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  • Thursday, October 31, 2013 2:37 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Life-Giving Salt and Miso
    Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt

    sea salt


    We need a variety of minerals in our diet. Of these minerals the most valuable to us is sea salt. Many people today often overlook how important sea salt is for our health.
    Salt hasn't always been thought of so lightly. Just a short time back, in human history, people were fighting wars to control salt trade. Empires were formed on it, and have collapsed because of it. Roman soldiers were paid a "salary" of salt, which was called "salarium," and they fought the Celts for the possession of via salaria, the road to the salt. And others have praised salt. To Plato, salt was "Dear to God." Homer said, "Salt is Divine." Jesus Christ noted, "Salt is good. Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another".

    Both the warlike and the spiritually oriented agreed on something, that salt is extremely important to our health. Realizing this importance, people have used salt, not only in rituals, as an addition to their food, but also to form new products. For instance, using salt, the Japanese have developed tamari and miso, which are wonderfully nutritious and tasty seasonings.
    Japanese legend has it that the gods themselves brought the secret of miso as a gift to people at the beginning of their civilization. Historians say that Buddhist monks brought miso with them when they carried their teachings to Japan. Whichever is correct, the Japanese have had a dedication to miso for centuries.

    Until recently, almost every Japanese family had its own miso making tradition, and making farmhouse miso was as much a part of the yearly cycle as were planting and harvesting. Next to rice, it is probably the most basic staple in their diet, and the largest contributing factor to their health and longevity.

    Below are three delicious fermented foods recipes made with miso. They are quick and very easy to make. Experiment with a variety of different types of miso.

    CARROT TOPS IN MISOCarrots

    2 c finely chopped carrot tops
    1/2 c water
    1 tsp miso

    Mix the miso with 3 Tbsp water. Place the tops in a pan with the rest of the water and let it simmer, covered for 10 min. Pour the miso over and mix well. This condiment is very tasty; use 1 tsp per person.

    •Variation: Use other green tops or wild plants such as dandelion leaves. Season with ginger or add roasted ground sesame seeds.

    TANGARINE PICKLES

    3 organic tangerines
    1/2 c miso

    Cut the peel of the tangerines in bite sized pieces. Place them in the miso and let it sit for 2—10 days in a cold place. Serve on fish or fried dishes.

    •Variation: Use the peel of oranges, lemons, etc. in the same way.

    MISO PICKLES

    1 jar filled 1/2 full with miso
    Firm whole or parted vegetables like roots, garlic, ginger and onion

    Clean and dry the vegetables. Place them in the jar and cover them completely with the miso, try not to have them touch each other. After 2-4 weeks, depending on the size of the vegetables, they are done. Rinse off the miso and cut the pickles in thin slices. Serve in grain or vegetable dishes. These delicious pickles are superb year round, but especially in the autumn and winter.

    •Variation: Cut the vegetables in smaller pieces, parboil them for 30 sec. and let them cool before covering them in miso. They will be done in 2 days. The vegetables will keep in miso for several months. If they become too strong soak them in a little water. Raw fish can be pickled in same way.




    Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt is a Waldorf class and kindergarten teacher, biodynamic farmer, author and nutritional counselor. She has taught nutritional cooking and counseled for 25 years in her homeland Denmark, Europe and the United States.

    She trained as a macrobiotic cooking teacher and counselor and studied the principles of oriental medicine and the research of Dr. Weston A. Price before embracing the anthroposophical approach to nutrition, food and cooking.



     



    This Four week course will explore some of the many benefits of fermented and cultured foods, and why it is important to include them regularly with every meal. You will be guided through the steps of making sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled vegetables, kefir, soft cheese, and yogurt, as well as get a chance to discover new fermented drinks such as kvass, wines, and beers. I will aim at answering personal questions around your culturing and fermenting experiences.


    Intuitively we know that cultured and fermented foods are real health foods. Naturally fermented and cultured foods are an exceptional way to prepare different ingredients and some of the most important side dishes and condiments in our diet. They are often overlooked or not mentioned when we describe what we had for dinner, and yet they are pivotal in creating a well-balanced, nutritious meal.

    They add a bounty of nourishing, life-promoting substances and life forces, almost miraculous curative properties, and a wealth of colors, flavors, and shapes. They increase the appetite, stimulate the digestion, and make any simple meal festive and satisfying. The course will be highly practical with many hands-on activities.


     

    In this Four week course you will learn about the nutritional needs of your growing child and receive delicious, seasonal, wholesome nutritious menus and recipes on affordable budget so as to encourage children to eat and live healthy.

    During this course we will explore the nutritious needs for your growing child.

    We will discover how rhythm, simplicity and nourishing activities support a healthy child development. You will find new ways to encourage your child to develop a taste for natural, wholesome foods as well as receive and create delicious, seasonal nutritious menus and recipes that stay within the limits of your budget.





    Cooking for the Love of the World:
    Awakening our Spirituality through Cooking

    by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt



    A heart-centered, warmth-filled guide to the nurturing art of cooking. 200 pages, softbound


     
  • Friday, October 25, 2013 11:28 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Your Belly, Your Universe Part 5

    by Lisa Sarasohn



    What’s in a belly?

    To review: Your belly plays host to 100 trillion bacteria. These single-celled creatures — your gut microbiota — shape your physical and mental health. When the many kinds and varying populations of your belly bacteria maintain a dynamic balance, they vitalize your digestion, immunity, hormone production, nerve communication, and more.


    Imbalance among and depletion of the gut bacteria likely plays a key role in body-mind disorders such as anxiety, autism, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune diseases, and allergies.


    If certain kinds of detrimental bacteria predominate, such imbalance can manifest as a specific infection. But even if infection is not evident, imbalance within the microbiome can cause persistent inflammation. As a result, the immune system remains on constant alert and the stage is set for chronic disease.


    In previous installments, you’ve read how ancient icons of the Sacred Feminine may document the gut microbiome’s healing power, how traditional cuisines replenish your belly’s supply of beneficial microbiota, how soil microorganisms riding in on the organic vegetables you eat constitute a crucial component of your microbial population.


    You’ve also considered the role that movement and breathing exercises — by compressing, expanding, rotating, and twisting your belly — may play in mobilizing your gut microbiome, energizing your bacterial to serve your physical and emotional health all the more effectively.


    Medical research on the gut microbiome calls into question conventional concepts of the body, health, and disease. With only 10% of your genetic material sporting the DNA that is uniquely yours, who are you and what exactly is your body?


    Researchers and science writers are grasping at metaphors.


    In Germs Are Us, for example, the New Yorker’s Michael Specter quotes Martin J. Blaser, chairman of the Department of Medicine and a professor of microbiology at the New York University School of Medicine, as saying “We are an endlessly variable stew of essential microbes.... But the microbiome is never static or simple; often it’s a battleground between species. The difficult job of medicine is to control that battleground.”


    Contemporary Western culture — invested in the primacy of the rational mind — typically considers the body to be a soulless machine. Genetics provides the blueprint for putting the machine together.


    Specter offers a different image: “Each of us seems more like a farm than like an individual assembled from a rulebook of genetic instructions. Medicine becomes a matter of cultivation, as if our bacterial cells were crops in a field.”


    We might think of ourselves as a farm, or garden. Or a zoo.


    Scientific papers characterize the gut microbiome as a human organ; the body as a habitat, a host ecosystem; human beings as “superorganisms.”


    What’s so “super” about playing host to trillions of bacteria, a.k.a. germs? It’s incredibly humbling to know that we humans, the pride of eons of evolution, depend on single-celled microorganisms for our most intimate physiological functions. It’s humbling to know that these life-or-death dealing microorganisms outnumber our homo sapiens cells by a ration of 10 to 1. Bacteria? They’re so primitive.


    In the previous installment, I promised to address microbiome, human body, and Body Earth in an imaginative, intuitive way. I asked you to stay tuned for these codewords: Primordial. Gaia. Torus.


    Here we go. Let’s take torus first.


    If you’ve eaten a doughnut, you’ve ingested the structure of the universe. That tubular circle enclosing a double-vortex void: That’s the torus. That’s the shape of the universe and everything in it. That’s you.


    As Foster Gamble of the Thrive Movement says, a torus is an “energy vortex that you can see everywhere … in atoms, cells, seeds, flowers, trees, animals, humans, hurricanes, planets, suns, galaxies and even the cosmos as a whole.”


    The torus guides energy into motion and matter into form in every corner of the universe. The doughnut or “ring torus” is actually just one toroidal form. Others include:



    Source: Weisstein, Eric W. "Standard Tori."
    MathWorldmathworld.wolfram.com/StandardTori.html


    Picture a sphere open at top and bottom, rotating around its vertical axis, lines of energy swirling up and around its curving surfaces. Arriving at the opening at top, the swirl of energy descends through the sphere’s inner core, a vortex narrowing as it tunnels downward into a single point at the sphere’s very center. From this point, the swirl widens as it continues to descend, eventually spiraling outward to define the opening at the bottom of the sphere, then returning to the sphere’s outer surface and continuing to trace the continuity of exterior and interior, fullness and emptiness.


    Or look here:


    Source: Wendy Howard, Does it Matter?


    An apple is a torus. You are a torus. Stand with your feet more than shoulder-width apart, signify an upward-pointing triangle: Earth your base, your legs the equilaterals, your belly center the apex.


    Now with your arms extending from this same belly center, raise your arms up to the Heavens, shape an upward-pointing triangle.


    You, this emblem of Heaven-and-Earth, your downward- and upward-pointing triangles emerging from, returning to unite at a single point: your belly center, your sourcepoint.




    Source: Lisa Sarasohn, Rite for Invoking the Sacred Feminine


    Breathe out who you are, send your gift through to the far reaches of the universe. Breathe in who you are, the gift that streams from the far reaches of the universe into your body’s center.


    Breathing out and in, rooting downward and reaching upward from your body’s center, now imagine yourself spinning, being spun around your central core. Your legs and arms, the conjoined triangles you signify, define the torus’ interior emptiness and its exterior fullness.


    You are a torus. You are a vessel for the inflow and outflow, the continuing circulation of the life energy that juices the universe. Stop that flow, put a lid on it, close the trap door, and you’re setting yourself up for a cosmic battle. The spoils of such a war: fatigue, boredom, frustration, anger, resentment, illness. Did I mention weight gain?


    You are a torus. From mouth to anal opening, you are the somewhat convoluted passageway open to the comings and goings of the universe. Your belly — your body’s center, your hara — is central to the sacred shape called vesica that the torus in cross-section delineates.




    Source: Wendy Howard, Does it Matter?


    You are also primordial. And Gaia incarnate. How? That’s for the next installment.



    (c) 2013 Self-Health Education, Inc.



    ****************************************************************

    My workshops flow from my quest for the Sacred Feminine blended with my experience practicing and teaching yoga.

    I've been a Kripalu Yoga instructor since 1979. I've also trained as a yoga and bodywork therapist.

    From 1981 to 1988, I served on staff at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, MA. During this time, I led yoga classes for thousands of guests, conducted a practice in bodywork therapy, designed workshops on many aspects of holistic health, and trained yoga teachers and bodyworkers.

    In the course of my continuing yoga studies, I learned how cultures around the world have valued the body's center as sacred. Delving deeper into this subject revealed connections between the body's center and qualities of the soul, the extent of women's power in family and society, and the degree of a culture's reverence for Sacred Feminine.

    Listen to an interview with Lisa Sarasohn


    Study with Lisa Online!

    ~ From Belly Distress to Belly Health~
    ( Learn More Here )

        Drawing on ancient wisdom and contemporary practice, we'll attend to our bellies' well-being. We'll engage in experiential learning, energizing the body-mind transformation that supports healing.

        
        ~ Initiation 2012: Awakening Your Sacred Center, Part One ~
        ( Learn More Here )

        This online course is the first part of an ongoing process through which you embody the Sacred Feminine by energizing your body's center with breath, image, story, and movement.

         



        (New World Library, 2006) presents what I've learned about the body's center through teaching and research over a period of nearly twenty years.
     
        My articles on honoring the body's center have appeared in publications including Yoga Journal, SageWoman, Radiance, and Personal Transformation. My workshops have been sponsored by colleges and universities, health education agencies, and holistic learning centers.

        My intention is to provide you an opportunity to delight in the vitality and pleasure, the creativity and confidence, the intuition and sense of purpose that already dwell within and emerge from your body's center. My greatest joy is to offer you ways to discover the Sacred Feminine as she already abides within you.
      ~~ Order Here ~~

  • Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:34 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Mushrooms: Fungi for Health
    By Linda Conroy





        I am a big fan of mushrooms. I love to cook with them and eat them. I have not found a mushroom that I did not enjoy. Earlier today, I was preparing a vegetable soup and added mushrooms to the slow cooker. When I sat down for dinner and ate the soup, I was reminded of the many mushrooms I harvested and ingested during the past year. I remembered the long hikes during last years spring morel mushroom hunt. I was also reminded of the puff ball mushrooms we found in our neighbor's field last summer and how abundant the chanterelle mushrooms were in the woods. We ate mushrooms often during the summer apprenticeship program and I am confident our immune systems were thanking us.

    I have long been an avid wild harvester. Preferring to find my food in the woods or fields rather than the grocery store. Mushrooms made me nervous for a long time. Prior to moving from the west coast to the midwest, I was comfortable harvesting only two mushrooms and even then I was very careful, as one should be. Today I am happy to say that I enjoy harvesting close to 20 mushrooms and and each year I add to my mushroom repertoire. 

    I have long been aware of the immune boosting benefits of eating mushrooms. I also know that they contain a wide spectrum of nutrients including B vitamins, vitamin K, copper, potassium, selenium and other trace minerals. So, I was not surprised when I recently read an article in the Acres USA Farming Magazine, that research is being conducted on the vitamin D content of mushrooms. Similar to humans mushrooms need to be exposed to light in order to synthesize vitamin D. This is an important factor, as most commercial button mushrooms are grown in the dark, so unless they have been exposed to light, they will not convert the necessary compounds. Wild mushrooms and particularly those that are exposed to sunlight are the ideal mushroom for promoting health. Although it should be noted that sitting your mushrooms in a sunny window for a day or two will enhance the vitamin D content.

    This information is really inspiring to me, as I am continually trying to find ways to increase the nutrient density of my food. There has been a lot of attention in recent years, being paid to studies indicating that vitamin D is an important nutrient for maintaining health. Many providers of health care are encouraging their patients to ingest vitamin D supplements. As with nutrients in general I prefer to introduce them to my body through food not capsules or pills. I really do trust that with information and creativity we can assimilate the nutrients we need through our food.

    So while, I will continue to eat whatever mushroom is presented to me, I am more committed than ever to eating wild or home grown mushrooms on a regular basis.

    If you decide to harvest your own mushrooms be sure to consult a reliable field guide and/or spend time with someone who is knowledgeable about mushrooms. A good book is titled: Start Mushrooming by Stan Tekiela and in many areas you can find a local mycological society that will offer forays and other learning opportunities. Also growing mushrooms outside your door step is a good way to have them readily available and to learn to recognize them when you do see them in the a wild environment.

    Incorporating mushrooms into your diet is fun and easy. Add them to soup, stew, stir fry vegetables, omellete, quiche and/or stuff them. Use your imagination I suspect you can think of many other ideas as well!  One of the mushrooms that is abundant this year is the Giant Puff Ball mushroom. From the perspective of a chef, this mushroom is all in the sauce. It takes on the flavor of whatever you marinate or cook it in. Below is one of my favorite recipes for preparing this unmistakable, generous mushroom.


    In order to develop recipes for this mushroom you can think of them as a soft tofu. I like to marinate them and bake them. Once they are baked, I then broil or grill them and/or put them in the freezer for later us.
    Usually when I do this I have several baking pans full of sliced puff ball “steaks”, which I then either eat as a mushroom burger, eat as a main course with vegetables and /or cut into small pieces and add to a stir fry.
    Often when you find one giant puff ball there are many more. If you find many you can freeze them and eat then throughout the year! Below is my recipe for Mushroom “steaks”.




    Puff Ball Mushroom “Steaks”

    ~Harvest one or more giant puff ball mushrooms (Calvatia gigantea.) If you are unsure about identifying mushrooms, a good book for beginning mushroom identification is Start Mushrooming by Stan Tekila.
    ~Wipe off the outside of the mushroom and check to be sure the inside is white and smooth and that it does not have insect damage inside.
    ~slice into slabs approximately ¼-1/2 inch thick and place in a large baking pan.
    ~marinate in the mixture listed below, or your favorite rich barbeque or steak sauce for 30 minutes. Be sure the marinade is covering all sides of the mushroom. *see marinade recipe below.
    ~preheat oven to 325 degrees
    ~place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.
    ~You can do several things next:
    1.place in a storage container and let cool. Once they are cool, freeze for future use.
    2.Eat directly as a “steak” and/or cut in pieces and add to a stir fry or other vegetable dish.
    3.Broil or grill and eat as a grilled “steak” or place on a roll to create a mushroom burger.
    Marinate recipe:
    Cranberry Sauce or other tart sauce 1 cup (I like high bush cranberry sauce)
    2 TBS mustard
    ½ cup tamari
    ¼ cup olive oil
    ¼ cup miso (barley miso is nice, as it is quite rich, but any miso will work)



     

    Linda Conroy is a bioregional, wise woman herbalist, educator,wildcrafter, permaculturist and an advocate for women's health.

    She is the proprietress of Moonwise Herbs and the founder of Wild Eats: a movement to encourage people and communities to incorporate whole and wild food into their daily lives. She is passionate about women's health and has been working with women for over 20 years in a wide variety of settings.

    Linda is a student of nonviolent communication and she has a masters degree in Social Work as well as Law and Social Policy. Linda has been offering hands on herbal programs and food education classes for well over a decade.

    She has completed two herbal apprenticeship programs, one of which was with Susun Weed at the Wise Woman Center and she has a certificate in Permaculture Design.

    Linda is a curious woman whose primary teachers are the plants; they never cease to instill a sense of awe and amazement.

    Her poetic friend Julene Tripp Weaver, eloquently describes Linda when she writes, "She listens to the bees, takes tips from the moon, and follows her heart."

    Listen to a thirty minute interview with mentor Linda Conroy

     

    Study with Linda Conroy from Home

    ~Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making~
    ( Link to detailed description of Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making )

    The goal of the course is to have participants become familiar with herbal medicine, to become comfortable incorporating herbs into daily life and to gain hands on experience making simple remedies at home.

  • Friday, October 11, 2013 11:35 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Preventing Prenatal Depression
    Dr. Jill Diana Chasse


    Prenatal Depression is a serious issue that often gets overlooked by both women and their healthcare providers. Depression during pregnancy not only causes sadness for the mother, it can also have significant developmental effects in the fetus, including altering of the baby's brain structure leading to increased vulnerability for mood disorders in the child's future. Additionally, depression during pregnancy may cause early delivery and a preterm baby.

    One of the main determinants of depression during pregnancy, although it is often ignored or not given the attention it deserves, is stress. Stress can be cultural, environmental, or social. A parent may give an adult child a hard time for having a child with a spouse they disapprove of, society may disapprove of a lesbian mother's choice to carry a child, co workers may belittle a single mom for being artificially inseminated, etc, all leading to environmental and social stress. There are religious prejudices and lifestyle issues as well as heredity and personal choice such as where to birth and who to have as a practitioner. Stress not only has an effect on the mother, raising blood pressure, causing headaches and digestive problems and of course mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. It also directly related to the child's development. More stress correlates to less synapses, potentially stunting brain development or leading to behavioral issues and disorders.

    SO what is the best way to avoid stress, decrease the chance of prenatal depression and increase a healthy and safe pregnancy and birth? The answer lies with both the mom and her care provider. It should be a team effort of respect, understanding and strong communication.

    First preparing for the emotionally for baby is just as important as physically. Get to know the child growing inside you, talk about your worries, fears and apprehensions with friends and loved ones, knowing it is normal to have concerns. Also pay attention to your physical habits and stay active with a healthy diet. This significantly reduces stress and tension.

    You should also talk to your provider about your feelings. Not all care providers understand mental health issues. Some pregnancy care providers discuss emotional and psychological issues with their moms, test for signs of prenatal depression and regularly refer out if more support is needed. Other providers reflect strong stigma with mental health issues or have misunderstandings, assuming that depression is more prevalent in the postpartum period so they avoid discussions and ignore the signs. Educating providers is key in reducing stress and depression. It is important that all pregnancy care providers have a thorough understanding and respect for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and understand how to recognize and either treat or refer when symptoms present.

    If depressive symptoms are identified, getting treatment is still an issue. There are many barriers and obstacles that pregnant women face including treatment location and options as well as personal concerns about embarrassment, weakness or mental illness stigma. Understanding that depression is not a sign of weakness or or sign of a bad parent is extremely important. A mother's strength actually reflects in her ability to admit the need and reach out. We are all just human and it's okay to ask for help.

    Depression during pregnancy is a serious issue that warrants better attention, focus and care. Our children deserve healthy physical and emotional environments to develop in, and our mothers deserve support. Support yourself, your baby, and your family by understanding this mental health issue and reaching out if needed.




    Dr. Jill Diana Chasse is maternal/child public health practitioner, an author and a counselor. Jill has been working with the mother-baby dyad in birth and psychology for over 20 years.

    She has studied midwifery at both Ancient Arts Midwifery Institute and Institute of Holistic Midwifery, holds Master's degrees in Psychology and Public Administration, and a Doctorate in Health Administration.  

    Personally, she loves the ocean, skiing, horseback riding, and cuddling up with her kids, hot coffee and a good book in front of a fireplace on a snowy evening.

    Currently, she works in public health for the federal government and teaches classes for the Childbearing Year at Wise Woman University, online, including the childbirth education method she founded, BEBE- Baby-Empowered Birthing Education.


    Listen to a 30 minute radio interview with Jill Diana Chasse


     
    Study with Jill Diana Chasse Online

    ~ Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health Support ~
      ( link to detailed description of Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health Support )

    Manage pregnancy and postpartum emotional challenges including baby blues and PPD symptoms to help reduce the risk of depression and keep yourself and your baby mentally and emotionally strong.  REGISTER HERE


    ~ BEBE - Baby Empowered Birth Education ~
    ( link to detailed description of BEBE )

    Baby-Empowered Birth Education is a Complimentary Natural Childbirth method for use with or without medications, at home, birth center, or in a hospital with key concepts of "Experiencing, Understanding and Enjoying" your labor and delivery through emotional support, empowering yourself, and empowering your baby. REGISTER HERE


    ~ BEBE Childbirth Educator Certification Program ~
      ( link to detailed description of BEBE for Educators )

    Become a "Baby-Empowered Birthing Education" Certified Childbirth Educator offering women and babies an empowering, magical, enlightening, and passionate natural choice for childbirth education, encouraging them to "experience, understand and enjoy" the Magic of Motherhood! REGISTER HERE
     

    This is an online workshop intended for parents who have lost a baby during pregnancy or after birth. It is a self paced, guided tour through the healing process to work through grief and bereavement issues. Working through these issues in this format is especially helpful in the early stages of grief when the shock and pain is still raw.
    REGISTER HERE



    Baby Magic for your Magic Baby
    By Jill Diana Chasse




    Baby Magic is a Spiritual Guide to Motherhood. Beginning before conception, Baby Magic guides a woman on her magical journey of becoming a mother.

    ~ORDER HERE~

  • Friday, October 04, 2013 1:30 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    YOGA for the EYES: Windows to your soul and Life
    with Sheryl Wolover


    Yoga for your eyes brings a new platform of awareness on how we look through the windows of our soul~







    Greetings I'm Sheryl Wolover, native to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.  Mother of two children raised with Susun Weed's herbal infusions  somewhere in the 1980's~
     
    I am the creator of YOGA LEGENDS. Yoga DVD's that link poses together through story telling~  
    Owner of Pacific Elements studio for Massage Therapy (1984) and Yoga classes (2003)~
    My family (including the animal family) live around a beautiful lake side where we garden and gather herbs for food and medicine~
    *=Oceans+Mountains^^^^ of Peace,Sheryl

    http://www.pacific-elements.com/
  • Monday, September 30, 2013 9:30 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    In Celebration of Nourishment: Crab Apple Chutney

    With Linda Conroy of Moonwise Herbs


    www.moonwiseherbs.com
    www.midwestwomensherbal.com

    Crab apples


    "If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health." -Hippocrates
    If you have spent any time with me, you will know that my favorite motto is nourish, nourish, nourish. Everyone and everything needs nourishment. And as we can see in the above quote Hippocrates knew this a very long time ago. The question is what is nourishment and how do we differentiate nourishment from approaches to health that are actually depleting. Many of the health modalities, including "alternative approaches" deplete our bodies and psyche's. They define health as a fixed state and do not acknowledge that life is anything but fixed. Really the only thing we can count on is change. While many people turn to approaches that are depleting, we can shift this at anytime. The best place that I have found to start is with love and compassion for ourselves and each other. From a place of love and compassion it is easy to recognize that there is not a one size fits all approach to health.
    Finding a definition for health, that does not hold us to standards that are impossible to meet is a powerful way to nourish ourselves. The media would have us think that we "should" all be youthful and of a certain body type etc for our entire lives. This is clearly unreasonable, yet there are whole industries built up around these ideas. That said, the definition of health that I have adopted from my very wise mentor Isla Burgess, is that

    "health is reflected in our ability to be flexible, adaptable and resilient."

    This definition embraces that fact that we are in a continual state of change. It fully recognizes that health is a constant state of motion and that we are on a journey.
    Establishing compassion and then defining health in a way that encompasses all beings provides us with many more options. Options to be the perfectly imperfect humans that we are.
    That said, food is a rich source of nourishment, not only ingesting it, but sourcing it. When you harvest your own food and when you source it from someone you trust you are creating connections and relationships that nourish your spirit. The local food movement has provided the opportunity for communities to be nourished by relationships as well as vitamins and minerals.
    As fall approaches and I plan for the food that will grace my pantry and nourish me over the winter, I can't help but think about crabapples. I have long loved these and was delighted a few years ago when I discovered that not only are they delicious, but they are rich in pectin. Pectin is a prebiotic substance. Prebiotic substances, including pection, inulin and algin are basically food for the prebiotic bacteria that our digestive system needs to function most effectively. Our gut is at the heart of our immune system and affects every system in our body, so providing nourishment to this system provides the building blocks to health. They assist our entire body in it's efforts to maintain the flexibility, adaptability and reliance needed to maintain health.
    Simply adding crabapples to your diet can increase the health of your digestive system considerably. In order to fully benefit from the pectin in crabapples, the apples need to be cooked. Cooking releases the pectin and renders it more bioavailable. You can get similar benefits from applesauce as well. Below is one of my favorite recipes for crabapple chutney.

    In nourishment,
    Linda

    Crab Apple Chutney

    Ingredients:
    2 cups crabapples, quartered and cored (leave the skins on)
    1/2 cup raisins
    1/2 cup chopped onions
    1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    1/4 cup honey
    1 TBS grated orange peel
    1 TBS fresh ginger

    Instructions:
    ~Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and stir well.
    ~Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 50 minutes.
    ~Uncover and simmer a few more minutes over low heat, cooking off excess liquid. Let cool. Enjoy!!
    ~Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
    *If you make a larger batch a water bath canning method works well for preserving chutney!
    Makes 3 cups.




     

    Linda Conroy is a bioregional, wise woman herbalist, educator,wildcrafter, permaculturist and an advocate for women's health.

    She is the proprietress of Moonwise Herbs and the founder of Wild Eats: a movement to encourage people and communities to incorporate whole and wild food into their daily lives. She is passionate about women's health and has been working with women for over 20 years in a wide variety of settings.

    Linda is a student of nonviolent communication and she has a masters degree in Social Work as well as Law and Social Policy. Linda has been offering hands on herbal programs and food education classes for well over a decade.

    She has completed two herbal apprenticeship programs, one of which was with Susun Weed at the Wise Woman Center and she has a certificate in Permaculture Design.

    Linda is a curious woman whose primary teachers are the plants; they never cease to instill a sense of awe and amazement.

    Her poetic friend Julene Tripp Weaver, eloquently describes Linda when she writes, "She listens to the bees, takes tips from the moon, and follows her heart."

    Listen to a thirty minute interview with mentor Linda Conroy

     

    Study with Linda Conroy from Home

    ~Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making~
    ( Link to detailed description of Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making )

    The goal of the course is to have participants become familiar with herbal medicine, to become comfortable incorporating herbs into daily life and to gain hands on experience making simple remedies at home.

  • Tuesday, September 24, 2013 2:33 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    NURTURING THE SACRED FEMININE SHE IS LOVE


    Written & illustrated by Roslyne Sophia Breillat




    To nurture the sacred feminine is to nurture all that is so very dear to a woman’s heart, becoming more aware of and more open to the creative source of the mysterious female power of the Earth, the indefinable and inexplicable creative feminine wellspring within All. To nurture the sacred feminine is to tenderly, fearlessly and intimately love the feminine essence, openheartedly trust the intuitive perceptions that flow from woman’s female truth and fully give to the passionate love and creative essence within the vast wellspring of her womb. And what is a sacred life, but a life lived fully, as sacred, from within?


    For to see, feel, welcome, cherish, embrace, perceive the sacredness of the feminine spirit of the Earth, is to love the sacred feminine. Within her deepest, most intimate and secret, sacred places, every woman knows herself as love, she knows who she is, and yet she suffers, over and over again, as the dramatically discordant outer situations of her life steal her identity, diminish her value, deny her worth and bring her to her knees. And these situations purposefully take her ever nearer home, into the depths of her heart, her womb, her ancient wisdom, the exquisite fineness and power of her timeless female mystery, where she is a mystery unto herself, unto all, knowing all, yet knowing nothing, a vast mystery resting sweetly and powerfully, space-filled and love-filled, beyond all concepts, conditioning and rationalities that belie her divinity.


    She is beyond all that tells her she is not the pure essence of love, not this glorious and sacred being of lunar light and darkness beyond the world, beyond existence, beyond self. Yet, in her distorted longing to find the heart of her feminine mystery out there, in the masculine world, outside herself, far from her womb essence, she voraciously searches in the aggressive hunting ground of society, in the spiritless wasteland of shopping malls, in the temporary fantasy land of movies, and in television, the internet, magazines, relationships, work.


    And within the enticing illusory mirages of these offerings, she too often finds tarnished, distorted reflections from cracked and broken mirrors, revealing an empty hearted denigration of the sacred feminine. She has forsaken her purity, the simplicity of the innately instinctual need she knew as a young girl, for finding, collecting, gathering and enjoying the simple objects and offerings of the Earth, offerings that speak to her in mysterious and magical ways. Shells, flowers, leaves, herbs, pebbles, branches, feathers, stones, sacred symbols of her essence, her spirit, her roundness, her softness, her sensuality, her cyclic nature, her yoni, her womb, her spontaneous flow.


    Copyright ~ Roslyne Sophia Breillat ©

    Not to be reproduced without written permission of the author...

    The above excerpt is from Sophia’s new book, HEART OF THE EARTH, NURTURING THE SACRED FEMININE.


    Sophia is a wise woman who lives, writes, and paints from the heart. Her prolific articles and paintings

    embrace the wisdom and grace of the female essence and the beauty of the Earth. She is acknowledged as a powerful and courageous writer whose creative work features in many international websites and magazines. Her website is an abundant offering of female wisdom that nurtures and inspires. Sophia is the author of WOMB OF WISDOM, THE SACRED JOURNEY OF MENOPAUSE and HEART OF THE EARTH, NURTURING THE SACRED FEMININE.

    Website ~ www.wildheartwisdom.com

    Email ~ sophia@wildheartwisdom.com




    Sophia (Roslyne Sophia Breillat) is a woman who lives, writes and paints from the heart. The inner richness and profound healing of her life experiences are inspiration for her flowing creativity.

    Her articles and art embrace the beauty, power and sensuality of the feminine essence and celebrate the natural flow of woman's transformational cycles. Her website offers a sacred space for woman to dive into the deep, to open to her true nature, to be who she really is.

    Sophia's training and experience includes primal therapy, intuitive massage, reconnective healing, writing, art and design, astrological counselling, instructional skills, training program design and teaching within the Aboriginal community. She has also facilitated many creative and inspiring workshops and courses.
     

    Sophie offers two courses at the Wise Woman University:


    ~ Being Woman ~ (detailed description of Being Woman online course)


    This six week online course provides a sacred and nurturing space where woman can learn to surrender more deeply to the natural receptivity of the female psyche. "...so blessed to have had gentle words of encouragement and support from you through the "Being Woman" course at W.W.U.... You have inspired me to continue my quest... Thanks so much!"

    ~ Dawning of Wisdom ~ (detailed description of Dawning of Wisdom online course)

    Throughout this series of lessons she will learn to trust the innate flow of her intuitive nature and to listen more intimately to the wellspring of her inner source. And we will explore together how to live more fully as the embodiment of the feminine essence within the structures of a masculine civilisation. "I LOVE your class, it is beautiful and thought provoking and well done... Thank you Sophia for your role as wisdom keeper, confidante and mentor."

  • Thursday, September 19, 2013 10:26 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    SERVING FERMENTED FOODS AND PICKLES
    by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt



    It is a real art to know when and how to serve different fermented foods and pickles, but the basics are easy and just common sense. One of the main values of fermented foods and pickles are their ability to create balance in a meal.

    Light, spicy, moist, and short term fermented foods and vegetable pickles are better served in the summer months or with heavier types of food. These include vegetable brine pickles, kefir, yogurt, kvass, pressed salads, cucumber pickles, kimchee etc. Strong, salty, drier, or long term fermented foods and pickles are best in the colder months, or served with lighter dishes. Long term fermented foods are miso, tamari and vegetable pickles made with those products. Sour tasting and spicier types of fermented foods and pickles, such as sauerkraut and ginger pickles, are delicious with oily, greasy dishes such as heavy sauces, meat dishes, deep fried foods and tempura, because these fermented foods aid in the digestion of fats.

    Besides making balance in a meal, creating variation, and adding flavor, fermented foods and pickles have a medicinal effect. Often lighter, short tern fermented foods and vegetable pickles are preferred by a heavier body type and long term stronger fermented foods are preferred by people feeling weaker and under the weather. Another example of fermented foods individual medicinal benefit is the sour tasting fermented foods such as sauerkraut, supporting and toning the liver.

    DANISH CUCUMBER PICKLES

    3 cucumbers, in thin slices
    1 Tbsp sea salt
    1 Tbsp honey
    1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
    1 c water

    Mix the salt with the cucumbers and let it sit under pressure for 2 hours. Pour off the liquid and make a marinade of water, honey and apple cider vinegar. Pour it over the cucumbers. Let it marinade for 1—5 hours.

    •Variation: Use apple juice instead of water and honey and add thin-cut onion rings to the cucumbers or use other vegetables or fine-cut apples or pears. 1 Tbsp olive oil can be added to the marinade together with fresh minced parsley.

    PICKLED SHALLOTS

    1 lb shallots
    4 c water
    1 Tbsp sea salt
    5 bay leaves
    2 Tbsp barley malt

    Clean and rinse the onions and place them in a big jar. Bring the water to a boil, add the salt, bay leaves, and malt. Let it cool before pouring it over the onions. Place an air tight lid on the jar and let it sit for 2 months. A delicious, sour, pungent pickle.

    •Variation: Parboil the onions in boiling water for 2—3 min., before adding the marinade. In this way they will be done in 2 weeks. Herbs and rice vinegar can also be added, if you want the pickles to be done in 2 days.




    Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt is a Waldorf class and kindergarten teacher, biodynamic farmer, author and nutritional counselor. She has taught nutritional cooking and counseled for 25 years in her homeland Denmark, Europe and the United States.

    She trained as a macrobiotic cooking teacher and counselor and studied the principles of oriental medicine and the research of Dr. Weston A. Price before embracing the anthroposophical approach to nutrition, food and cooking.



     



    This Four week course will explore some of the many benefits of fermented and cultured foods, and why it is important to include them regularly with every meal. You will be guided through the steps of making sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled vegetables, kefir, soft cheese, and yogurt, as well as get a chance to discover new fermented drinks such as kvass, wines, and beers. I will aim at answering personal questions around your culturing and fermenting experiences.


    Intuitively we know that cultured and fermented foods are real health foods. Naturally fermented and cultured foods are an exceptional way to prepare different ingredients and some of the most important side dishes and condiments in our diet. They are often overlooked or not mentioned when we describe what we had for dinner, and yet they are pivotal in creating a well-balanced, nutritious meal.

    They add a bounty of nourishing, life-promoting substances and life forces, almost miraculous curative properties, and a wealth of colors, flavors, and shapes. They increase the appetite, stimulate the digestion, and make any simple meal festive and satisfying. The course will be highly practical with many hands-on activities.


     

    In this Four week course you will learn about the nutritional needs of your growing child and receive delicious, seasonal, wholesome nutritious menus and recipes on affordable budget so as to encourage children to eat and live healthy.

    During this course we will explore the nutritious needs for your growing child.

    We will discover how rhythm, simplicity and nourishing activities support a healthy child development. You will find new ways to encourage your child to develop a taste for natural, wholesome foods as well as receive and create delicious, seasonal nutritious menus and recipes that stay within the limits of your budget.





    Cooking for the Love of the World:
    Awakening our Spirituality through Cooking

    by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt



    A heart-centered, warmth-filled guide to the nurturing art of cooking. 200 pages, softbound


     
  • Tuesday, September 10, 2013 1:53 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Your Belly Microbiome On The Move, Part 4
    by Lisa Sarasohn
    (c) 2013 Self-Health Education, Inc


    What's in a belly? To recap previous installments, your belly plays host to 100 trillion bacteria.
    These single-celled creatures—your gut microbiota—shape your physical and mental health.
    When the populations of your belly bacteria achieve a balance, they vitalize your digestion,
    immunity, hormone production, nerve communication, and more.


    Imbalance among and depletion of the gut bacteria likely plays a key role in body-mind disorders
    such as anxiety, autism, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune diseases, and allergies.


    In previous installments, I've discussed the possibility that ancient icons of the Sacred Feminine
    reveal the potentially healing power of the belly's bacteria. I've also mentioned we need to keep
    replenishing our intestinal bacteria since we lose so many with each bowel movement.
    Traditional cuisines help us do exactly that by including fermented foods on the daily menu.


    I've also asked the questions:


    How does the use of pesticides in food production diminish the soil's microbiome?


    How do soil depletion and industrial food processing affect our ability to replenish the gut
    microbiome that's so crucial to our physical and mental health?


    Not long after posing those questions, synchronicity sent me plenty of responses, thanks to
    herbalist Lindsay Wilson. From the New York Times to journals of complementary medicine, the
    word is: We need to bring soil microorganisms into our bellies for digestive health and bodymind
    well-being as a whole.


    We humans have an instinctive draw to soil, however muted that instinct may become. When I
    recently asked a group of women how many of the children they knew ate dirt, the reply was "all
    of them." In another instance, a friend told me about an elderly African American woman she
    knew many years ago. No matter that the people with whom she worked made fun of her, the
    woman ate dirt from time to time. And she was never sick.


    If you want to replenish your belly's microbiome, shop at your local farmers' market. Eat
    vegetables that have grown in pesticide-free, organically rich soil.


    How else do we support our belly's microbial world?


    With physical activity.


    Just as cuisines incorporating fermented foods have a long history, so do breathing and
    movement exercises that mobilize the belly. I can only imagine that traditions of dance, healing
    rituals, and spiritual practices activate the belly's microbiome by stirring bacterial populations
    through each other, increasing opportunities for their interaction, energizing their metabolic
    processes, distributing their metabolic products.


    Consider these expressions: Belly dancing. Chanting, powered by deep belly breathing. Martial
    arts. Yoga, including such belly-exercising practices as kapalabhati, agni sara, uddiyana bandha,
    and nauli.


    The 23 center-energizing exercises I teach on the Honoring Your Belly DVD, drawn from a
    dynamic Japanese style of yoga, activate the belly and, I suspect, its microbiome. Moving
    through each gesture, you expand your belly out from your spine with each in-breath and press
    your belly in toward your spine with each out-breath.


    Presented in shorter form as The Gutsy Women's Workout in The Woman's Belly Book: Finding
    Your True Center for More Energy, Confidence, and Pleasure
    , moves such as Cradle, Bright
    Blessings, Belly Bowl, Power Centering, Lily, and Wings compress, expand, twist, and rotate
    your belly. Your belly's bacteria? I can only imagine they're on the move, too, all the more
    effectively serving your physical and emotional health.


    In this and previous articles, I've been reporting on the microbiome in terms of the medical
    research aligned with the conventional Western paradigm of the human body and our human
    health. But this research is challenging conventional concepts of the body, health, and disease.
    With only 10% of your genetic material endowed with the DNA that is uniquely yours, who are
    you and what exactly is your body?


    From the perspective of the pharmaceutical industry, research on the microbiome leads to
    manufacture and sale of designer probiotics, drugs fashioned to restore the microbiome to a
    healthy balance however damaged it might have become. Yet this same research is showing that
    a healthy microbiome is hugely variable, both within individuals over time and among
    individuals by demographics and geography. That variety will likely challenge the prospect of
    cost-effective drug development.


    In the realm of the microbiome, then, medical research just might put medicine as we know it out
    of business.


    In the next installment, I'll address these same subjects — the microbiome, the nature of the
    human body, your own planet body in relation to big body Earth — in a more imaginative,
    intuitive way.


    Stay tuned for the codewords:


    Primordial.
    Gaia.
    Torus.



    *********************

    My workshops flow from my quest for the Sacred Feminine blended with my experience practicing and teaching yoga.

    I've been a Kripalu Yoga instructor since 1979. I've also trained as a yoga and bodywork therapist.

    From 1981 to 1988, I served on staff at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, MA. During this time, I led yoga classes for thousands of guests, conducted a practice in bodywork therapy, designed workshops on many aspects of holistic health, and trained yoga teachers and bodyworkers.

    In the course of my continuing yoga studies, I learned how cultures around the world have valued the body's center as sacred. Delving deeper into this subject revealed connections between the body's center and qualities of the soul, the extent of women's power in family and society, and the degree of a culture's reverence for Sacred Feminine.

    Listen to an interview with Lisa Sarasohn


    Study with Lisa Online!

    ~ From Belly Distress to Belly Health~
    ( Learn More Here )

        Drawing on ancient wisdom and contemporary practice, we'll attend to our bellies' well-being. We'll engage in experiential learning, energizing the body-mind transformation that supports healing.

        
        ~ Initiation 2012: Awakening Your Sacred Center, Part One ~
        ( Learn More Here )

        This online course is the first part of an ongoing process through which you embody the Sacred Feminine by energizing your body's center with breath, image, story, and movement.

         



        (New World Library, 2006) presents what I've learned about the body's center through teaching and research over a period of nearly twenty years.
     
        My articles on honoring the body's center have appeared in publications including Yoga Journal, SageWoman, Radiance, and Personal Transformation. My workshops have been sponsored by colleges and universities, health education agencies, and holistic learning centers.

        My intention is to provide you an opportunity to delight in the vitality and pleasure, the creativity and confidence, the intuition and sense of purpose that already dwell within and emerge from your body's center. My greatest joy is to offer you ways to discover the Sacred Feminine as she already abides within you.
      ~~ Order Here ~~

  • Thursday, September 05, 2013 2:30 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    The Weed and the Vine:
    Anecdotal Evidence for Nature's Antidote
    By Thea Summer Deer
    With Jamie MacLeod

    Jewelweed (Impatients capensis)

    Jewelweed



    Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

    Poison Ivy


    Entering the Pisgah National Forest we journeyed over the creek and into the woods to discover the blooming crowns of jewelweed. It made me wonder if jewel-weed isn't some king of oxymoron like cruel-kindness or definitely-maybe. But there is no maybe about it - she is definitely a jewel of a weed.

    Jamie with JewelweedThe intention for this summer day was for my apprentice, Jamie, and I to harvest the aerial parts of jewelweed in all of its abundance and learn more about her medicine. Ice cube trays full of fresh juice from the stem and leaves would be frozen, popped into baggies and stored in the freezer awaiting the aftermath of someone's unfortunate encounter with poison ivy, oak or sumac. Even an insect bite or a reactive sting from our dear friend stinging nettle can be soothed by the astringent and anti-inflammatory combination of jewelweed along with the numbing effect of ice.

    Equipped with a large plastic bag we gathered about ten jewelweed plants, just enough for juicing through a Champion juicer. You can also chop then succus the aerial parts of jewelweed in a blender or food processor with just enough water to cover in order to release the gel-like soothing mucilage. While out in the woods you can simply rub the fresh plant between the palms of your hands for immediate use as a poultice and to prevent a reaction to poison ivy. It is believed that jewelweed is more effective at washing the oil away that causes a rash from poison ivy than soap. Typically jewelweed and poison ivy can be found in the same area making it a very convenient antidote.

    Jewelweed, Impatiens capensis is in the Balsaminaceae, "Touch-Me-Not" family. It is a two to five foot tall annual plant that often forms large colonies in moist or wet habitats. Growing in colonies as it does makes it possible to harvest many plants with very little effort by pulling them up in bunches and trimming off the roots. Once harvested jewelweed wilts quickly. Its alternate and ovate shaped leaves are one to four inches long and are water-repellent. The entire plant is smooth and translucent and after a rain become covered with beads of water that reflect the light presenting a jewel-like appearance and giving it the common name, jewelweed.

    Jewelweed flowers are orange or yellow and hang like pendants from a thread-like stalk. They are irregular, with five petals: the upper two are united; the lower three separate with reddish brown spots. I. capensis has orange flowers while I. pallida has yellow flowers. Both species have the same medicinal properties. Jewelweed blooms from July to September and is best harvested during June or July. In late fall the ripe seedpods can be eaten and taste similar to walnuts. It's common name, "touch-me-not: describes how the ripe seed pods explode when touched, flinging seeds far from the plant.

    Not satisfied with just one hike into the woods to admire the jewel like faces of her flowers a few short weeks later we found ourselves hiking out again. This time it was along the Oconaluftee River in the Cherokee National Forest down a path lined with Cherokee medicinal plants. It was here that we found the largest patch of jewelweed we had ever seen. It was literally over our heads. The Cherokee Jewelweedused jewelweed juice for all of the same purposes mentioned above.

    According to folklore jewelweed is always found growing near poison ivy, and we found this to be true on both of our hikes into the forest. Poison ivy is actually an imposter and not a true ivy (Hedera). A trailing or climbing vine it is most commonly found along tree line breaks at the edge of the forest and is only somewhat shade tolerant. Development of real estate adjacent to undeveloped land has engendered its formation. Poison ivy, Toxicodendron radicans, has doubled since the 1960's and will double again as a result of the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. These elevated levels of carbon dioxide from global warming are creating bigger, stronger poison ivy plants that produce more urushiol, the oil that causes a poison ivy rash. The urushiol isn't just more plentiful it also more potent. A super good reason to keep some jewelweed ice cubes in your freezer.

    Both poison ivy and jewelweed are considered invasive but are not as damaging as invasive exotics. These native plants tend to take over an area but they don't do as much damage because they evolved with native insects and other plants. Jewelweed's ability to aggressively reseed enables it to out-compete other native vegetation. We saw evidence of this on the Cherokee trail when we discovered a literal forest of jewelweed. Its replacement of perennial vegetation on riverbanks may lead to increased soil erosion because of its delicate roots. It also produces alluring nectar, which may potentially attract pollinators away from other native plants reducing their seed set.

    In Timothy Lee Scott's controversial book, Invasive Plant Medicine: The Ecological Benefits and Healing Abilities of Invasives, he asks, "So what happens if we were to shift our point of view and see an invasive plant (weed) as useful?" He points out the waste of energy and the millions of dollars spent enlisting various invasive plant coalitions, universities, environmental conservation groups, state and federal agencies, along with the herbicide industry, in an attempt to eradicate invasive plants. The use of machinery and millions of gallons of herbicides polluting both soil and water throughout the world is costing us billions.

    Clinical herbalist, Michael Tierra argues on the topic of whether or not to control invasive plants depends on the invasive. Perhaps poison ivy is phytoremediating carbon dioxide and we would do better to look at how we have contributed to the invasion through the destruction and disturbance of habitat. If poison ivy is the enemy than jewelweed is a fortunate antidote.

    If we remain open to the intelligence of plants we will see that there is an interrelationship between invasives and the broader web of life. I, personally, even after a lifetime of camping, hiking and hanging out in the woods and many direct encounters with poison ivy have been fortunate to never experience a rash. As an herbalist, however, I feel a responsibility to keep as many medicines as I can on hand, like jewelweed ice cubes in my freezer.

    While out weeding my garden this week I pondered the dilemma of weeds and invasives. Certainly we have always been in partnership with nature, creating beautiful spaces by removing what doesn't serve the garden landscape and leaving other areas to nature's hand. It is a partnership gone awry as we disconnect from nature, but the evidence is mostly anecdotal so I offer you my testimony in favor of nature's hand. Being the eternal optimist I am hopeful that we will continue to find the value in weeds, leave well enough alone where we may, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

    References:
    Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians by Patricia Kyritsi Howell
    Invasive Plant Medicine: The Ecological Benefits and Healing Abilities of Invasives, by Timothy Lee Scott.


     



    Learn more in Thea Summer Deer's class, Love Your Liver: Spring and the Wood Element, a work at your pace, online class at Wise Woman University.

    For an edible spring weed recipe visit: Thea's Kitchen. Visit Thea Summer Deer: www.theasummerdeer.com

     
    Thea Summer Deer, Ph.D. is a clinical herbalist, educator, author and singer-songwriter. She began practicing midwifery in 1978 and was a founding mother of the South Florida School of Midwifery.

    Her involvement in Alternative Medicine spans 35 years as owner of Mindbody Press and Evolutionary Press, and as the executive director of Resources for World Health. She is a graduate of the Botanologos School for Herbal Studies and received her doctorate from Venus Rising University.

    Mother, Grandmother, avid cook and gardener, Thea is also an award winning songwriter performing in the acoustic duo, Thea & The GreenMan.

    Her new book, "Wisdom of the Plant Devas: Herbal Medicine for a New Earth," published by Inner Traditions International/Bear & Company, bridges botanical medicine with Earth-Spirit wisdom. ~~ Order Here ~~

    Learn more at www.theasummerdeer.com or "Like" her on Facebook.


    Listen to radio interviews with Thea Summer Deer



    Study with Thea Summer Deer Online

    ~ Indian Summer: Nourishing the Earth Element ~
    ( link to detailed description of Indian Summer: Nourishing the Earth Element )


    This class will benefit herbal and alternative medicine practitioners at any level, and individuals who want to heal and understand their digestive system for optimum health and longevity.


    ~ Hidden Treasure: Kidney Essence & The Water Element ~
    ( link to detailed description of Hidden Treasure )


    This class will benefit herbal practitioners at any level, and individuals who want to understand the vital role of Kidney Essence and how to achieve optimum health and longevity.


    ~ Heal Your Heart: The Fire Element~
    ( link to detailed description of Heal Your Heart )


    Heal Your Heart: The Fire Element, contains information I hope will someday be taught to our children as a matter of course so they grow in the knowledge that healing takes place in the context of relationships – our relationship with each other, the earth and her seasons and with the heavens.


    ~ Love Your Liver: The Wood Element~
    ( link to detailed description of Love Your Liver )


    This online course will benefit herbal practitioners at any level, and individuals who want to heal and support their liver for optimum health.


    Testimonials:

    "My goal in taking your class was to learn how the liver might affect hot flashes, but your gift of knowledge has far surpassed that and thank you." -- Helen Rollins Lord

    "I just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying the classes and how much healing I am experiencing in my own life/body right now because of the information you have shared. I truly appreciate the gift of this class." -- Kristina White

    "I am so excited to have been guided to you and am so happy to be in this phase of my life with you. Thanks for being so very approachable and responsive." -- Sandi Manoogian

    "These classes have been so inspiring, gracefully presented and dense with insightful information." -- Emily Sabino

    "Thank you so much Thea Summer Deer. you have been placed on my path in perfect timing." -- Pat Alexander

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