Native Herbs of the Appalachian Woodlands

Episode 26: Learn about native Appalachian herbs in this interview with educator, designer, and farmer Trevor Piersol. Co- founder of the Shenandoah Permaculture Institute, Trevor grows perennial fruits and medicinal herbs, with a focus on easy-care native plants, in his home state of Virginia.

Appalachia, a vast mountain region of the United States, is rich in botanical diversity and herbal lore. In this episode, Trevor talks about American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), Black Cohosh (Actaea racemes), and two of the many fungi that grow in this region, Reishi (Ganoderma tsugae), and Chaga (Inonotus obliquus). Trevor shares with us the type of medicine these plants provide,  how to use them, how to ensure that the plants you buy are ethically harvested,  and how you can grow them at home or in a nearby woodland.

Threatened by habitat loss, climate breakdown, poaching, and over-harvesting, these living treasures need to be protected.

For more information about Trevor and his work, visit the Shenandoah Permaculture

2 Comments on “Native Herbs of the Appalachian Woodlands”

  1. This was a great interview. But Trevor should have been knowledgeable about govt regulations inside out. His area is filled with public lands! His comments inspire people to practice what he teaches in those public lands! No matter how much you talk about restraint, foraging is inevitable. So I was really disappointed that he couldnt make one reference to the content of the regulations (federal, state, county) — it undercut all his references to sustainable harvesting.
    As one hort professional to another, I implore him to be versed in the various texts even if he disapproves of them, and to be able to comment on their approach (i.e. basically, do they evidence knowledgeable and appropriately stringent concerns?);
    what are the goals; how are they enforced/monetary+ fines in specific; are some public lands better run in this regard than others and current issues like interagency conflicts, how good are the rangers, any conflicts between resource management and public parks.

    I am hooked on this series so I hate to see these are oversights.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Kaitilin, Thank you so much for your comment and for listening to The Plant Report. You sound very passionate about this issue. You might want to reach out to Trevor to see how he feels about government regulations. I agree with you that over harvesting can have devastating impacts on plant populations. Jill

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