Help Fight Deforestation with Quality Botanicals from Herbs America

February 17, 2024 | Herbs America | |

Brazil alone is home to an estimated 55,000 native species of plants, and of those, at least 1,200 are documented with some amount of medicinal properties.   It’s unclear how many additional plants are being used by indigenous populations to alleviate health conditions but have not yet been documented.

What we do know is American consumers have increased their usage of botanicals to help improve their health, growing from a mere 5% acceptance rate in 1991 to 50% in 2004.1  In fact, approximately 4 billion people in developing nations rely on herbal medicinal products as part of their healthcare routine—representing 80% of the world’s population overall.2

Fight Deforestation

This information is important because it illustrates how critical conservation efforts are to the Amazon and other areas of the world where many of the botanicals grow naturally.  It’s paramount we ensure these valuable plants will continue to be available for generations to come.  A number of factors have reduced or destroyed areas once home to these plants including:

  • Extensive forest fires,
  • Selective logging,
  • Ranching activities, and
  • Shifting agriculture.3

Deforestation, whether from forest fires, farming or timber logging severely impacts all plant life in the area.  Ken Fullerton shared a report from BBC News in his 2017 article, “Forest Deforestation Threatens Medical Cures”4 quoting “Over 50% of prescription drugs are derived from chemicals first identified in plants.”  According to the World Bank in 2015, “Of the 50,000 known medicinal plants—which are the basis of more than 50% of all medications—up to a fifth are at risk of extinction at the local, national, regional or global level due to deforestation.”5

Members of the local populations report that trees and plants with medicinal properties that were once proliferous to these areas are now much more difficult to locate.  Where possible, residents have begun to protect and safeguard these botanicals by planting them in their own home gardens.6

What can you do?

Be selective when purchasing botanical products.  Your retailer should be knowledgeable about local conservation efforts and dedicated to sustainable and ethical practices.  Herbs America takes great pride in protecting these plants and the people who harvest them.

All of our raw materials are derived from organically certified farms or wildcrafted under our ‘Wild Crafted Sustainable Harvest’ certification.  We’ve worked with local populations in South America to create nursery beds to cultivate young trees and shrubs for replanting into forests or grasslands previously destroyed by deforestation or ranching.  Herbs America has even established an institution in concert with indigenous groups to return a portion of each sale to support indigenous land rights, medicinal herb development, and jungle preservation.

Visit Herbs America to learn more about our commitment to conservation as we celebrate the benefits these plants bring to our overall health and well-being.  It’s easy to select the products best for you in our online store.  Plus, when you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll reward you with 15% off your first order.

  1. Pan, Si-Yuan et al. “Historical perspective of traditional indigenous medical practices: the current renaissance and conservation of herbal resources.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 2014 (2014): 525340. doi:10.1155/2014/525340 

  2. Ekor, Martins. “The growing use of herbal medicines: issues relating to adverse reactions and challenges in monitoring safety.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 4 177. 10 Jan. 2014, doi:10.3389/fphar.2013.00177 

  3. Patricia Shanley, Leda Luz, The Impacts of Forest Degradation on Medicinal Plant Use and Implications for Health Care in Eastern Amazonia, BioScience, Volume 53, Issue 6, June 2003, Pages 573–584,[0573:TIOFDO]2.0.CO;2 

  4. Fullerton, Ken.  “Forest Deforestation Threatens Medical Cures,” Sense & Sustainability.  October 12, 2017.  Published online at:,found%20in%20forests%20across%20the 

  5. “Deforestation, a headache for natural medicine,” The World Bank.  January 13, 2015.  Published online at:

  6. Patricia Shanley, Leda Luz, The Impacts of Forest Degradation on Medicinal Plant Use and Implications for Health Care in Eastern Amazonia, BioScience, Volume 53, Issue 6, June 2003, Pages 573–584,[0573:TIOFDO]2.0.CO;2 

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