Humla Fund: Wild Medicinal Plant Conservation in Nepal’s Humla Valley

by Miranda Grizio At the northwest corner of Nepal, bordering Tibet, lies Nepal’s Humla District. This remote district is known for its Tibetan villages and Buddhist way of life in a majority Hindu country. Medicinal plants are the first line of treatment for most villagers here as a part of their tradition of Tibetan medicine. …

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Researchers study impact of medicinal plant’s harvest in San Juan National Forest


by Ann Bond National forests supply Americans with many natural resources – timber, livestock forage, minerals, energy – and increasingly, medicinal plants. Although native plants have been harvested for centuries by Native American tribes for medicinal purposes in North America, the modern herbal industry has increased the pressure on some species. One of the medicinal …

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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.

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Ramps Now on the “To-Watch” List


by Susan Leopold Time to Ramp Up Conservation Efforts Last spring trespassers dug trash bags, laundry baskets and buckets full of ramps (Allium tricoccum) from the woodland ravine of Goldenseal Sanctuary neighbor, Diane DonCarlos.1 Fortunately police responded to a call from Diane, and they were able to track down the ramp thieves. When the police …

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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 my hotel was the only remaining synagogue that was not destroyed when the Jews …

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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 (Podophyllum peltatum), also called mandrake, raccoon berry or wild lemon, was one of the …

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