How to Sustainably Harvest Herbs

Everywhere I’ve traveled our wild herbs s are going off! One of my favorite things to do is to go wildcrafting my own medicine. With popularity of herbs on the rise I have had to curb my natural instinct to harvest medicine because now I don’t know how many others are also going to pick from that spot.

It’s funny how things change. When I first started taking herbal classes in the late 1990’s emphasis was put on wildcrafting and harvesting your own herbs. I was even taught that wild plants had the strongest medicine. Now with all the over harvesting of many of our herbs (ginseng only being one of them), herb teachers talk more about organically growing your own herbs or buying from small organic herb farmers.

We should be growing our own herbs (and food), but I am a little saddened by not having the freedom to harvest in the wild as I once did. For the future of our herbal allies, this is what we must do.

If you still want to harvest a little, here are general guidelines:

Always ask the plant permission first- and then Listen to the answer.

If permission is given, take less than 1% of what is growing.

For herbs where once we used mostly the root, try the leaves and stems too. Instead of killing the plant, you may just find some potent medicine in arial parts of the plant.

Always give a prayer, gift or blessing to the plant for the medicine they provide.

Please do your part to keep herbalism alive and viable for future generations.

With love,

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Jessica 

when energy flows, wellness grows