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.
- American Ginseng – Panax quinquefolius
- Arnica – Arnica spp.
- Black Cohosh – Actaea racemosa
- Bloodroot – Sanguinaria canadensis
- Blue Cohosh – Caulophyllum thalictroides
- Butterfly Weed – Asclepias tuberosa
- Cascara Sagrada – Frangula purshiana
- Chaparro – Castela emoryi
- Echinacea – Echinacea spp.
- Elephant Tree – Bursera microphylla
- Eyebright – Euphrasia spp.
- Gentian – Gentiana spp.
- Goldenseal – Hydrastis canadensis
- Goldthread – Coptis spp.
- False Unicorn – Chamaelirium luteum
- Kava – Piper methysticum (Hawaii only)
- Lady’s Slipper Orchid – Cypripedium spp.
- Lobelia – Lobelia inflata
- Lomatium – Lomatium dissectum
- Maidenhair Fern – Adiantum pedatum
- Mayapple – Podophyllum peltatum
- Osha – Ligusticum porteri
- Peyote – Lophophora williamsii
- Pink Root – Spigelia marilandica
- Pipsissewa – Chimaphila umbellata
- Ramps – Allium tricoccum
- Sandalwood – Santalum spp. (Hawaii only)
- Slippery Elm – Ulmus rubra
- Squirrel Corn – Dicentra canadensis
- Stoneroot – Collinsonia canadensis
- Stream Orchid – Epipactis gigantea
- Sundew – Drosera spp.
- Trillium, Beth Root – Trillium spp.
- True Unicorn – Aletris farinosa
- Venus Fly Trap – Dionaea muscipula
- Virginia Snakeroot – Aristolochia serpentaria
- White Sage – Salvia apiana
- Wild Indigo – Baptisia tinctoria
- Wild Yam – Dioscorea villosa
- Yerba Mansa – Anemopsis californica
Analog List for At-Risk and To-Watch Herbs
Compiled by Jane Bothwell, March 2000, revised 2006
After introduction to the United Plant Savers list of “At-Risk” plants, students always ask, “Well, what can we use in its place?” Often times the choice is simple: choose a cultivated species rather than one harvested from the wild. When cultivated species are not available, then it is best to find a plant analog. An analog is something having an analogy or similarity to something else. For our purposes, this indicates parallels in function or end results between two or more medicinal herbs.
Following is an alphabetical list of most of the United Plant Savers “At-Risk” and “To-Watch” lists, accompanied by suggested analogs. This list is compiled by the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of UpS.