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  • Tuesday, April 10, 2018 4:26 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Part Two

    Energy & Stamina The Wise Woman Way

    by Susun Weed


    It is tempting to try to get more energy by using stimulants. But stimulants actually decrease overall energy. They provide fast fuel, but no steady flow of energy. Stimulants push us beyond our innate capacity. In effect, they make us work harder than we truly have the energy for, and thus deplete us at deep levels.


    The energy-depleting effects of coffee, soft drinks, and white sugar products are cumulative. The more you try to get energy from these sources, the more tired you make yourself. The long-term consequences often include a profound fatigue.

    Black pepper and spices such as cinnamon and cloves are acknowledged stimulants too, and, if overused (as in drinking chai daily) can also weaken the internal fires that give us energy.


    Herbal stimulants such as ephedra (ma hang or Mormon tea), cayenne, ginseng, and guarana are also unlikely to help build real energy and stamina unless used sparingly and wisely. Herbal stimulants may even be quite dangerous, especially when powdered and taken in gelatin caps. Water-based preparations of stimulating herbs (teas and soups) are usually the safest, and tinctures are next safest, unless standardized. Small amounts of these herbs taken occasionally are harmless enough. It is long-term use of stimulants that erodes healthy energy.


    White sugar is one of the most common stimulants in the fast-food culture. We consume it in dozens of forms: corn syrup, cane sugar, "raw" sugar, fructose. I find that when the diet is rich in minerals, especially those in nourishing herbal infusions, whole grains, and yogurt, the desire for sweets is lessened and more easily satisfied with far less.

    For energy and stamina everyday, plus the extra you need to deal with everyday emergencies, follow the Wise Woman Way: drink nourishing herbal infusions, such as stinging nettle, red clover, oatstraw, and chickweed.


    For energy and stamina at home and on the road, plus the extra you need to deal with the constant stress, follow the Wise Woman Way: eat only whole grains: brown rice, wild rice, spelt, cornmeal, amaranth, quinoa, and edible wild seeds including lamb's quarter, nettle, and yellow dock.


    For energy and stamina, the Wise Woman Way, rely on your own power, trust in your own body’s wisdom if it needs to say "no," and don't force the issue with stimulants (except on those very rare occasions when nothing else will do).


    Energy and stamina the Wise Woman Way is simple, safe, successful, and fun. Congratulations for taking your health into your own hands.


  • Tuesday, April 10, 2018 4:24 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    ENERGY & STAMINA THE WISE WOMAN WAY

    by Susun S Weed


    If having enough energy to earn your daily bread and to get all your chores done is a struggle for you. If you go to bed tired, but wake up even more tired. If you can't get up and go without coffee, or can't slow down and relax without alcohol. If your fatigue is ruining your mood and your friendships. Then it's time to build energy and stamina the Wise Woman Way.


    The Wise Woman Tradition nourishes optimum energy, and optimum health, by using safe simple nourishing herbal infusions, eating whole grains, and avoiding stimulants.

    Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is my favorite energizing infusion. It gives me the energy to work 14-15 hours a day on my dairy goat farm, train my apprentices, write books, run a publishing company and a workshop center, and fly all over the world to teach. I don't know how I could do so much otherwise.


    I buy dried stinging nettle and prepare it like this:

    ~ Put one ounce by weight in a quart canning jar.

    ~ Fill the jar with boiling water, cap well, and allow to steep for four hours or overnight.

    ~ Strain and enjoy.

    ~ Refrigerate the remainder.

    ~ Drink within 36 hours.


    Because stinging nettle strengthens the kidneys and adrenals, it builds powerful energy from the inside out, and gives one amazing stamina. If you drink 4-5 quarts of nettle infusion weekly, you can expect to see results within 3-6 weeks.


    There are no contraindications to the use of stinging nettle infusion. Side effects may include: thicker hair, softer skin, stronger veins, and greater delight in life.


    Nourishing herbal infusions can be made with other herbs too. I like red clover blossoms, lots of anticancer protection there, as well as lots of phytoestrogens. And oatstraw, such a mellow brew, and it's so great for easing and nourishing the nerves. I also use chickweed, comfrey leaf, linden blossoms, and mullein as infusion herbs, depending on my need.

    All nourishing herbal infusions are made as instructed above.


    Whole grains are the backbone of a whole food diet. Because they break down much more slowly than refined (white) flour products, whole grains provide a "time release" capsule that allows you to work and work and work (or play and play and play, as you will). For more energy, eat more whole grains.


    Notice which white flour products you currently use, and replace them with whole grain versions as you run out. Soon you'll be eating: whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bagels, whole wheat English muffins, whole wheat crackers (read boxes carefully), whole wheat pretzels, whole wheat cookies, whole wheat bread, brown rice, kasha, millet and more. The tastes and textures will bring new delights to your dining pleasure as well as lots of energy for you to do with as you will.


    Avoid stimulants. For powerful stamina and lots of energy, we are well advised to avoid stimulants. Not just drug stimulants like cocaine or "speed," but herb and food stimulants too.


    ~ Part Two ~

  • Monday, April 09, 2018 8:58 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    It's very important for to get essential fatty acids and other key nutrients that we can't manufacture ourselves, like Vitamin B12, however, for most people, getting those essential fatty acids from isolated substances is not as successful as getting them from integrated things. In other words, a capsule of fish liver oil is never going to take the place of eating fish, nor is flaxseed oil ever going to take the place of eating whole grains.

    We can get the essential fatty acids we need if we're eating whole grain products, such as whole grain pasta or breads. If we have some beans and roots in our diet, and wild seeds, we're going to be getting those things; there are many sources for essential fatty acids.

    We tend to live in a culture that isolates things and puts them in pills and bottles, then passes them off as health. My experience is that health has never come in a bottle or pill. Health is something that we build, that we nourish. That's not to say that I'm against drugs or surgery. I am very much for those things when they are needed. What I'm talking about is people taking things like flaxseed oil, supplements, or fish liver oils, rather than spending their energy and money on creating a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating well, exercising well, and relaxing well.

  • Tuesday, April 03, 2018 5:45 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Susun,

    I hope it's okay to ask you a question. I make an infusion everyday that includes oatstraw, horsetail, and nettles for calcium. I place a heaping tablespoon of each in a quart jar and let it sit for 12 hours before drinking, this is correct? I've been using your menopause book as reference for 3-4 years, but since I've never discussed making the infusions with anyone I sometimes wonder if I'm doing this correctly?

    Thank you so much for offering us an alternative way of approaching this chapter in life.


    Susun's Response: making infusions is easy!


    No, you are not doing it correctly. Please reread the instructions: it says to use a full ounce of herb, that's about one cup by volume, or 8-10 times more herb than you are using. If a cup of nettle infusion made with an ounce of herb contains 500 milligrams of calcium, then what you are making contains only 50 milligrams. Not so good. Use more herb!!!


    Green Blessings,
    Susun Weed
  • Monday, April 02, 2018 5:22 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Green and Purple Salad

    • 4 cups of watercress
    • 1 cup dulse pieces
    • 1 cup goat cheese
    • Olive oil and lemon at table for dressing

    ~ Tear watercress and dulse into pieces. 
    ~ Arrange on 4 plates of brilliant hue. 
    ~ Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese. 
    ~ Dress with oil and lemon. (Voila!)

     

    *******

     

    Carrot, Onion, Hijiki

    • 1 cup dried hijiki
    • 1 cup warm water
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 onions crescent cut
    • 2 carrots diagonal cut
    • 1 tablespoon tamari

    ~ Soak hijiki in water about 20-30 minutes.
    ~ Cut onions in half from top to bottom, then cut into slices.
    ~ Cook onions in oil until very brown.
    ~ Put the carrots in an even layer over the onions.
    ~ Top with a layer of hijiki.
    ~ Add tamari and about half of the soaking water and cover pan tightly.
    ~ Cook until the carrots are tender.

  • Tuesday, March 27, 2018 3:51 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    What is a Simple?. Page Two

    by Susun Weed



    Simples Are Intimate


    When we use one herb at a time, we come to know that herb, we become intimate with that herb. Just as we become intimate with each other by spending time one-on-one, tete-a-tete, simply together, we become closer to the herbs when we use them as simples.


    Becoming intimate with an herb or a person helps us build trust. How reliable is the effect of this herb? When? How? Where does it fail? Using simples helps us build a web of green allies that we trust deeply. Simples help us feel more powerful. They help abate our fears, simply, safely.


    Simples Are Subtle


    Using one herb at a time gives us unparalleled opportunities to observe and make use of the subtle differences that are at the heart of herbal medicine. When we use simples we are more likely to notice the many variables that affect each herb: including where it grows, the years's weather, how we harvest it, our preparation, and the dosage.1 The many variables within one plant insure that our simple remedy nonetheless touches many aspects of a person and heals deeply.


    One apprentice tinctured motherwort flowering tops weekly through its blooming period. She reported that the tinctures made from the younger flower stalks had a stronger effect on the uterus; while those made from the older flower stalks, when the plant was going to seed, had a stronger effect on the heart.


    Simples Give Me Power


    Using one herb at a time helps me feel more certain that my remedy has an active value, not just a placebo value. Using one plant at a time, and local ones at that, reassures me that my herbal medicine cannot be legislated away. Using one plant at a time allows me to build trust in my remedies. Using one plant at a time is a subversive act, a reclaiming of simple health care.


    Combinations erode my power, activate my "victim persona," and lead me to believe that herbal medicine is best left to the experts.


    From Complex to Simple


    Take the challenge! Use simples instead of complex formulae. Let's rework some herbal remedies and get a sense of how simple it can be.


    The anti-cancer formula Essiac contains Arctium lappa (burdock), Rheum palmatum (rhubarb), Ulmus fulva (slippery elm), and Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel). Rhubarb root has no possible use against cancer; it is a purgative whose repeated use can "aggravate constipation." Slippery elm bark also has no possible anti-cancer properties and has no doubt been added to counter some of the detrimental effects of the rhubarb. Sheep sorrel juice is so caustic that it has been used to burn off skin cancers, but it would likely do more harm to the kidneys than to any cancer if ingested regularly. Leaving us with a great anti-cancer simple: burdock root. One that I have found superbly effective in reversing dysplasias and precancerous conditions.


    A John Lust formula for relief of coughs (2) contains Agropyron repens (witch grass), Pimpinella anisum (aniseed), Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice), Inula helenium (elecampane root), Pulmonaria officinalis (lungwort), Thymus species (thyme herb), (murillo bark) (3), Chondrus crispus (irish moss), Lobelia inflata (lobelia herb). Witch grass has little or no effect on coughs; it is an emollient diuretic whose dismissal from this group would leave no hole. Anise seeds are also not known to have an anti-pertussive effect; although they do taste good, we can do without them. Lobelia can bring more oxygen to the blood, but is certainly not an herb I would ever add to a cough mixture, so I will leave it out here.


    Licorice is a demulcent expectorant that can be most helpful for those with a dry cough; however, I do use it for a variety of reasons, among them its exotic origins and its cloyingly sweet taste. Lungwort is, as its name implies, a pectoral, but its effect is rather mild, and its place in the Boraginaceae family gives me pause. How much pyrrolizidine alkaloid might it contain? Thyme, and its more common anti-cough cousin garden sage, contains essential oils that could both quiet a cough and counter infection in the throat. A strong tea or a tincture of either could be our simple. Irish moss is, a specific to soothe coughs and a nutritive in addition, would also make an excellent simple. But it is elecampane that I would crown. It is not only a specific to curb coughing, it counters infection well, and tonifies lung tissues. Several small doses of a tincture of elecampane root should quiet a cough in a few hours.


    Simples are fun. Give them a try.


    Footnotes:


    1. Among the many variables, I have especially noticed that the tinctures that I make with fresh plants are many times more effective than tinctures made from dried plants. My elders tell me that preparations of common plants growing in uncommon places will be stronger as well. Many herbalists are aware of certain areas of their land that nurture plants that are particularly potent medicines.


    2. John Lust. The Herb Book. 1974. Bantam.


    3. Note that this formula, as is frequently the case, contains an "exotic" herb which Mr. Lust does not include in the 500+ herbs in his book, nor does he give us a botanical name for the plant, leaving us literally unable to prepare his formula as presented.

  • Tuesday, March 27, 2018 3:49 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    What is a Simple?

    by Susun Weed



    A "simple" is one herb used at a time. A "simpler" is an herbalist who generally uses herbs one at a time, rather than in combinations.


    Why Use Simples?


    Most herbalists I have met -- whether from China or Japan, Eastern or Western Europe, Australia or North America -- use herbs in combinations. Simplers, like myself, don't. Why?


    Because I believe that herbal medicine is people's medicine, I seek to make herbal medicine simple: as simple as one herb at a time. Because people worry about interactions between the drugs they take and herbs, I keep it simple: with simples, interactions are simple to observe, and simpler to avoid. Because empowerment in health care is difficult, I want to offer others easy, safe herbal remedies: and what could be easier, or safer, than a simple?


    Simples Make Me Think


    When I was just getting started with herbs, one thing that confounded me was the many choices I had when I began to match symptoms to the herbs that relieved them. If someone had a cough should I use garden sage or wild cherry bark or pine sap or mullein or coltsfoot (to name only a few of the many choices)? One way out of this dilemma was to use them all. I made many cough syrups that contained every anti-cough herb that I could collect. And they all worked.


    As I got more sophisticated in my herbal usage, and especially after I completed a course on homeopathy, I began to see that each herb had a specific personality, a specific way of acting. I realized I couldn't notice the individual actions of the herbs when they were combined.


    It felt daring at first to use just one herb. Would wild cherry bark tincture all by itself be enough to quell that child's cough? Yes! Would mullein infusion alone really reduce a person's asthmatic and allergic reactions? Yes! Would sage soaked in honey for six weeks ease a sore throat? Yes! Each herb that I tried as a simple was successful. They all worked, not just together, but by themselves.


    The more I used individual herbs the more I came to know them as individuals. The more I used simples, the simpler and more successful my remedies became. The more I used one herb at a time, the more I learned about how that herb worked, and didn't work.


    ~ Page Two ~

  • Tuesday, March 27, 2018 10:13 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    SEAWEED IS AN ALLY IN WOMEN’S MYSTERIES


    Seaweed flows and shifts like the energy of a woman. Saline solutions of ocean and uterus rock in rhythm. Pulses of tide, menstruation, heartbeat, and fertility join seaweeds and wombs. Nourishing breast milk merges with waves of green fronds.


    Seaweed eaten daily is a powerful ally to a wise woman for, prevention and healing herself or others with osteoporosis, breast cancer, mastitis, uterine cancer, irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cancer, fibroids, ovarian cysts, infertility, fibro-cystic breast distress, and pre-menstrual / menopausal problems such as water retention, emotional freak-outs, chills and hot flashes, fatigue, lack of lubrication, loss of calcium and general irritability.


    SEAWEED IS A GREAT WAY TO STAY IN SHAPE


    By providing optimum nourishment to the thyroid, helping to regulate metabolism, and increasing the effectiveness of the digestive system, seaweed helps you get in shape and stay that way.



    SEAWEED PROPERTIES AND USES


    ~ Protective: anti-radiation, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-toxic, anti-rheumatic, antibiotic, antibacterial, alterative.

    ~ Nutritive: trace mineral supplement, cardio-tonic, rejuvenative, aphrodisiac.

    ~ Mucilaginous: Emollient, demulcent, aperient, anti-constipative, diuretic.

    ~ Anti-stress: Analgesic, calmative, anti-pyretic.


  • Tuesday, March 20, 2018 8:43 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Seaweed is An Everyday Miracle, Part 2

    by Susun Weed



    SEAWEED IS A WAY TO GET YOUR JUICES FLOWING


    Daily use of seaweed provides optimum nourishment for the hormonal, lymphatic, urinary, and nervous systems. The hormonal system uses minerals and trace elements so richly available from seaweed to repair tissue, build new cells, and create hormones responsible for regulating blood pressure, metabolism, fertility, sexuality, and reaction to allergens, to name but a few.


    The lymphatic and immune systems are avid partakers of seaweed’s splendid feast of nutrients. Combined with this optimum nourishment, the communication enhancing effects of seaweed further enhance response time and strength in the immune system. This reduces opportunist bacterial and viral infections and helps prolong youth and vitality, not to mention joy and ease in life.


    The urinary system gets a special boost from seaweed’s seeming excess of potassium and sodium. Those with cystitis, kidney weakness, gout diabetic kidney ills, and bladder weakness find health / wholeness / holiness with seaweed and Wise Woman Ways.

    The nervous system relaxes in the presence of seaweed’s mineral abundance. Seaweed creates an inner environment where nerve signals flow more smoothly and where brain chemicals are produced as needed: to maintain alertness, increase memory, reduce pain, and provide a sense of buoyant bliss. (Envision the head sized floats of kelp bobbing on a gently undulating sea.)


    SEAWEED IS A GUT GREASER


    Seaweed provides a multitude of gifts to the digestive system: soothing, disinfecting, and nourishing distressed surfaces, helping out with the metabolism of lipids, and maintaining a healthy balance of digestive yeasts and bacteria in the intestines.


    Seaweed is an exceptional ally to the wise woman healing those with gastric ulcers, duodenal ulcers, ulcerated colon, colitis, constipation, watery stools, and other intestinal ills, thanks to its bio-available nourishment, high algin content, mucilaginous fiber, and rhythmical resonation.


  • Tuesday, March 20, 2018 8:32 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    MEETING THE PLANTS

    WITH Susun S Weed



    Herbal Pharmacy


    In your herbal pharmacy you transform fresh and dried plants into herbal medicines. Learning to identify and use the common plants around you is easy and exciting, beneficial and safe. Making your own medicines saves you money if you follow the Wise Woman tradition of using local herbs, free for the taking. Even one day's work in field, forest, and kitchen can provide you with many years' worth of medicines. When you make your own, you know for sure what's in it, where it came from, when and how it was harvested, and how fresh and potent it is.


    Dried herbs are best for the infusions recommended in this book. Stock your herbal pharmacy with your own foraged or cultivated dried herbs; expand your resources and experiment with new herbs by buying dried herbs from reputable sources.

    Fresh herbs are best for the tinctures and oils recommended in this book. If you can't make your own, buy from sources who wildcraft or grow their own herbs to use fresh in preparations.


    Whether you buy or make your own medicines, remember, herbal remedies may not work or may work incorrectly if they aren't prepared correctly. Read this chapter carefully; it contains easy to follow instructions for every remedy and preparation mentioned in this book.


    Meeting the Plants


    Start by noticing the plants that live with you, along your driveway or sidewalk. Don't assume that medicinal plants are hard to find. Fennel, Pepper Grass, Dandelion, Plantain, and Mugwort (to name a few) are as common in cities and suburbs as in the country.

    Learn more about the weeds around you directly from the plants, from a personal guide, and from field guides and herbals.


    When we open all our senses, including the psychic ones, to the green world, we learn to hear and understand plant language. Through shape, color, location, scent, texture, taste, and energy, plants tell us how they will affect our bodies, which plant parts we can use, and how we prepare them. Some Wise Women converse with the plant fairies and the devas. Some hear the song that each plant sings. Some feel the dances of the leaves, breezes, and insects. All are means of learning the ways of herbs. Though the scientific tradition scoffs at such knowledge, the Wise Woman tradition honors the plant as the ultimate authority on its uses.


    A personal guide into the plant world will show you plant features which ensure positive identification, such as the hairs on Wild Carrot which safely distinguish it from Poison Hemlock. A personal guide will introduce you to the foods, medicines, dyes, fibers, decorations, and delights hidden in common plants, and instruct you in wise harvesting and preparation. Check local garden clubs, botanical gardens, and nature centers for contacts with personal guides.


    Field guides are indispensable references once your taste for herbal identification is whetted. I find the line drawings in the Petersen guides more helpful than color photographs when I have to distinguish between similar looking plants.


    Herbals concentrate on the specifics of using plants as medicines and are rarely illustrated well enough to serve as a guide to identification. Field guides hardly ever include information on medicinal value. The link between your field guide and your herbal is the botanical binomial, or Latin name, of each plant. The binomial is (usually) consistent in all references, unlike common names which overlap and vary from region to region. Once you have identified a new plant, you can look it up by finding the binomial in herbals and other references. This can increase your confidence and ability to find and use safe herbal medicines.


    My years of leading Weed Walks and helping people identify wild plants have shown me that learning to recognize herbs in the field is far easier, and much less fraught with danger, than most people realize. As Euell Gibbons is quoted as saying: "You don't learn all the plants at once; you learn them one at a time."


    Even if you never pick your own herbs, knowing how the live plants look will be a great asset when you go out to buy them.


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


    Healing Wise


    Author: Susun S. Weed. Superb herbal in the feminine-intuitive mode. Complete instructions for using common plants for food, beauty, medicine, and longevity. Introduction by Jean Houston. 312 pages, index, illustrations. Retails for $17.95

    Order at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com


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