Wildcrafting is the art of selling herbs, roots and various plants that can be used for treating ailments, medical purposes and even seasonings for food. Items which seem easy to obtain, such as pine cones, seashells and fossils, are being sold on the Internet on sites such as Ebay. Even such items as bone, driftwood, bark, antlers, teeth and skulls are being removed from their natural habitat and sold to various buyers, mostly via the Internet.
Wildcrafting has become a very controversial subject, one natural medicine writer referring to it as “the evil twin brother of agroforestry.” The downside to this is that, yes, people are removing these natural items from nature – I wouldn’t go as far as to say stealing. People have been using natural medicines and other items “extracted” from Mother Nature for millions of years. Though it can be profitable, if we all did it, we would surely deplete our surroundings in the natural world.
Individuals are not the only buyers of these various products on the Internet. Large corporations who promote the sale of “natural” ingredients are beginning to expand the market; therefore making wildcrafting a much more appealing and profitable venture.
For the individual, wildcrafting is more of a means for collecting plants for personal use. Many of these wildcrafters are conservationists. They do not take more than they need and they certainly leave enough for these plants to pollinate and come back the next year. Conservation practices involve leaving some kind of nutrient for the indigenous plants that you do not need. Whether you leave a strand of your own hair or a fingernail, the nutrients from your body are going to nourish that plant and heal the soil.
If you are a wildcrafter, or decide to pick up the practice, you will never have to wonder where your food is coming from. You can guarantee that there will never be any preservatives or chemicals ingested into your body.
This Youtube video is very informative to those who are interested in wildcrafting or just curious about the practice: