This article was originally published back in early 2000’s on my now defunct website.
As with any information, it is best to double check sources on your own and not depend solely on one source much less than any source on the internet. This page and others like it on my site are from my own studies in herbalism. As such do understand that any student may get things wrong once in a while.
Please use common sense before using any plants gathered from the wild.
General Wildcrafing Ethics.
1) Not all plants are legal to harvest. Restrictions do exist. It can be that the plant is on the endangered list, on federal or state property, need of licensing requirements or that there is a limit on collecting. Please check with local authorities before harvesting any plant. Ignorance of the law does not excuse or prevent your lawbreaking or prosecution.
2) Never collect within 500 feet of any major roadway. Plants with in this zone usually has a toxic build up of heavy metals which is often harmful to health.
3) Never collect a plant that is located in a ditch. It may have the same heavy metal build up and is often prohibited by local authorities. Usually from safety concerns and beautification projects.
4) Never take more than you need at one time. If the plant is small and struggling, leave it be. It would be better to give it plant food and water than to destroy it’s chance of survival and your next harvest.
5) Impact the environment as little as possible. Take your trash with you. Cover over any holes you may have dug and disturb the earth as little as possible.
6) Take the time to learn how to harvest a plant correctly. Incorrect methods will damage its ability to grow or cause it to die.
7) Take the time to learn how to identify plants. There are look alike species that are often dangerous.
8) Keep learning. I may have missed something important and there is no need for that to harm anyone as long as they do their own research.