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Plants at Risk with Susan Leopold + List of Possible Substitutions
Episode 1425th June 2024 • Herbs with Rosalee • Rosalee de la Forêt
00:00:00 00:55:13

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I am a huge fan of the work done through United Plant Savers (UPS) and so it was truly an honor to have Susan Leopold, the executive director of UPS, on the show! 

I had so much fun talking with Susan.  Of course she discussed the UPS’s efforts to catalog and protect at-risk native medicinal plants, but this conversation also went places I didn’t expect,  including some of the history of herbal medicine in the United States and a sneak peek at next year’s International Herb Symposium.

Susan also talked about some of the many free resources United Plant Savers has to offer, like their list of at-risk plants and herbs that you can use to substitute for these plants medicinally, which you can access here.  

And if you’re interested in helping UPS’s efforts in medicinal plant conservation, I highly recommend getting a membership!  I’ve been a member for so many years, and I think everybody who loves plants should be a member of United Plant Savers if at all possible.  You can find a link to become a member on the show notes page here.

By the end of this episode, you’ll know:

► Who the Eclectics were and why they are so relevant to herbalism and plant conservation today

► How United Plant Savers compiles its lists of at-risk plants, and how you can use these lists to guide your use and purchase of medicinal herbs

► Why United Plant Savers encourages people to engage and interact with plants rather than taking a hands-off approach

► Why buying wild-harvested white sage is so problematic (and what you can do to help!)

► Why Susan considers Echinacea to be “the voice of the prairie”

► Four ways you can directly help with conservation of at-risk medicinal plants

► and so much more…

For those of you who don’t already know her, Susan Leopold is an ethnobotanist and conservation ecologist known for her work in the fields of plant conservation, sustainable agriculture, and ethnobotany. She is the Executive Director of the United Plant Savers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting native medicinal plants and fungi and their habitat. Leopold is an advocate for ethical wildcrafting practices, community-based conservation initiatives, and the preservation of traditional plant knowledge.

If you’d like to hear more from Susan, which I highly recommend, then head to the show notes where you can get easy links for her website and social media channels. You can also find the transcript for this episode in the show notes and you can access your list of at-risk plants and herbs that you can use to substitute for these plants medicinally at:

I’m thrilled to share our conversation with you today.


Get full show notes and more information at:

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On the podcast, we explore the many ways plants heal, as food, as medicine, and through nature connection. Each week, I focus on a single seasonal plant and share trusted herbal knowledge so that you can get the best results when using herbs for your health.

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Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Heal and co-author of the bestselling book Wild Remedies: How to Forage Healing Foods and Craft Your Own Herbal Medicine. She's a registered herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild and teaches many popular online courses. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here.



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