Through my United Plant Savers internship in 2010 I was fortunate to meet many people committed to the preservation of medicinal plants and their use in a responsible way. I saw Goldenseal growing in the wild, and as an intern helped in the United Plant Saver scheme to distribute cultivated roots to help maintain this important plant. And, since then, I have been looking for an opportunity to support small growers in the United States who can sustainably produce Goldenseal. Both Goldenseal and American Ginseng are included in the list of plants protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Suppliers have to obtain an export permit to demonstrate that they are obtaining Goldenseal in a responsible way. I also wanted to ensure that payment would reach the grower more directly rather than through other agencies. Alongside arranging import I have been promoting ideas about alternatives to endangered plants by offering talks about my US visit.
Here is a view of some of the roots, chopped with my sturdy herb grinder.