So what is wildcrafting and why are wild harvested ingredients so desireable??
Our ancestors have gathered herbs, roots and flowers for thousands of years. The unique nature of the herbs which have grown uncultivated is that such plants have undergone a natural selection – only the most resilient, strong plants, rich in nutrients and active components, survive.
Wildcrafting is the practice of harvesting plants from their natural, or "wild" environment for food or medicinal purposes. It applies to uncultivated plants wherever they may be found, and is not necessarily limited to wilderness areas. Ethical considerations are often involved, such as protecting endangered species.
When wildcrafting is done sustainably and with proper respect, generally only the fruit, flowers or branches from plants are taken and the living plant is left, or if it is necessary to take the whole plant, seeds of the plant are placed in the empty hole from which the plant was taken. Care is taken to only remove a few plants, flowers, or branches, so plenty remains to continue the supply.................Bruce Buren, "Wildcrafting: A "simple" life fraught with a host of complex ethical and practical cosiderations"
Wild-harvested plants have grown wildly without any interference, they develop differently as they must survive in the harshest of environments - it is here that they dont just survive - they thrive where other plants could not exist. Incredibly high levels of anti oxidants are produced to enable survival, an example of this is Terminalia Ferdinandiana or Kakadu plum. Kakadu plums medicinal properties are exceptional with studies showing it contains the worlds highest levels of vitamin C - as high as 3200-5000mg/100g (compared with rosehip 2000mg/100g or 50mg/100g for oranges). Vitamin C dramatically increases the formation of collagen a key structural protein of the skin and being a potent anti oxidant it reduces damage to the skin by neutralizing free radicals. It also contains phytochemicals such as gallic and ellagic acids. Gallic acid has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activities, as an anti oxidant it protects skin cells from free radical damage. Ellagic acid encourages elasticity and suppleness in aged skin.
Wild botanicals and in particular native Australian botanicals contain exceptionally high levels of nutrients which when extracted appropriately are incredibly benefical for our skin.