federal Park Service, local agricultural extension agencies who promote specialty crops and several University programs that teach ethnobotany, medicinal plant conservation and herbalism. UpS is supported by over 50 corporate members that renew each year.

1% member business Elemental Herbs recommended that United Plant Savers become an approved nonprofit partner and has since supported their cause.


- The Botanical Sanctuary Network developed by UpS includes 101 sanctuaries across the country with nearly 7,000 acres dedicated to conservation of at-risk native medicinal plants.

- UpS has built relationships with herb companies to save goldenseal, their signature plant.

- The UpS “At-Risk List” has helped bring awareness to several medicinal plants such as lady slipper that is no longer abundant enough to serve as medicine.

- UpS has promoted sustainable alternatives and endless educational workshops and materials over the last 19 years.


Expanding membership and support is a constant challenge. Plant Conservation is difficult to fund through foundational support so UpS depends on membership dues for close to 50% of our annual budget. The remainder of the budget comes from the support of conscious herb companies. Finding consistent financial support is essential.

Call to Action:

UpS is currently seeking funds to expand the Botanical Sanctuary Network. Funds will the organization reach out to a broader audience, connect sanctuaries to each other and empower members to join in our effort. The ultimate goal is creating a large network of thriving sanctuaries that connects plant communities and human communities.

You can also support UpS by donating to their Mad Marathon team, which is running in the first marathon devoted to issues of sustainability. A team of 5 recent graduates will be competing under the name, “Run for the Plants.” They have a goal of raising 10,000.00.

The Future of Our Native Planets

As United Planet Savers’ membership grows, so can their programs. ,The Botanical Sanctuary Network grants made to community herbal gardens, having additional schools join the Partners in Education program, and UpS internships are all important steps to protecting medicinal planets for the future. Ideally, as many medicinal plant varieties as possible can be protected in perpetuity.

Contact Susan Leopold, PhD, Executive Director of UpS, [EMAIL=susan@unitedplantsavers.org]susan@unitedplantsavers.org, 703-667-0208 with any further questions.

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


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Seeking Nominations

Do you have someone or an organization in mind that you would like to nominate for the Medicinal Plant Conservation Award? If so send an email and tell us why. Nominations should be emailed to office@unitedplantsavers.org


United Plant Savers Medicinal Plant Conservation Certificate Program

Fall 2018: Tuesday, Sept. 4 - Friday, Oct. 12.

Spring 2019: April 29 - June 7.

Apply Online Now

UpS featured on Al Jazeera - Inside Story - How should plants be protected in a changing world?

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



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