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Contact: Katie Commender  
Agroforestry Program Director 

Appalachian Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Herbs Program present Forest Botanicals Week 

BRISTOL, Va. – Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) in partnership with the American Botanical Council’s Sustainable Herbs Program (SHP) has created a public awareness campaign called “Forest Botanicals Week” to raise awareness about the conservation and conscious use of native Appalachian medicinal plants. 

Over the week of May 18-22, ASD, SHP and herbal partners will share daily social media posts to educate herbal products consumers about forest botanicals and the issues of sustainable harvest and supply to create the products they enjoy.  The campaign seeks to instill a deeper connection to the people and plants behind Appalachian forest botanicals, like ginseng, goldenseal and black cohosh. Consumers will learn what actions they can take to support a sustainable future for forest botanicals and the wild harvesters who rely on them for income in Appalachia. 

The campaign also aims to encourage herb companies to take the lead in developing and supporting a more sustainable and responsible value chain for Appalachian forest botanicals. Additional long-term objectives include expanding a sustainable supply of forest botanicals to meet growing demand and creating an increase in forest botanical sustainability curriculum at herb schools to better inform the next generation of herbalists. 

Consumers are encouraged to visit the campaign homepage for more information, and follow along on social media during May 18-22.  Educational videos created for this campaign were funded by The Thompson Charitable Foundation, and will be available on the campaign homepage at: 

Native forest botanicals, such as ginseng, goldenseal and black cohosh, have been harvested in the Appalachian Mountains for centuries. As habitat loss and consumer demand continue to rise, the abundance of wild forest botanicals diminish in turn. Despite their increasing use, consumer awareness of these sustainability issues remains relatively low. There are fears that over time we could lose these culturally, ecologically and economically important species.   

About the American Botanical Council’s Sustainable Herbs Program

The Sustainable Herbs Project was created to address the disconnect between the philosophy of herbal medicine and the reality of what it takes to produce herbal products on a large scale. This disconnect impacts the efficacy of these medicines. And it calls into question the promise of herbal medicine as safer, less expensive, and healthier for humans and the earth. For more information, go to:

About Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) 

Nationally known and respected for its commitment to local farmers, Appalachian Sustainable Development celebrates its 25th year in 2020. ASD’s mission is to transition Appalachia to a more resilient economy and a healthier population by supporting local agriculture, exploring new economic opportunities and connecting people to healthy food. ASD operates programs that create jobs in farming and agriculture and address food insecurity.

Since 1995, Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) has been working in 15 counties in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. ASD’s reach has since expanded to include partners in eastern WV and KY and southeast Ohio using six strategies to accomplish its work: education, increasing local food production, developing markets, increasing distribution of local agriculture products, engaging strategic partners, and researching/consulting and advising. For more information about Appalachian Sustainable Development go to:, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.   



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