Wise Woman Herbal Ezine

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  • Wednesday, March 03, 2021 4:30 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Anemia  Prevention  Brew
    by Susun Weed
    excerpt from: Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year

    ½   ounce  dried  Nettle  leaves
    ½   ounce  dried  Parsley   leaves
    ½   ounce  dried  Comfrey  leaves
    ½   ounce  dried  Yellow  Dock  root
    ¼  ounce  dried  Peppermint  leaves

    Measure herbs and put them into a glass half-gallon juice jar.  
    Pour boiling water in until the jar is totally full; cover tightly.  
    Steep for  at least eight hours.

    This brew contains three excellent sources of iron: Nettle, Parsley, and  Yellow Dock.
    It provides folic acid from the Parsley and vitamin B12  from the Comfrey.  
    The green herbs all contribute vitamin C which aids iron absorption.  
    The Mint makes it  tasty.
    Drink  freely,  up to four cups a day , for one week each month.

    excerpt from: Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year

  • Wednesday, March 03, 2021 3:39 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    You Can Have a Green Ally!
    by Susun Weed

    Herbal medicine is people's medicine. So why don't more people use it? Because it can seem complicated and scary, for starters. That's the reason I urge you to use herbal medicine simply -- one herb at a time. And that's a good reason to have a green ally: one plant that teaches you the fundamental principals of herbal medicine.

    Herbal medicine is spirit medicine as well as body medicine. Our green allies tend our souls along with our sores. So why don't more books and courses talk about plant spirits? Or, if they do, why do they divorce it from herbal medicine? Because its not something that is easily written or even talked about. You have to connect with the devas and fairies yourself. And that's a good reason to have a green ally: one plant that opens you and guides you into the realms of green blessings.

    Herbal medicine is broad, deep, wide, timeless. It takes seven lifetimes to become an herbalist. Take the time this year to develop a relationship with one special plant: a green ally. How?

    Choose a plant that grows very near to you. . . no more than a one-minute walk from your door. You don't need to know the name of the plant, or anything about it. You will be sitting with your plant every day, so, if possible, choose one that grows in a quiet and lovely place . . . in a pot on your balcony is just fine . . . in a park is great . . . so is an alley. . . or a backyard.
    You can read about the plant you've chosen if you do know the name, but it isn't necessary. The point is to develop a special caring, nurturing, relationship with your green ally. The following six exercises can help you do this. They are from my correspondence course: ABC of Herbalism with Susun Weed, which focuses on ways to prepare and use 52 herbs and herbs for dealing with more than 20 health concerns. I also offer a year-long Green Ally Correspondence Course. For more information on my other correspondence courses visit me at Wise Woman School.

    First green ally exercise: Sit and breathe with your green ally for 3-10 minutes a day. You breathe out and the plant breathes in; the plant breathes out and you breathe in.

    Second green ally exercise: Make a detailed drawing of your green ally, as accurate as you can make it. Then do a soft-focus, impressionistic drawing of your green ally. When the weather is too inclement to breathe with your green ally, breathe with your green ally's picture.

    Third green ally exercise: What part of your green ally is usually used? Are other parts helpful? Experiment by making several small tinctures, oils, and vinegars of the different parts of your plant. Ask to plant to help you discover new ways to use her.

    Fourth green ally exercise: Observe the conditions that your green ally chooses to live in. Does your ally grow near to people (to be used) or far from them (to be left alone)? In a shady spot (cool) or a sunny one (warm)? In a wet area (moist) or an arid one (dry)? In rich soil or poor soil? Plants make alkaloids and glycosides in rich soils; resins and essential oils in poor soils.

    Fifth green ally exercise: Write a story from the point of view of your green ally. Let your ally speak to you and through you. Listen for the voice of your ally in your dreams, in your day dreams, in your mind. Write down what she says.

    If this is hard, try writing with a pen instead of on a computer; or try writing with your non-dominant hand. A warm-up exercise given to me by Jean Houston is to first write a page of praise of your ally, tell your ally how wonderful she is, and how much you like her.

    Final green ally exercise: Introduce one or more friends to your green ally. Tell them what you know, what you feel, and what you think about your ally. If it is edible, feed them some.

    green blessings,


    Study with Susun Weed in the convenience of your home! Choose from correspondence and online courses. Learn more here!

  • Tuesday, February 16, 2021 3:13 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Ginger Compress

    by Susun Weed

    Easy, effective, inexpensive, pain-relieving, and anti-inflammatory

    Excerpt from Breast Cancer? Breast Health! the Wise Woman Way.

    • Grate 5 ounces/140 grams of fresh ginger root onto a clean piece of cloth. (I use an old cloth napkin, a handkerchief, a kitchen towel, or a clean diaper.)
    • Gather the ends of the cloth together and secure them with a piece of string or a rubber band.
    • Put the bundle into a pan with 2 quarts/2 liters water and heat to 158°F/70 °C.


    Boiling will destroy much of the value of the ginger, so if you don't have a thermometer, heat only until you see bubbles forming on the bottom of the pan.

    • Keep a low flame under the pot until the water turns a pale yellow, 5-15 minutes.
    • Pull the bundle out of the water, and squeeze or press it to extract all its liquid. (Add to pan.)
    • Soak a small towel in the hot ginger liquid. Wring it out. (This is hard to do; your hands will get red and hot.)


    When you apply the hot wet towel, the skin will redden and there will be an intense sensation of heat, but you shouldn't be in pain.

    Cover the compress with layers of towels to retain the heat.

    When it cools, remove it, soak it again in the hot ginger water, and reapply. Continue until the skin gets very red and warm. Repeat morning and night.

    If there is no active infection, the towel and ginger water can be used over and over again.

    If fresh ginger is not available, dried ginger may be used, but will not be as effective.

    Fresh turmeric may be substituted for fresh ginger, but it stains everything.


    Excerpt from Breast Cancer? Breast Health! the Wise Woman Way.

  • Tuesday, January 26, 2021 3:21 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Honey ~ Ancient Herbal Medicine
    by Susun Weed

    Simple, common honey is one of the most ancient of herbal medicines and a great ally to a healthy heart. This is in direct contrast to refined white sugar, which many believe is a cause of heart and blood vessel disease.

    Honey is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial agent. Studies have found that regular consumption of honey decreases cholesterol, lowers HDL, reduces homocysteine, and even brings down C-reactive protein. Honey increases the benefits derived from fermented foods and aids in absorption of calcium as well. (Calcium helps muscles, like the heart, not just the bones.)

    An enzyme in bee saliva converts flower nectar to honey. The darker the honey, the more powerful the effects. And one of the very best ways to increase the medicinal activity of honey is to pour it over aromatic herbs and let them steep together for a while.

    In the photograph you can see part of my shelf of medicinal honeys: sage, rosemary, marjoram, dandelion blossom, shiso, mints of all types, lemon balm. A spoonful in a cup of hot water and you have an instant remedy for sore throat, coughs, and mild colds.

    If you live where it is warm, make some medicinal honey today. Just cut any edible aromatic herb fine, stuff a jar full and fill the jar to the top with honey. I poke mine with a chopstick to be certain the honey has gone all the way to the bottom. Check the next day and add more honey if need be.

    If you live where it is cold, perhaps you have a rosemary or a sage plant overwintering in your house. If you do, they would love a trim about now. It will jump start new growth. Just use the trimmings to make your medicinal honey.

    In a placebo-controlled trial, the coughs of children who received honey were relieved twice as fast as those who received the most common over-the-counter medication for coughs. (The placebo group got well at about the same rate as those receiving the OTC cough syrup.)

  • Tuesday, January 12, 2021 6:25 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Natural Health and Healing in the
    Wise Woman Tradition
    By Susun Weed

    The Wise Woman tradition is invisible. Without healers, without diseases, without cures, without certificates, without guarantees, it exists. It has no rules, no right answers, no promise of life eternal. The Wise Woman tradition is a spiral of uniqueness, everchanging, like a woman, steeped in and rising out of the blood mysteries, the wisdom of womb-ones, the knowledge of those who hold their blood inside.

    The Wise Woman tradition honors the ordinary and avoids the exotic, works simply and steers clear of complication, accepts failure, chaos, and the eternal void with humor instead of fear and dread. The Wise Woman tradition is compassionate and heart- centered. It honors the Earth. It is local and ecological and urges us to use our dooryard weeds instead of the latest miracle herb from far away.

    The Wise Woman tradition maintains that health is best defined as flexibility and that deviations from normal (that is, problems) offer us an opportunity to reintegrate parts of ourselves that we have cast out, emerging healed/wholed/holy. Illness is understood as an integral part of life and self-growth, with healer, patient and nature as co-participants in the healing process.

    This is in marked contrast to other traditions of healing. In the Scientific tradition the doctor is highly visible and the patient is reduced to a body part or a disease designation. In the Heroic or Holistic tradition, the healer is the one who knows the right way to do things and the patient must follow the rules in order to get well. Most so-called alternative medicine comes from Heroic traditions, which emphasize fasting, purification, colonic cleansing, rigid dietary rules, and the use of rare botanicals in complicated formulae. Metaphysical healing also is applied that way: It views illness as a failure rather than a natural and potentially constructive process.

    The Wise Woman Tradition reminds us that wellness and illness are not polarities. They are part of the continuum of life. We are constantly renewing ourselves, cell by cell, second by second, every minute of our lives. Problems, by their very nature, can facilitate deep spiritual and symbolic renewal, leading us naturally into expanded, more complete ways of thinking about and experiencing ourselves.

    The Wise Woman Tradition encourages us to work towards good health from the inside out. And to remember that our healing choices influence not only ourselves but the entire planet.

    Month One * Waiting * Arctium lappa

    In the darkness, there is waiting. Underneath, the roots hold firm. Dare you reach down? To dig deep, deeper, yet deeper, until you grow weary, fingernails broken, anointed by your own sweat? If you do, if you persevere, you will reach her. Your fingertips will caress her cool rough black skin. Honor her power, ask for her help. You will hear her answer, feel her as she gives away to you, as she allows you to take her out of the earth.

    With your hands and cool water, softly coax the dirt away; sharpen your knife. Cut thin slices, stopping where the root grows dense and begins to yearn upward as leaf. Fill a glass jar: once with slices, then with room temperature apple cider vinegar. Watch it through six weeks of Change, and, just as the light returns at Solstice, eat and drink your potion if you wish to build strength in your liver, your life, your kidneys, your stamina, your intestines, your immune system, and your skin.

    A Study for Every Month

  • Tuesday, December 01, 2020 5:17 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Soothing Sitz Bath, Healing Bath

    by Susun Weed

    Soothes inflamed and tender tissues, heals trauma, lubricates.


    *Soak 2 ounces/60g dried or 8 ounces/250g fresh mallow (pictured)
    or comfrey roots, leaves, and/or flowers in 2 quarts/liters of cold water in a pot overnight.
    *Then bring to a boil.
    *Cover, remove from heat, and steep for 4–6 hours.
    *Warm the liquid, pour it into a small tub and sitz in it.

    Alternately, pour it into a hot bath.
    Or refrigerate and drink it. A dose is a cup or more a day —heated or iced, sweetened or not — daily for at least ten days.

  • Tuesday, December 01, 2020 5:16 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Winter Edible Weed
    by Susun Weed

    Garlic Mustard (Alliaria officinalis)

    Our official major salad plant, for which we give endless thanksgiving. This hardy green will be available until it is buried by snow.


    For now, it is the main ingredient in all our late fall, early winter salads. Not too bitter, and not too spicy, but just right for colder weather. Let’s pick lots of this one.

  • Tuesday, December 01, 2020 5:11 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Nourishing Infusions
    by Susun Weed

    The liquid portion of our diets is as important as the solid portion. That's why I drink herbal brews, nourishing herbal infusions to be exact, instead of juice or water. Some herbs are powerhouses of nourishment, energy, and health-promoting factors. By chosing those herbs as my drink, I increase the amount of protein, vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients in my diet without consuming extra calories, and at a xost of only pennies a day. I'd rather drink nourishing herbal infusions than any other beverages. I drink infusion in the morning, throughout the day, and in the evening, too.

    Water is a good drink. But what water? Is water from the tap safe and healthy? Is it better to buy bottled water?

    I make my nourishing herbal infusions by pouring boiling water ove dried herbs. Boiling the water removes chlorine and kills germs, so I feel safe using any water to make my infusion. I strongly prefer tap water over bottled water because I want to minimize the amount of plastic I consume. And I avoid mineral-depleted distilled water. But I only use cold water from the tap, as hot water can contain traces of plastic or lead leached from the water pipes.

    Instead of making nourishing herbal infusions, I could buy vitamin- and mineral-enhanced water, maybe with some ginseng or green tea thrown in.

    Bottled waters with added vitamins and herbs are big business, with more than $3 billion dollars in annual sales. Unfortunately, neither the vitamins nor the herbs in "enhanced water" have any impact on energy or health. Energy drinks do contain caffeine, and that has a strong effect. But neither the herbs nor the supplements currently added to any bottled water have been found to have any nutritional effect. These waters are considered "non-functional," that is, they are colored and flavored water, not nutrition. Worse yet, enhanced waters are sweetened, often heavily.

    Unfortunately, the body doesn't count the calories in what we drink, so drinking sugary beverages increases calories, and appetite, and -- you guessed it -- the size of your butt. I don't buy energy drinks, instead, I rely on stinging nettle infusion. Nettle gives me the energy of the earth: strong, solid, endless energy. Nettle infusion supplies me with enormous amounts of electrolyte minerals, lots of protein, and astonishing amounts of vitamins. And it tastes great iced on a hot day.Yum, yum.

    Perhaps drinking juice is as good as drinking infusions, maybe better if the juice is fresh.

    Americans bought more than $2 billion dollars worth of organic juices last year. And more than that in non-organic juices. Neither packaged nor fresh fruit juices supply much nutrition however. (With two exceptions: freshly-squeezed citrus juices and tomato juice.) Juicing doesn't liberate minerals or vitamins, just fruit sugars, flavors, and colors. Nourishing herbal infusions are superior to any juice in both nutrition and cost. Most bottled juices, no matter what they're called, are made from high-fructose apple and grape juice concentrates. Sweet calories from fruit juice pile up around our waists. Instead of juice, I drink nourishing herbal infusions of linden or oatstraw. Both are slightly sweet, and taste even better with a little honey added. Linden infusion reduces inflammation and aids the heart. Oatstraw infuison provides generous amounts B vitamins, lowers cholesterol, and increases libido.

    Tea has many health benefits. Surely drinking iced tea is a healthy choice for quenching summer thirst. Iced coffee sounds good, too.

    All kinds of tea are healthy, and a few cups of coffee a day have been shown to decrease the incidence of some diseases. But bottled iced tea and iced coffee are heavily sweetened. Most bottled iced teas have no health benefit because they are not made from brewed tea but from tea concentrate. Iced coffee lattes add insult to injury by being rich in fat as well as too sweet. Brew tea at home and carry it, iced, in a thermos instead of buying bottled stuff. Better yet, brew yourself some red clover infusion. It tastes like black tea. Add lemon and a little mint, pour over ice, and you have a drink that is not only nearly calorie-free but alsoa tremendous source of nutrition, and a leading preventer of cancer.

    After nourishing herbal infusion, my favorite summer refresher is a chocolate malt.
    Yes, malts, especially chocolate malts, are thirst quenchers that pack a nutrition punch with no more calories than sweetened teas, enhanced waters, or fruit juices. Malt powder is an excellent source of B vitamins. Milk is Nature's way of building strong bones. And chocolate promotes heart health. Now and then, in between quarts of nourishing herbal infusion, I cool down with a nourishing chocolate malt. Umm, umm.
    Green blessings make the best drinks.

    Give nourishing herbal infusions a chance this summer -- and you'll still be brewing them when winter solstice rolls around.

    My favorite herbs for making nourishing infusions are
    ~ Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) for lots of energy.
    ~ Red clover blossoms (Trifolium pratense) to forstall cancer.
    ~ Oatstraw (Avena sativa) to be very, very sexy.
    ~ Comfrey leaves (Smyphytum uplandica x) to help the memory.
    ~ Linden blossoms (Tillia species) to counter inflammation.
    ~ Chickweed (Stellaria media) to lose weight.
    ~ Hawthorn blossoms (Crataegus oxycantha) for older hearts.
    ~ Raspberry leaves (Rubus species) for uterine health.

    To brew a nourishing herbal infusion:

    Place one ounce (30 grams) of dried herb by weight in a quart (liter) jar.
    Fill jar to the top with boiling water.
    Cap tightly and steep for at least four hours; overnight is fine.
    After brewing, strain the liquid from the herbs.
    Squeeze the herbs to get all the goodness out.
    Refrigerate the liquid, which needs to be consumed with a day or two.
    Drink your nourishing herbal infusion over ice or heated up, with honey or not.
    I drink 2-4 cups of infusion a day.

    You can mix nourishing herbal infusions with fruit juice or soda water; you can add whiskey or miso, honey or ginger to them, or flavor them in any way that appeals to you.

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2020 7:46 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Would you like to try some elder berry preserves? I enjoy it mixed into yogurt, but let’s also have some crackers with tara cheese (or cream cheese) and a smear of elder preserves. Heavenly! That ought to bring a cooling breath to any inflamed emotions, joints, guts, lungs, throats, and private parts. Thank you Elda Mor.

    Elder berries reduce inflammation. Throughout the centuries elder has been used in teas, infusions, wines, preserves, and ointments to reduce swelling internally and externally.

    Elder berry is considered a specific to reduce swelling in the mucus tissues, especially when that swelling and irritation is caused by bacterial or viral infections (colds, flu, sore throat, cough, bronchitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis, pneumonia).

    Elder berries taken internally are useful for easing inflammation associated with wounds, sprains, and bruises, and old or injured joints. (Ointments are used too, but they are usually made from the twigs and leaves, as the berries stain everything they touch.)

    Elder berry preserves reduce the symptoms of allergies as well; less sneezing, itchiness, and swelling reward those who ask for elder’s help.

    Elder berry increases the proliferation and release of inflammation-busting cytokines, so the effect is systemic, not local. Inflammation lies behind most of the major problems of our time: stroke, heart attack, blood vessel disease, diabetes, arthritis, headaches, cancer, and probably obesity as well. Elda Mor is literally a life saver.

    Add elder berries to your breakfast: in your cereal, on your toast, mixed into yogurt, poured onto pancakes. Whether you make preserves, jam, jelly, syrup, or decoction, you will reap the longevity and anti-inflammatory benefits of elder. 

    green blessings,
    Susun Weed


  • Tuesday, November 10, 2020 5:02 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Make A Tincture/Fresh Herb

    I use tinctures in varied doses, from several dropperfuls at a time, to only a few drops at a time. I take tonic tinctures daily. Others as needed.

    Alcohol pulls out more poisonous constituents than water.
    Tinctures are superior when made from fresh plants.

    These tinctures require fresh plants, no exceptions.
    * St. Joan’s wort flower means trouble for viruses and frowns.
    * Poke root stirs up the lymphatic and immune systems.
    * Bloodroot in tiny amounts counter periodontal disease.
    * Motherwort calms anxiety, eases the heart.
    * Skullcap eases pain and brings deep sleep.

    Fill any size jar to the top with cut-up pieces of fresh, just harvested herb, then add 100-proof vodka, right to the top of the jar.
    Lid well, label. Ready to use in six weeks.

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