Stalking The Wild Goldenseal

Greetings!

On Thursday, May 24th, I’ll be leading an evening foraging walk in Apollo, Pennsylvania (about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh).  We’ll be exploring a beautiful area known as Roaring Run along the Kiskiminetas River in search of wild edible plants and mushrooms.  If you’re interested in attending this walk, click here for more info!

Moving forward, let’s talk about Goldenseal.

Perhaps you’re familiar with this plant in supplement form.  Several immune-boosting formulas contain Goldenseal as the primary ingredient, and it’s one of the top-selling herbs in the world today.

Goldenseal is not an exotic plant.  This understory species is native to North America and can be found in rich, deciduous woodlands… usually in association with tulip poplar, American beech, white ash, and sugar maple trees.

For centuries, various Native American cultures utilized Goldenseal as a medicinal plant.  Early European settlers also took a liking to this plant and quickly reduced wild populations to perilous numbers.

Today, Goldenseal is listed as endangered, threatened, or vulnerable in at least 10 states.  In some areas, however, it can still be quite abundant.

I recently explored the woods in search of Goldenseal and documented the experience on film.  If you’re interested in learning more about this incredibly special plant, as well as how to receive the benefits of Goldenseal without harvesting Goldenseal (there’s a great alternative!), check out the new video!

Some fungi eat plants, and some fungi eat animals.  Some fungi eat both plants and animals!  The edible Oyster mushroom is just one among the many species of omnivorous fungi that consume non-segmented roundworms called nematodes.  Check out this Instagram post to learn more!

Thanks for reading and watching, and as always, thank you for your support!

-Adam Haritan

Is Donkey Skin the New Ivory? | Straight from the Horse’s Heart

by Alixandra Caole Vila as published at Nature World News

African Donkeys are Being Slaughtered to Extinction

While China’s taste for elephant ivories have died down, it seems like their fondness has shifted to Donkey skin this time.

According to the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals (NSPCA), South African donkeys are being slaughtered to extinction for the gelatin found in their skin and their meat.

While the donkey-hide gelatin has no commercial value in Africa, it is a popular ingredient used to create Chinese medicine to treat anemia and menopause-linked ailments. The gelatin, called Ejiao in Chinese, reportedly stops bleeding and strengthens the blood.

“[Ejiao] is quite a popular ingredient in China that people may self-prescribe,” Chinese medicine expert Mazin Al-Khafaji told The Independent. “It’s a hard gel, made from donkey hide, which is then dissolved in hot water or alcohol. It’s also used topically in a cream, for leg ulcers for instance.”

CNN noted that because donkey skin is highly sought-after in China, the donkey population went down from 11 million to six million in the past 20 years. Approximately 80,000 animals had been sold in the first nine months of 2016. While the demand had delivered a valuable stream of foreign currency, it has placed small-scale farmers in a difficult situation.

China File said that because the price of donkeys increased, rural communities who depend on the animals for livelihood are suffering.

Speaking with Science Times, a donkey owner in Mogosani village named Ikgopeleng Tsietsoane shared that currently, the price of a donkey is 2,000 rand. It used to be only 400 rands ($30 or 29 euros).

At present, a number of African countries, including Niger and Burkina Faso, have banned China from buying their donkeys to save the docile beast’s population and the livelihood of locals. However, smuggling still persists in areas where it is considered illegal to do so…(CONTINUED)

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/37104/20170406/is-donkey-skin-the-new-ivory-african-donkeys-are-being-slaughtered-to-extinction.htm

Source: Is Donkey Skin the New Ivory? | Straight from the Horse’s Heart