More herbs being cultivated than wild-harvested, AHPA

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Ahpa, Plant, Medicinal plants

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has highlighted
sustainability of herbal harvesting as a key movement in the
industry, as part of its 2004-2005 Tonnage Survey of North American
Wild Harvested Plants.

This is the fifth such survey released by AHPA, looking at the harvests for 26 botanical commodities derived from 22 plant species. The report includes data on both fresh and dried quantities of wild-harvested and cultivated materials. The survey brings to light a continuing trend in the herbal industry of the move toward cultivated wild herbs, instead of just wild sources, so as not to deplete stocks. "Several valued species are now farmed rather than solely gathered from the wild by collectors, which helps to ensure their future,"​ said Steven Dentali, AHPA's vice president of scientific and technical affairs. "The visible trends also appear to support the existence of responsible collection practices in the face of continuing loss of habitat." ​ Included in the species surveyed are: aletris; arnica; bethroot; black cohosh; bloodroot; blue cohosh; cascara sagrada bark; false unicorn root; lady's slipper; lomatium; osha; saw palmetto; slippery elm bark; sundew; usnea lichen; Venus flytrap; Virginia snakeroot and wild yam root. Although AHPA was able to detect the trends, the data are sporadic and were collected via 26 primary raw material producers of botanical commodities quantified for the survey. According to AHPA, some firms that responded to its surveys in previous years did not participate this year - but some new new companies did take part. "AHPA does not have any knowledge of exactly how many individuals and firms are engaged in the business of collecting the wild plants that are the subject of this survey, and so does not have certain information as to what proportion of total trade in these plants is represented in the survey,"​ says the report.

Related topics: Botanicals

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