Wildcrafting is the practice of collecting plants from nature in order to use them as medicine.
This should be done with caution. Contrary to what corporations imply with their labels, something that is natural or organic is not necessarily safe. Many plants are poisonous to people.
However, many plants are beneficial. The best way to learn the difference is to study with an experienced wildcrafter.
Beneficial plants are often common, popping up in parks, along roads, and even in your own backyard. A plant should only be collected from a place where it grows in abundance. Don’t harvest from areas contaminated by pesticides; watch out for traffic; and be aware of laws regarding collection of plants from public areas.
More information can be obtained from professional herbal pharmacists. Madison has several.