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  • Wednesday, July 17, 2019 11:49 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Yarrow Toilette
    Susun Weed




    My bottle of yarrow tincture is so handy when I travel. I use it as a dentifrice, a mouthwash, a skin cleanser and freshener, a toothache remedy, a blemish treatment, an insect repellant, and a wound dressing. I won’t leave home without it.

    Fill a jar of any size with freshly-picked white yarrow flowers, stalk and leaves. If you do not have access to flowering yarrow, the leaves are an acceptable substitute. I do not use dried yarrow, as it creates a finished product that is harsh, bitter, and not as effective. Brightly-colored yarrows are richer in volatile oils, and so, unsafe to use.

    Chop the yarrow before putting it in the jar. Put in a lot. Really fill the jar, without jamming or bruising the plant material.

    Add 100 proof vodka, filling the jar to the brim. Higher proof alcohols are harsh and drying on the skin, as well as being more carcinogenic on the oral tissues. Lower proof alcohols do not do a good job of drawing yarrow’s compounds into solution. Any liquor in North America can order one hundred proof vodka for you if it is not on the shelf.

    Cap tightly and label with date.

    Decant after a minimum of six weeks. I prefer a spray bottle, but have, on occasion, carried a sprayer full of yarrow as well as two ounces of the tincture.

    Green Blessings,
    Susun Weed


    excerpt from Your Healthy Heart Online Course the Complete Series

  • Tuesday, July 16, 2019 6:53 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Herbs for those with Stomach Aches, Ulcers and Heartburn, Part 2
    by Susun S Weed





    2C. STOMACH ACHE?

    To me, this means gas pain. Herbs that relieve gas pain are called "carminatives" because they make you "sing" (carmen). Many aromatic herbs are carminatives, especially the seeds of members of the Apiaceae family including dill seed, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, anise seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds. Just put a big spoonful in a cup, cover well with boiling water, steep five minutes, sweeten if you like, and drink.

    Ginger is another readily-available carminative. Especially warming to the guts. You can make a tea with powdered ginger, or use up to a tablespoon of fresh ginger per cup of water for a strong brew. Ginger works best sweetened with honey. NASA found it would counter the nausea of space-sickness. You can also buy crystallized or candied ginger to take traveling with you.

    The fastest remedy for gas pain is two capsules of acidophilus. I expect pain relief in 5-10 minutes. And I don't pay much attention to the expiration date on it. I keep mine in the refrigerator, and use them so rarely that I often have a bottle for ten years - and they still work.

    Eating yogurt helps prevent gas pain, and can be used as a remedy, but it is not as fast as the acidophilus. A quart of yogurt a week is a good goal. And buy plain yogurt. No need to pay a fancy price for white sugar and poor quality fruit. Add maple syrup or honey and fruit of your choice, fresh or frozen at home. Make your own fantasy yogurt creation.

    And the bitter tonic herbs mentioned above are also excellent allies to take long-term if you have frequent gas pains.

    When I was in Spain I often had to eat late at night. Then I would take a sip of their very strong coffee, served in tiny cups. It had just the right amount of push to get that food into my digestive tract and still allow me to fall asleep at a reasonable time.

    But most people in America drink coffee in the morning on an empty stomach. Might this be one reason so many are in such digestive distress? Instead of coffee, try this:

    ~ Put one ounce by weight of dried peppermint leaf in a quart jar and fill to the top with boiling water.
    ~ Cap tightly and allow to steep for 4-8 hours. (OK to let it steep while you sleep.)
    ~ Strain the plant material out after the allotted time, squeezing it well.
    ~ Then drink the liquid: hot or cold, salty or sweetened, with milk or whiskey or what have you.
    ~ Refrigerate what you don't drink then. This will stay good in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

    Peppermint helps move the intestines and make you feel really awake, just like coffee. I would not use it if someone were feeling nauseated, as it tastes vile on the way back out.

    3. CAN PEOPLE EXPECT QUICK RELIEF FROM THESE REMEDIES?

    (See above)
    With dandelion, you often see results in the first 24 hours.

    4. HOW OFTEN WOULD YOU HAVE TO TAKE THESE REMEDIES?
    (See above)

    5. DO YOU THINK THE PUBLIC DISMISSES HERBAL REMEDIES AS A LAST RESORT?

    The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 90% of the health care given on any day is given in the home by the woman of the home. Just by cooking dinner a woman can heal her family and keep them healthy. She can protect her husband's heart by using lots of garlic. And protect his libido by serving less soy.

    Many Americans have food phobias. Think about how many people are frightened of drinking milk. How many won't eat bread. I go into the health food store to get bread and there are loaves with no flour, and those with no yeast, and those without wheat, and I wonder where all the bread has gone.

    We have a national history of food phobias, starting with Graham (inventor of the healthy graham cracker), continuing with Kellogg (of breakfast flake fame), and right into the modern day's current fads (no fat? no carbs? all protein? all raw?). Not too much has really changed. More and more people are learning about herbal medicine, but I am sure many of them think it is difficult and arcane. They may be unaware that herbal medicine is the medicine for the people, of the people, and by the people.

    6. ARE THERE ANY WARNINGS ABOUT ANY OF THE HERBAL REMEDIES TAKEN TO RELIEVE STOMACH ACHE?

    I specialize in safe, food-like herbs. I prefer them to drug-like herbs. The remedies I have suggested here are as safe as foods, taken in food-like quantities. When herbs are powdered and encapsulated, they can be dangerous. They are more like a drug and you have to be more careful. I use herbs because they aren't drugs.

    7. ARE THERE FOODS THAT CAN INITIATE A STOMACH ACHE?

    Beans! The magical fruit. So good for us, but so hard on the guts. And even worse when they are soy beans. The gas people get from tofu and tempe and soy beverage is outrageous.

    From regular beans, try this simple five-step approach - guaranteed to reduce how much you "toot"

    (i) Soak your beans overnight in a generous amount of cold water. Add a piece of wakame or kombu if desired.
    (ii) Rinse beans thoroughly in cold water (retain seaweed).
    (iii) Cover beans with fresh cold water, add retained seaweed, and cook until tender.
    (iv) Cool.
    (v) Reheat beans to serve.

    8. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD?

    Yes, I believe all peppers are upsetting to the digestive tract. I suggest avoiding black pepper and cayenne, jalapeno and all others if you are prone to heartburn, have frequent gas pain, or suffer from irritable bowel or even simple diarrhea.


    ~ Part 1~

  • Thursday, July 11, 2019 5:10 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Herbs for those with Stomach Aches, Ulcers and Heartburn, Part 1
    by Susun S Weed




    1. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE PEOPLE MAKE ABOUT STOMACH ACHE?
    Calling it stomach ache. The stomach (fortunately) does not ache. Usually when people say their stomach aches, they mean they have a gas pain. Gas pain can be severe pain. My friends who work in emergency rooms say you wouldn't believe how many people come in for what turns out to be gas pain.


    2. WHAT HERBAL ALLIES WOULD YOU RECOMMEND FOR THOSE DEALING WITH:


    2A. HEARTBURN?
    Herbalists, myself included, see heartburn as a lack of HCL (hydrochloric acid) in the stomach, instead of the prevalent opinion, that it is caused by too much acid. So instead of trying to turn off production of HCL (as drugs attempt to do), herbalists seek herbs that increase HCL, such as dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). In my book Healing Wise I devote an entire chapter to dandelion, with lots of recipes and ideas on how to use it.


    You can use any part of dandelion: the flowers make dandelion wine, you can cook the greens, or eat them in salad, you can even cook the root, or make a vinegar with it (my favorite), or tincture it. Some people make a coffee substitute from roasted dandelion root. Any way you take it seems to work. (A standard dose would be 10-20 drops of the root tincture taken at the beginning of the meal.) Dandelion, and its friend chicory (Cichorium intybus), which is a fine substitute should you have access to one and not the other, are true tonics. That is, the more you take them, the less you need them. You don't have to keep taking this remedy forever. After 3-6 weeks you'll find you need it less and less.


    In Europe it is customary to take bitters before a big meal. Most mild bitters, such as yellow dock (Rumex crispus), cronewort/mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), gentian (Gentiana lutea), barberry (Berberis vulgaris), and Oregon grape are liver tonics and digestives. They aid in digestion, and decrease risk of heartburn, by increasing production of both HCL and bile.


    A few more tips for those who suffer from heartburn:
    ~ Eat less at each meal
    ~ Stay upright after eating; no lounging around or sleeping
    ~ Avoid eating late at night
    ~ Reduce the amount of coffee you drink
    ~ Don't overdo it with the orange juice, either
    ~ Use slippery elm lozenges (available in health food stores) for immediate relief from heartburn

    2B. ULCERS?
    The herbs that increase HCL in the stomach, such as dandelion, also decrease ulcers, which are the result of a bacterial infection. When stomach acid is increased, that bacteria has a harder time of it and is less likely to cause ulcers.
    Amusing isn't it that medical science says "OK, there must be a mind/body connection, because gastrointestinal ulcers are caused by stress"; only to find out what my herbal teachers taught me long ago: bacteria cause ulcers.


    Here's one way to kill that bacteria (besides taking drugs): Get a food grater with a very fine grating side. Grate a large potato as finely as possible. Into another bowl, grate ¼ to ½ of a cabbage. Let them sit for 10-15 minutes, until liquid starts to collect in the bottom of the bowls. Use your hand, or something hard, to press and squeeze the potato until it is dry. Throw away the pulp and keep the liquid. Repeat with the cabbage. Don't use a juicer. There are plant starches that you don't get when you use a juicer. A food processor is ok.


    Put the liquids in separate jars in the refrigerator, taking 1-3 tablespoonfuls 2-3 times a day. The more severe the symptoms, the larger and more frequent the dose would be. I expect symptomatic relief within 36-48 hours. But this remedy is safe to take for weeks at a time if needed.


    If you can't make the potato liquid, you can buy potato starch and mix it with water. Instead of the cabbage liquid, you could buy coleslaw. It isn't the same as grating the potato and the cabbage, but it is better than nothing. And even if it doesn't work as fast, if that is what is available to you, use it.


    To Be Continued

  • Thursday, July 11, 2019 4:27 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Ten Tips for Women with PMS
    by Susun S Weed



    Water retention, mood swings, sore breasts, and indigestion are problems experienced by many women in the week preceding menstruation. Here are a few tips from Susun Weed's best-selling book, NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way (Alternatives for Women 30-90) to help ease these discomforts.

    To relieve water retention

    1) 10-20 drops of dandelion root tincture in a cup of water with meals and before bed.

    2) A strong infusion (one ounce of dried herb in a quart of boiling water, brewed overnight) of the common weed, stinging nettle, not only relieves, but also helps prevent further episodes of water retention. Weed says she drinks a cup or more of this infusion daily whenever she wants to nourish her kidneys and adrenals.

    To moderate mood swings

    3) Tincture of the flowering tops of fresh motherwort is a favorite calmative of herbalist Weed. She uses 5-10 drops in a small amount of water as a dose, which she repeats as needed, sometimes as frequently as 3-4 times an hour, until the desired effect is achieved. "I never feel drugged or groggy or out-of-it when I use motherwort to help me calm down," she says.

    4) For women who consistently feel premenstrual rage, use 20-30 drops of motherwort tincture twice a day for a month to help stabilize mood swings. Make it a priority to take a moon day -- one day right before or at the start of the menstrual flow which is set aside for you and you alone.

    5) One or more cups of an infusion of the herb oatstraw (the grass of the plant that gives us oatmeal) helps the nerves calm down and provides a rich source of minerals known to soothe frazzeled emotions.

    To relieve congestion and tenderness in the breasts

    6) 20-30 drops of the tincture of cleavers, another common weed, works wonders. This plant, also called "goose grass" was used as a black tea substitute by the colonists. The dose may be repeated every hour or up to 6 times a day.

    7) Women who get a lot of calcium and magnesium from their diet (leafy greens, yogurt, and many herbs are rich in these minerals) have less breast tenderness. Increase the minerals in your diet with a cup or more of red clover/mint infusion daily.

    8) Large cabbage leaves, steamed whole until soft, and applied as warm as tolerable, can be used as a soothing compress on breasts which are sore and swollen.

    To relieve digestive distress

    9) A daily doses of 1 teaspoonful/5ml yellow dock root vinegar.

    10) A cup of yogurt in the morning (buy it plain and add fruit at home) replaces gut flora and insures easy digestion all day long.


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


    Water retention, mood swings, sore breasts, and indigestion are problems experienced by many women in the week preceding menstruation. Here are a few tips from Susun Weed's best-selling book, NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way (Alternatives for Women 30-90) to help ease these discomforts.

  • Wednesday, July 10, 2019 12:38 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Herbal and Home Remedies That Prevent Memory Loss
    by Susun S. Weed


     


    Even a single family member who is senile or afflicted with Alzheimer's is enough to make anyone dread the possibility. Since women have always lived longer than men, the Ancient Grandmothers have a thing or two to tell us about how to keep our memory sharp until the day we die (at 100+). These remedies are taken from my book New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way. They are arranged in order of safety, with the safest first and the most dangerous last.

    “Touch my face, granddaughter,” murmurs Grandmother Growth. “Feel the lines that time has worn. Each line tells a story. Feel the lines in my palms. Every line is a memory. Close your eyes and travel with me to your ovaries, real or energetic. They are your memory baskets. When you feel forgetful, close your eyes and journey to the place of memories. Touch your face, your palms, return to this place, and retrieve the memory you want.”

    “And, dearest,” Grandmother's voice sighs with the wind, “Remember yourself.”


    Improve your memory fast with meditation. Start with five minutes a day. You can do it! Breathe out.


    Researchers doing double-blind studies on treatments for those with memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s, consistently note that placebos generate a very strong response. In one instance, those on the placebo did so well that it was suspected that they did not have sufficient impairment at the beginning of the study. So get a bottle, label it “Memory Pills,” fill it with candy or nuts, and take one every time you forget to.

    Ginkgo biloba tincture has been well studied for the treatment of those dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia. In one study, those taking the leaf extract, 27 percent maintained cognitive functioning and memory, while 86 percent of the placebo group lost functioning. CAUTION: Ginkgo increases aspirin’s blood-thinning effects.

    Mental exercise (word puzzles, reading, writing) and physical exercise are important aspects of nourishing and tonifying the brain and memory. Memorize poetry and recite it for friends. Volunteer for community theater and memorize your part. The more you use your memory, the stronger it will be.

    Lower your blood pressure and improve your memory. In a study of 200 men and women, those with even moderately high blood pressure (164/89) had more memory problems than those with normal blood pressures. A dropperful of motherwort tincture (Leonurus cardiaca) daily dependably lowers blood pressure and can generally be used safely with drugs if desired. (Do not use capsules of any herb while you are taking a drug.)
      

    Think taking estrogen will save your memory? Think again. The largest (120 women) scientifically rigorous study (Journal of the American Medical Association, January 23, 2000), found 80 percent of the women taking estrogen replacement (and 74 percent of the women taking a placebo) had less memory, less ability to perform daily tasks, and less cognitive functioning after fifteen months of treatment.

  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 5:45 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)


    "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 choosing those herbs as my drink, I increase the amount of protein, vitamins, minerals, and micro-nutrients in my diet without consuming extra calories, and at a cost of only pennies a day. I'd rather drink nourishing herbal infusions than any other beverages. I drink infusions in the morning, throughout the day, and in the evening, too." ~~ Susun S. Weed


    Learn More

  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 5:05 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Mammograms don't replace breast self-exams excerpt from Breast Cancer? Breast Health! the Wise Woman Way

    by Susun Weed

     

    Women find their own breast cancers most of the time. (Ninety percent of the time according to one English study.)

     

    Monthly breast self-exam (or breast self-massage) provides early detection at lower cost, with no danger-and more pleasure-than yearly screening mammograms.

     

    Most breast cancers (80 percent) are slow growing, taking between 42 and 300 days to double in size. A yearly mammogram could find these cancers 8-16 months before they could be felt, but this "early detection" does little to improve the already excellent longevity of women with slow-growing, non-metastasized breast cancers.

     

    The 20 percent of breast cancers that are fast growing are the trouble-makers. They can double in size in 21 days. Monthly breast self-exams are much more likely to find these aggressive cancers than are yearly mammograms. (A 21-day doubling cancer will be visible on a mammogram only 6 weeks before it can be felt.) If you massage or examine your breasts even six times a year, you can take action on fast-growing lumps. If you rely on mammograms exclusively, the cancer could grow undetected for months.

     

    In a recent look at 60,000 breast cancer diagnoses in the United States, 67 percent were found by the woman or her doctor -and over half of these were not visible on a mammogram-while 33 percent were discovered by mammogram. (This may seem like a substantial number of cancers found by mammography, but the majority of them were in situ cancers, a controversial type of cancer that may-but often does not-progress to invasive cancer.)

     

    Green Blessings.

    Susun Weed

  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 4:26 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Herbal Adventures with St. Joan's Wort
    by Susun S. Weed



    It was a snowy winter night when my sweetheart brought home the brochure and said: "Let's take a horseback riding vacation." Despite the fact that I am only an occasional rider, I did grow up in Texas, and spending a week in the saddle didn't seem like a big deal to me. We looked at the pictures, read the descriptions of the trips, and began to fantasize ourselves in far-away places riding free and easy. Where would we ride? Ireland? France? Italy? England? Which trip would we take?

    It was the herbs of Provence that decided for me; and my sweetheart, good naturedly, went along. We would fly to Marseilles, France, and be driven from there to the ranch, where we would get our horses. Each day's ride, said the brochure, would take 8-9 hours and we would stay at a different country inn each evening. Of course, I just naturally assumed they were overstating the amount of time we would be on horseback. I mean, we couldn't actually ride for eight or more hours every day for a week, could we? Wouldn't that be impossible?

    Nearly.


    As the first day of riding stretched on and on, I realized with a growing horror that, in fact, they had under-estimated the time it would take us to get from one inn to the next. Our guide tried some off trail "shortcuts," which got us rather lost, so it took us nearly ten hours to find our inn. When we dismounted at last, I felt the muscles of my legs melt, refusing momentarily to keep me upright. I managed to get my luggage, upstairs to my room, and into the shower on legs of rubber. As I pulled off my riding breeches and sweat-stained shirt and gave myself to the hot water, I was certain that no human being could possibly be more sore than I was at that moment.

    I wasn't at all worried though. I knew the rest of the trip would be easy. Since I couldn't be in more pain than I was, there was no choice but to feel better as the days went on. And I did, with a little help from my herbal first aid kit.

    I take my herbal first aid kit with me where ever I go: in the car, on the airplane, on my backpacking and river rafting adventures, and on horseback, of course. I carry only ten remedies, but those few have helped me deal with every problem I've encountered in my travels. (Yes, I use the same remedies at home, too.)

    Of course, lots of wound remedies are ready to use right from the ground. One of my apprentices treated more than half of the injuries she saw in one week of working in a local emergency room safely (and successfully) with plants growing right outside the hospital!

    Such as plantain and burdock. Plantain (Plantago) leaf poultices stop pain and allergic reactions to bee stings, ease the itch of flea and mosquito bites, and help wounds heal without scaring. I simply chew a fresh leaf -- of any species -- and apply it to the problem area. Burdock (Arctium) leaves are too bitter to chew, so I soak them in vinegar. A jarful provides lots of instant poultices for soothing and healing bruises and other intact-skin injuries.

    When I am far from the ground or on unfamiliar turf, plantain ointment is a good second best. Even better is my lanolin-based comfrey (Symphytum) root ointment. What a blessed miracle comfrey is when it comes to treating blisters raised from too much walking (or riding). Many times I have applied the ointment to a blister every 5-10 minutes for 1-2 hours and watched as the blister reabsorbed and disappeared overnight. (A circular patch of dead skin would appear a week or so later.)

    Limited to my fannypack when I was riding, I carried only three remedies. Which ones? A bottle of infused St. Joan's/John's wort oil (Hypericum perforatum), a spray bottle of yarrow tincture (Achillea millefolium), and a tiny bottle of osha root tincture (Ligusticum porterii).

    (Each day a driver took our luggage, including my full first-aid kit, to the next inn by car, where they rested, awaiting our arrival that evening by horse.)

    I used the St. Joan's wort oil every day, in fact, several times a day, as sunscreen. When I forgot to apply it to my chest the day I wore a low-cut shirt, I used it to ease the pain of my sunburn, and to turn my skin from red to tan overnight. I don't go out in the sun without it! You may find that it takes your skin a week or more to learn how to use St. Joan's wort oil as a sunscreen. But once it learns, you will never go back to store-bought chemical sunscreens. (Some scientists actually believe that using currently available sunscreens increases your risk of skin cancer. And the statistics seem to agree: the increase in sunscreen usage over the past two decades is exactly paralleled by increases in skin cancer rates.)

    I also use St. Joan's wort oil to ease achy muscle. When I got to our inn each evening I used it lavishly on my upper inner thighs and "sit bones." (My friends were worried that I would get a sore butt riding so much, but the fleshy part of my bottom was the only place that didn't feel sore.) Applied after my hot shower, the ruby red oil (made from fresh blossoms infused in olive oil kept in a cool, dark place for at least six weeks) goes deep to help my muscles clear lactic acid -- easing soreness, releasing spasms, and helping muscle tone.

    The tincture of Hypericum is also red, and it also eliminates muscle pain. Better yet, it prevents the build-up of lactic acid in muscles, thus preventing pain. To ease my sore muscles that first night, I took a full dropperful every hour until bedtime. I felt remarkably fit the next morning, with virtually no residual soreness or stiffness. Each day thereafter, I took a full dropperful of the tincture when I awoke, another after breakfast, another before dinner and one more before bed. In addition, I put 2-3 dropperfuls into my water bottle, which I sipped throughout the day. So long as you use the tincture, there is no overdose. But beware of St. J's in capsules. In general, I strictly avoid all herbs in capsules, as they consistently produce strange, sometimes life- threatening, side-effects. 

  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 3:44 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Grasses
    by Susun Weed





    A garden catalog (Heronwood) says it poetically: "No wonder visitors feel drawn to the grasses -- we were born in them. Grasses signify water and whisper, 'You're home," more than any other group of plants."


    Few people think of grass as a flowering plant; but it is. Many of us think of grass as a lawn or a golf course, not the sacred sustenance of human kind; but it is. Our ancestors had great respect for the grasses. They, in their multitude, are the beating heart of life on earth, the prime mover of agriculture, and the tuning fork of universal nourishment. The grass family -- the Poaceae -- is found in every habitat all over the world, and includes more than 10,000 plants, all of which bear edible seeds.

    Grass flowers, it is true, are not fancy. You'll need a magnifying lens to see them clearly . They don't have showy, colorful petals. They just have what's needed: male stamen for pollen, female pistil to capture the pollen and gestate the seed.

    And how we value those seeds. Whether it is wheat or rye, oats or barley, corn or millet or rice, almost every person on the planet bases their meals on grain, the seeds of grass. We honor the grain mother whose seeds support our lives: Corn Mother, Ceres (who gives us " cereal"), Demeter, Amaranth Grandmother. Her names are as numerous as Her nourishing seeds, as beautiful as Her seas of golden rippling grass. She sustains us with Her gracious bread of life: mana. "Corn," that is, grain, was the greatest of the Eleusinian mysteries.

    "Sedges have edges; rushes run round; grasses have joints," is the saying I learned to help me distinguish between three look-alike plant families. Sedges, fond of wet places, flower from the sides of stalks which have edges. Rushes, also fond of wet places, flower from the top and have round stalks, no edges, like grass. Grasses prefer dry places and flower from the top of round stalks which are jointed, like bamboo, a woody grass. Pluck a flowering stalk of grass and see if you can find the joints. Then, look at the leaves.

    Like the lily family, members of the grass family have flat, long, narrow leaves with parallel veins. Unlike lily leaves, grass leaves are micro-serrated along the edge. If you gently pull your fingers up the sides of a grass leaf you'll find it's as sharp as a razor. Careful! It can cut! That's one reason we eat the seeds of the grasses and leave the leaves to the animals (with the exception of those who drink wheat grass, a tasty juice which, unfortunately, lacks value as either a curative or a nutritive).

    Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions Cookbook and advocate of Weston Price, reminds us that grazing animals and grasses benefit each other. It's not a choice between plants and animals, grain or meat. Our planet, and our bodies, need both. Without cattle eating winter wheat shoots, we would lose more than half our grain crops. Why? Because, although grass roots and leaves are extremely cold hardy, the jointed flower/seed stalks are not. Most wheat is sown in the fall, when the soil is drier and easier to work, rather than in the spring when the soil is wet and likely to rot the seeds. If the late fall weather is not cold, however, the grass will start to flower too soon. Pasturing cattle on it prevents this, giving us healthy grass-fed meat and grain to eat as well.
     
    One of my favorite herbs -- oatstraw -- is a grass. Oatstraw is the dried leaves, or straw, of the plant that gives us the grain oats, found in most households as rolled oats. I use a full ounce (by weight) of dried oatstraw, with or without seeds, in a quart of boiling water, steeped at least four hours, to make a restorative tonic. Oatstraw is considered an herb of longevity in India. American herbalists value it as a strengthener and nourisher to the nerves. Like oats themselves, oatstraw infusion is heart healthy and cholesterol-lowering. Many a menopausal woman has praised oatstraw's cooling, calming ways.
     
    There are many stories of grasses. Listen to them; let them take you home. Let them take you back to your Ancestral, sacred self. Herbal medicine is people's medicine, heart medicine -- free, simple, and accessible, a gift of love from our Mother.


    Green Blessings.

  • Thursday, June 20, 2019 4:54 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Cholesterols and Heart Health




    Cholesterols connection to heart attacks has never been proven. And we have virtually no idea what healthy cholesterol is in a post-menopausal woman. Remember, my sweetheart incredibly high cholesterol but never had a heart attack. Inflammation has been shown, over and over, to lead to heart attacks. You may want to consider reducing inflammation instead of cholesterol. One of the best ways to do that is to stop eating oils are pressed from seeds, and to start eating olive oil, organic butter, and the natural fats from organically-raised, pastured animals.

    Canola oil, flax oil, hemp oil, evening primrose oil, soy oil, sesame oil, almond oil, corn oil -- all considered healthy, but examples of the oils I avoid when I want to avoid inflammation. And inflammation underlies and supports heart attack, joint pain, dementia, cancer.


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