Everyone said to start by exploring what already grows in my yard. I wanted to learn about the vibrant New England Aster. It was much more difficult than I anticipated. Could the methods of the historian help?
When I teach the history of medicine, I ask students to think about how everyday people — people much like themselves, but in more Puritanical garb — responded to symptoms such as runny noses, sore throats, sprained ankles, and relentless diarrhea. We turn to Nicholas Culpeper for the answers.
Wildcrafting is the methodology of those who gather medicinal plants from the wild. Surprisingly, its basic tenets are not all that different from the methods and ethics of the historian.