• Species At-Risk

    For the benefit of the plant communities, wild animals, harvesters, farmers, consumers, manufacturers, retailers and practitioners, we offer this list of wild medicinal plants which we feel are currently most sensitive to the impact of human activities. Our intent is to assure the increasing abundance of the medicinal plants which are currently in decline due to expanding popularity and shrinking habitat and range. UpS is not asking for a moratorium on the use of these herbs. Rather, we are initiating programs designed to preserve these important wild medicinal plants.

    “At-Risk” List
    American Ginseng - Panax quinquefolius
    Bloodroot - Sanguinaria canadensis
    Black Cohosh - Actaea racemosa L.
    Blue Cohosh - Caulophyllum thalictroides
    Echinacea - Echinacea spp.

    Eyebright - Euphrasia spp.
    False Unicorn Root - Chamaelirium luteum
    Goldenseal - Hydrastis canadensis
    Lady’s Slipper Orchid - Cypripedium spp.
    Lomatium - Lomatium dissectum

    Osha - Ligusticum porteri, L. spp.
    Peyote - Lophophora williamsii
    Sandalwood - Santalum spp. (Hawaii only)
    Slippery Elm - Ulmus rubra
    Sundew - Drosera spp.
    Trillium, Beth Root -Trillium spp.
    True Unicorn - Aletris farinosa
    Venus’ Fly Trap - Dionaea muscipula
    Virginina Snakeroot - Aristolochia serpentaria
    Wild Yam - Dioscorea villosa, D. spp.
    “To-Watch” List
    Arnica - Arnica spp.
    Butterfly Weed - Asclepias tuberosa
    Cascara Sagrada - Frangula purshiana (Rhamnus)
    Chaparro - Casatela emoryi
    Elephant Tree - Bursera microphylla
    Gentian - Gentiana spp.
    Goldthread - Coptis spp.
    Kava Kava - Piper methysticum (Hawaii only)
    Lobelia - Lobelia spp.
    Maidenhair Fern - Adiantum pendatum
    Mayapple - Podophyllum peltatum
    Oregon Grape - Mahonia spp.
    Partridge Berry - Mitchella repens
    Pink Root - Spigelia marilandica
    Pipsissewa - Chimaphila umbellata
    Spikenard - Aralia racemosa, A. californica
    Stone Root - Collinsonia canadensis
    Stream Orchid - Epipactis gigantea
    Turkey Corn - Dicentra canadensis
    White Sage - Salvia apiana
    Wild Indigo - Baptisia tinctoria
    Yerba Mansa - Anemopsis californica

    Click on the link  to download our PDF brochure for more information. How To Adopt and the Benefits of Adopting an At-Risk herb

    Participating Businesses:

    Elemental Herbs Equinox Botanicals Frontier Natural Products Co-op Herb Pharm Herbs Etc. Mama Jo's Sunshine Herbals Moonmade Botanicals Mt Rose HerbsSage Mountain Traditional Medicinals New Chapter

    1. UpS "At-Risk" List
    Article Preview

    Saving Wild American Ginseng
    (Panax quinquefolius)

    American Ginseng is an amazing American medicinal plant of great value to rural communities, as a sustainable non-timber resource for both landowners and the National Forest Service, and if managed and protected, ginseng can be a sustainable source of wild medicine for future generations.

    United Plant Savers acknowledges the incredible historic role that ginseng has played in the American economy and lives of rural Appalachian culture. Those that have grown up in the culture of harvesting medicinal plants are also those that have planted the seeds of ginseng and replenished the woods. United Plant Savers encourages the stewardship of medicinal plants that has been passed down from generation to generation.

    What can you do to help?

    1)   Become a member of United Plant Savers and stay informed on issues related to conservation of medicinal plants. Join UpS here. 

    2)   Sign our Change.org online petition, demonstrate that you care about the future of wild American ginseng and you would like to see state and federal agencies devote more efforts towards preservation of an important American herb.

    3)   Grow ginseng! Perhaps you have wild ginseng on your land, consider joining our Botanical Sanctuary Network for the conservation of native medicinal plants.
    Article Preview

    This plant sponsored by Herb Pharm - http://www.herb-pharm.com/

    Historical Background

    Goldenseal is the rhizome and rootlets of Hydrastis canadensis. In commerce the herb typically ranks as one of the most widely used herbs in the North American market and is second in only to wild American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) in commercial importance in the native North American medicinal plant trade. Its sales are typically highest in natural food store outlets, rather than in mass-market retail stores. Nevertheless, goldenseal products are found consistently ranked among the top dozen herbs sold in both classes of trade. In 1997 goldenseal sales ranked fourth in the natural food trade, at 6 percent of total herb sales; 1998 sales were ranked seventh at 4 percent of total sales, the drop being due in part to the rise of St-Johns-wort (Hypericum perforatum). In mainstream stores goldenseal sales in 1998 were bundled with echinacea (as both individual and combination products), ranking fifth at $69.7 million total, with the majority of this figure presumably being due to the heightened popularity of echinacea.

    According to some accounts, demand for goldenseal has been increasing in recent years, with collections from the wild growing nearly 600 percent from 1989 to 1994. Efforts to preserve the root are increasing. Of the twenty-seven states in which goldenseal grows, seventeen have declared it imperiled or uncommon based on categories developed by The Nature Conservancy in 1995. The plant is considered threatened in Canada. In the United States the Monongahela National Forest in eastern West Virginia has not issued permits for collection in response to a survey by its own biologist, which found that goldenseal was rarer than American ginseng. Out of consideration for the dwindling supplies of wild goldenseal, some authors and herbal industry leaders have begun to recommend the substitution of other berberine-rich plants. These ...

    This plant sponsored by Sage Mountain

    Historical Background

    In 1856 Thoreau wrote, “Everywhere now in dry pitch pine woods stands the red lady’s slipper over the red pine leaves on the forest floor, rejoicing in June. Behold their rich striped red, their drooping sack.” This is a plant that elicits poetry and stories from all who have good fortune to come across it. Even modern technical descriptions of lady’s slipper to be common, but all should respect the corners of the castle where it lives.

    A single lady’s slipper seedpod will contain between ten and twenty thousand minute seeds that have been likened to a “mote of dust on the wind.” Adapted for wind dispersal, they are remarkably light, and unlike most other seeds, they do not contain their own endosperm or food reserve. Thus, in order to survive, the seedling must find a dependable source of nourishment during this fragile stage of development. This is where magic and science merge. An odd symbiotic relationship between the lady’s slipper and potentially lethal (to plants, anyway) pathogenic fungi has developed over eons of time In order for the seed to survive, it forms a small corm that waits in dormancy until “invaded” by certain symbiotic soil fungi. The lady’s slipper seed may lie in waiting for several years before the right mycorrhiza comes along. Once penetrated the seedlings feed on this soil fungus called orchid mycorrbizae (myco means “fungus” and rhiza, “root”), digesting it to obtain the nourishment needed for growth. More than six species of Rhizoctonia, or soil fungus, necessary to the growth of lady’s slippers have been identified thus far.

    Beauty is no “its own excuse for being,” nor was fragrance ever ...

    These slides provide a visual guide to the purpose, projects and people who make up United Plant Savers. Through beautiful photos of “at risk” medicinal plants, we hope to increase appreciation of these special plants and awareness about plant conservation.

    Click here to view the UpS At-Risk Presentation.

UNITED PLANT SAVERS : PO Box 776, Athens, OH 45701
Tel. (740) 742-3455 | Email: office@UnitedPlantSavers.org