“Growing At-Risk Medicinal Herbs,” Second Edition by Richo Cech
Growing At-Risk Medicinal Herbs (Cultivation, Conservation and Ecology), Second Edition
Written by Richo Cech and illustrated by Sena Cech.
This second edition was rewritten and published in 2017. A compendium of information about 20 native herbs of North America and Hawaii, with an emphasis on conservation through cultivation. Here’s a list of the herbs that are covered in great detail:
Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga (Actaeae) racemosa)
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)
Echinacea (all 9 native American species)
Ginseng, American (Panax quinquefolius)
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)
Lady’s Slipper Orchid (all American species of Cypripedium)
Lomatium (Lomatium dissectum)
Osha (Ligusticum porteri)
Peyote (Lophophora williamsii)
Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra)
Stillingia (Stillingia sylvatica)
Trillium (Trillium erectum)
Unicorn, False (Chamaelirium luteum)
Unicorn, True (Aletris farinosa)
Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)
Virginia Snakeroot (Aristolochia serpentaria)
Wild Yam, American (2 native American species)
Plus another 740 herbs referenced in relation to the above primary herbs.
This book is for those who want to contribute to the conservation of these traditional medicinal plants. Also for those who would like to grow herbs and make a difference in people’s health and well being. There are many avenues available for making a living with medicinal herbs–growing common weeds, growing the standard herbs of commerce, concentrating on herbs from a given tradition, relating to the native herbs of a particular ecology (especially the one where you reside!), or choosing the rare and unusual, which helps distinguish the grower (or make the grower seem distinguished, I’m not sure which).
“At-Risk” includes an entertaining foreword by Michael Moore, who as a writer disseminated a lot of jewels while he still resided on this plane. The revision removed all the legal gobbledygoop about what entity rated which plant rare and where. We replaced this with level-headed advice to growers under the heading “conservation through cultivation” at the end of every chapter. If this book can lead willing growers to a new herb, and help re-establish native roots in good soil, then it has done what it set out to do.
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