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Aerial Survey Photo

About Boreal Herbs

The world’s boreal forest covers 1.9 billion hectares and is 14% of the earth’s surface and 33% of the forested land. Canada has 28% of the world’s boreal zone – 552 million hectares.

The boreal forest is often portrayed as an “ancient” wilderness. The region itself is ancient but the forest is made up of trees that are relatively young compared to those that grow in more temperate forests. The forest is regularly affected by forest fire and insects, and continually renews itself. This process removes aged trees from the forest and allows sunlight to get to the ground. Many new plants grow in this environment, and the condition is right for numerous non timber boreal herbs to grow.

Other boreal herbs prefer the wetlands, while still others do well only in the mature forests. Our experienced Indigenous harvesters know where to find each variety of plant required, based on cultural knowledge and our training.

The food value, health benefits, and commercial uses of the plants of the boreal region are only starting to be understood by the modern world. Indigenous North American, Asian, and European cultures used many of the boreal herbs in traditional foods and remedies. The full properties of these plants are only beginning to be understood by the world for uses that are supported by modern research.