Devil’s Club: Approaching with Respect
Plant profile on Devil’s Club (Oplopanax horridus). Devil’s Club in many ways represents the tradition of herbal medicine. It is a potent and slow growing plant, which has been honoured and revered by all traditional cultures who live in its range. Devil’s Club is harvested from the wild, and like many wild plants it is threatened by habitat loss, as well as the potential risk of overharvesting for use as an herbal medicine. Herbs easily become trendy in the modern world, and a sudden spike in popularity can threaten a wild plant population, as well as the traditions of use involving these plants.
This class will explore devil’s club through various aspects: Observations of its preferred habitat and ecological functioning; ethical harvesting practices and methods to ensure the Devil’s Club stands continue to grow and thrive; and the medicinal uses and applications of Devil’s Club in herbal practice. Suggestions will also be included of herbs to consider using as a substitute for Devil’s Club, in situations where the use of this special plant may not be necessary.
3 learning objectives: