The Original Medicinal Plant Gatherers & Conservationists

by M. Kat Anderson USDA NRCS

Figure1Figure 1. Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis). One example of the many medicinal plant species that the American Indians gave non-Indian settlers. Adapted from a 19th century painting.In Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, a television series that ran from 1993 to 1998, the Cheyenne taught a white lady doctor about various kinds of native medicinal herbs that could be used to treat human ailments in the frontier town of Colorado Springs, Colorado in the 1860s. The generosity and compassion shown by the Cheyenne made an impression on many viewers. Although the series was fictional, key elements were based on historical fact, and notable among these was the transfer of medicinal plant knowledge from Native Americans to white settlers. Not only were American Indians the first to discover the healing properties of many of the medicinal herbs native to North America that we’ve come to know so well–goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), echinacea (Echinacea spp.), blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), yerba santa (Eriodictyon californicum), and cascara sagrada (Frangula purshiana), to name just a few–they also passed along this knowledge to European missionaries, pioneers, and settlers, who integrated it into traditional American medical care.

Pirates for the Planet

Pirates for the Planet

by UpS Executive Director, Susan Leopold

The “At-Risk” Tool made its published debut in 2014 culminating in years of work by many in the UpS community.1 The visionaries of the “At-Risk” tool are former UpS Board Member Kelly Kindscher of the

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American Ginseng Summit

American Ginseng Summit

by Glynis Board, West Virginia Public Radio

Attendees of The American Ginseng SummitUnited Plant Savers was honored to host the 2014 American Ginseng Summit at our Goldenseal Botanical Sanctuary in Rutland, OH where we discussed safe-guarding wild populations of American ginseng,

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Disjunct Medicine: A History of the (Two) Mayapple(s)

Disjunct Medicine:  A History of the (Two) Mayapple(s)

by Sasha M. White

As early as 1731 Mark Catesby described the medicinal use of American mayapple root in his Natural History of the Carolinas . Image courtesy of the Lloyd Library & Museum.When Europeans came to North America, the mayapple

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Florida’s Threatened Herbs

Florida’s Threatened Herbs

by Emily Ruff

Wild cinnamon ( Canella winterana ) flowersSome 450 miles long and kept humid by the ocean on either side, the state of Florida supports plant species from temperate to tropical, coastal to wetland to upland. Boasting a melting

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Seeking the Silvestre Romero in Spain

Seeking the Silvestre Romero in Spain

by Susan Leopold

I landed in Spain for the International Congress of Ethnobotany, and as serendipity would have it, the hotel I had booked was in a small square located in what was once the Jewish/Arabic part of Cordoba. Next to

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Medicinal Plant Conservation Certificate Program

Applications are now being accepted for 2017!

Spring 2017:
Mon. May 1 - Fri. June 9th
Fall 2017:
Tue. Sept. 5 - Fri. Oct. 13

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