ABOUT

Practices in Bioregional Herbalism

The Klamath-Siskiyou Herbal offers a resource to explore the medicinal plants in the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion of southern Oregon.  Its main goal is to help readers engage with the plant ecology of the Klamath-Siskiyous from a bioregional perspective.  It will do so by offering an online resource exemplifying “bioregional herbalism” particular to the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion, information about 15 native or naturalized medicinal plants, and the cultural and natural history of the bioregion.  

 

By taking the time to study and sit with the plants that are around us, we develop a connection to those plants just as we would develop a connection to our family and community.  Connecting with medicinal plants that naturally grow in our bioregion empowers us to take care of what is closest and, in turn, cultivates a sense of place, a sense of home.

How to use this website

The Klamath-Siskiyou Herbal offers a resource to explore the medicinal plants in the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion of southern Oregon.  Its main goal is to help readers engage with the plant ecology of the Klamath-Siskiyous from a bioregional perspective.  It will do so by offering an online resource exemplifying “bioregional herbalism” particular to the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion, information about 15 native or naturalized medicinal plants, and the cultural and natural history of the bioregion.  

BIOREGIONALISM

map of Klamath-Siskiyous

Unlike many political boundaries, bioregional boundaries are defined by broad geographical features and ecosystem processes.  To live within a bioregion means that we are a part of both an ecological and human community that is subject to similar reigning natural forces.  Bioregionalism offers people a new way to engage with their local environment.  As local residents of any bioregion, we have both moral and utilitarian motives in managing our bioregion in a sustainable way. Understanding the underlying patterns that make our places intelligible, or living, is the first step towards building a sustainable community. When we begin to look at a landscape in this way, we begin to see these patterns manifest in both ecological interactions and in the historical and modern formation of local culture and economies. The ecology of a landscape and the human culture that develops in that place are in constant communication and relationship of influence.  

Photo courtesy of Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center

HERBALISM

Herbalism is the use of plant material, such as leaves, flowers, seeds, bark, or roots, to support the healing and wellness of the body.  The practice of herbalism has a rich history that is well varied, globally diverse, and “braided into the histories of peoples and civilizations for countless thousands of years” (Dufault et al., 2000).  Herbalism extends beyond the simple act of using a plant to alleviate suffering, it captures all the experience and wisdom born from the relationship between humanity and plants (Hoffman, 2003).   One important role of herbalists in communities, around the world and throughout history, has been to facilitate the relationship between each culture and its surrounding plant environment or bioregion.    

Herbalism is not new, it has evolved with the ages.  While the use of herbal medicine has remained ubiquitous in many parts of the world throughout history, in most industrialized countries, herbal medicine has taken a back seat to the rise of modern allopathic medicine.  Allopathic medicine is a term used to describe the use of pharmaceuticals, surgery, and the scientific process to combat disease symptoms in the human body.  The focus of allopathic medicine is largely around palliative care and reducing the severity of pain.  It is often criticized for its lack of focus on preventative measures and removing the underlying causes of symptoms (Singh, 2010).   The simultaneous rise of allopathic medicine and decline of nature-based medicine can easily be traced to the emergence of Modernism as the dominant worldview in industrialized countries.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Ethical Wildcrafting

The Klamath-Siskiyou Herbal offers a resource to explore the medicinal plants in the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion of southern Oregon.  Its main goal is to help readers engage with the plant ecology of the Klamath-Siskiyous from a bioregional perspective.  It will do so by offering an online resource exemplifying “bioregional herbalism” particular to the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion, information about 15 native or naturalized medicinal plants, and the cultural and natural history of the bioregion.  

 

Each plant monograph details specifics about how to ethically wildcraft each respective plant.

Conservation

The Klamath-Siskiyou Herbal offers a resource to explore the medicinal plants in the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion of southern Oregon.  Its main goal is to help readers engage with the plant ecology of the Klamath-Siskiyous from a bioregional perspective.  It will do so by offering an online resource exemplifying “bioregional herbalism” particular to the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion, information about 15 native or naturalized medicinal plants, and the cultural and natural history of the bioregion.  

 

By taking the time to study and sit with the plants that are around us, we develop a connection to those plants just as we would develop a connection to our family and community.  Connecting with medicinal plants that naturally grow in our bioregion empowers us to take care of what is closest and, in turn, cultivates a sense of place, a sense of home.

Klamath-Siskiyou boundaries