United Plant Savers is a non-profit organization of which we are proud members. Their mission is to preserve native medicinal plants in the U.S. and Canada and they have worked tirelessly for the past 20 years to encourage these plants to thrive in their natural environment. Why is this important? Because many native plants are now at risk for extinction due to habitat destruction, our society's recent interest in wildcrafting (that is, harvesting in the wild) medicinal plants, and many other reasons. The American Ginseng is one of these at-risk plants.
American Ginseng has been harvested from the Appalachian region since before Europeans arrived on our continent. Both its root and leaves have been used for various medicinal purposes and its unique beauty is irreplaceable. Due to the species’ slow growth, complex reproductive strategy, loss of habitat, increased illegal harvesting, and rising international demand, the future of this plant is in jeopardy.
The dramatic decline of American Ginseng is increasingly concerning. If overharvesting and other damaging factors continue to make such a negative impact on this plant, we will no longer have it as a resource for future generations. What can you do? You can sign this petition to reach out to the USDA Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Services, and others. The petition proposes establishing seed banks that will provide seeds for sale specific to each bioregion - American Ginseng seeds included. If this were accomplished, anyone concerned with losing this culturally significant plant could purchase seeds and grow their own ginseng to ensure that the plant proliferates.
Losing one plant species may seem inconsequential, but when you consider the intricate balance of our eco-system, it is anything but. We all rely on the perfect harmony that nature has created for us, and little by little the small changes, like losing a native plant, will cause major damage to our way of life. Consider the future of our environment's harmony by signing the petition and keeping a lookout for the health of the American Ginseng.
Health & happiness,
* Post by Julia Marchand