While many witches and other magic-users enjoy wildcrafting for the ingredients for their rootwork, elixirs, spells, and healing preparations, some herbs are threatened by over-collection or loss of habitat and should never be collected in the wild.
Some are threatened only in certain places and grow in abundance elsewhere.
Always check your local DNR’s website to see what herbs are protected in your area and, of course, always get permission before collecting.
If an herb is protected, consider using an alternative. There is often another herb you can use in its place with good results. If you really want to use a threatened herb, consider growing it in your yard. Many wild plants will do well if you take the care to recreate their natural habitat.
Some localities have native plant societies that conduct plant rescues, retrieving threatened native plants from land slated for development. These may be offered for sale to the public for planting in gardens. Many threatened species are slow growers and take a long time to multiply, but the time and effort you put into it will be reflected in your magic, even if it’s many years later.
A List of Threatened Magical Herbs
Note that this list may not be comprehensive and may not reflect the situation in your area. Check with your state’s Department of Natural Resources for the information most pertinent to your locality.
- Arnica – Arnica spp.
- Black Cohosh – Actaea racemosa
- Bloodroot – Sanguinaria canadensis
- Blue Cohosh – Caulophyllum thalictroides
- Butterfly Weed – Asclepias tuberosa
- Cascara Sagrada – Frangula purshiana
- Gentian – Gentiana spp.
- Ginseng – Panax quinquefolius
- Echinacea – Echinacea spp.
- Eyebright – Euphrasia spp.
- False Unicorn Root – Chamaelirium luteum
- Goldenseal – Hydrastis canadensis
- Kava Kava – Piper methysticum
- Maidenhair Fern – Adiantum pendatum
- Mayapple – Podophyllum peltatum
- Lady’s Slipper – Cypripedium spp.
- Lobelia – Lobelia spp.
- Peyote – Lophophora williamsii
- Sandalwood – Santalum spp.
- Slippery Elm – Ulmus rubra
- Trillium, Beth Root –Trillium spp.
- Unicorn Root- Aletris farinosa
- Virginia Snakeroot – Aristolochia serpentaria
- White Sage – Salvia apiana
- Wild Yam – Dioscorea villosa, D. spp.
- Boswellia (Frankincense) – Boswellia spp.
Source: The United PlantSavers Website. Please visit http://www.unitedplantsavers.org/ to find out how you can help them save these natural treasures.