Wise Woman Herbal Ezine

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  • Monday, July 07, 2014 3:07 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Give-Away Breath Meditation

    The simple meditation, if done often, will open the fairy gates to you.

    Sit in a comfortable, safe place outside where there are plants. Smaller plants, rather than bigger ones. Wild plants, rather than cultivated ones.

    If necessary, you can sit inside and breathe with a plant in a pot; weeds in a pot, better. Naked you, best.

    Breathe out and give your breath away to the plant/s.

    Breathe in and feel gratitude for the oxygen the plants gift to you.

    Continue for ten minutes: breathing out and breathing in.
    It’s a dance between the plants and the people. Each gives what it can’t use, what is no longer needed, what is unwanted. And, miracle! It is the perfect gift for the other. The plants want the carbon dioxide that would poison us. And we, in turn, want their waste product: oxygen.

    Breathing out and breathing in. Slowly. Consciously.

    Every second, millions of cells in your body are dying and millions are being created. Each new cell is gifted with oxygen and nourishment, thanks to the plants.

    Breathe out your gratitude. Breathe in their bliss.

    ~ The Recipe Box ~

  • Monday, July 07, 2014 3:04 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Green Greetings!

    It’s Independence Day (a few days ago)

    It’s Gratitude for Dependence Day (right now)

    Hooray for Freedom and Independence!!

    And Gratitude for Dependence.

    Gratitude for the dependable Earth, the ever-shining Sun, and the humbling comfort of the stars.

    We are not alone. We are dependent on a host of other lives. We are part of and depend on our families, communities, and political systems. We are part of and dependent on the ecosystem of this planet: the plants and the animals, the microbes and the bacteria. We are part of sol’s solar system and we depend on the planets that share it with us to stay their courses, independence of motion not desired for members of a system! And our entire solar system is a tiny part of a large galaxy and dependent on the echoing memory of the big bang to keep things expanding, rather than colliding.

    Hooray for freedom. Gratitude for dependence.

    The Give-Away Breath Meditation brings us into the flow of gratitude and dependence. Every apprentice breathes with her green ally daily for at least ten minutes; in person, rain or shine, for the first ten days, then at a distance if weather of circumstance prevent personal contact.

    The Give-Away Breath Meditation is the first step for those desirous of talking with the plants. Being conscious, and grateful, for the breath we are given from the plants really brings home the message of green blessings: right into our hearts! (Oh! And don’t forget my new heart health class at the Wise Woman University.)

    So hooray for independence and hiphip hooray and gratitude for dependence too.
    Now, please join me on a short weed walk to meet some of the beauty I saw this week. Then, experiment with a new recipe: Summer Milkweed Blossom Salad. And be certain to give the Give-Away Breath a try today if possible. It’s a life-altering practice and the sooner you begin, the more you will benefit.

    Green blessings are everywhere.

    ~ The Shaman's Corner ~

  • Tuesday, June 24, 2014 4:09 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    The Good News Stand

    Since 1998 per capita consumption of soda pop has dropped by 25 percent.

    According to the industry publication Beverage Digest, Regular Coke sales have fallen by 34 percent and Pepsi sales by 51 percent. (Nutrition Action News, June 2014)

    Mentor Students - Click Here for Core Material Work

    Interested in becoming a mentor student? Learn more here.

    Mentor Students - Click Here for Core Material Work


    Interested in becoming a mentor student? Learn more here.


    Mentor Students - Click Here for Core Material Work


    Interested in becoming a mentor student? Learn more here.


    Mentor Students - Click Here for Core Material Work


    Interested in becoming a mentor student? Learn more here.

  • Tuesday, June 24, 2014 2:27 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Weed Walk

    The Great Remedies are at their peak. Welcome to mid-summer!

    The Great Remedies class on their way to harvest motherwort, the lion-hearted (Leonurus cardiac).

    Sean picking wild oregano for our wild salad.

    Susun in the oregano.

    Justine’s red clover drying rack.

    And the finished product: vibrant Trifolium pretense ready to turn into infusion.

    Look in shady, damp/wet places for chickweed (Stellaria media).

    The comfrey is starting to flower; time to harvest it to dry for infusion. This photo is of the standard garden comfrey Symphytum uplandica x, one of the species developed by Henry Doubleday to be safe for human consumption.



    Tincture of yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is ever so useful for healing wounds and repelling insects. Please do not confuse it with Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota).

    A beautiful oxalis leaf in the beautiful hand of beautiful Monica-Jean.

                                           ~ The Good News Stand ~

  • Monday, June 23, 2014 8:06 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Shaman’s Corner

    Become your holy self. Spend time alone in nature.

    Human spirituality arises from time spent alone in nature.

    Spend time alone in nature.

    You don’t have to go far away to spend time in nature. (But you can.) You just have to do it all by yourself, alone, in nature.

    Maybe it will be your retreat. Maybe you will call it a vision quest. Maybe you will consider it your menopausal time out. Maybe it is a sabbatical. Maybe you won’t speak of it at all; maybe you will. Spend time alone in nature.

    Maybe you will only do it once in this lifetime. Maybe you will make it a regular part of your life. Maybe some small part of you will always be alone in nature.

    Maybe you will be alone in nature for only a few hours. Maybe you will crave days of being alone in nature.

    Maybe you will go barehanded. Just you and nature. Alone.

     No music. No books. Alone. 

    No art supplies, no pens for writing, no electronic devices. Alone.

    No distractions from nature, or yourself. Alone.

    Doze. Daydream. Babble. Run naked. Eat berries. Watch birds. Paint yourself with colored mud. Spend time alone in nature. Soon.

  • Monday, June 23, 2014 6:45 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Baby Goats!

    What is more fun than a baby goat? Five baby goats. What a handful they are when we go out to milk! What springs in their legs and mischief in their eyes!

    ~ Shaman's Circle ~

  • Monday, June 23, 2014 6:20 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Solstice passes. And now the green begins to ebb, to wane. Ever so slightly.  The sun has reached its peak and so has the green. They grow and die together. Now the light begins to ebb.

    The green has feed its own roots and are now food for others. I eat you and you eat me. Notice the holes in the leaves where insects have feasted. Whole leaves sometimes eaten to the bare outline, shadow of dissolution coming. Fungus, smut, mold, mildew, rot take their turn at the table, to feast on the green. Leaves shrink as flower stalks emerge, wither as fruits ripen.

    Too late to harvest any more nettle to dry for infusion, though the soup patch is still providing our monthly kettle of nettle soup. Some of what we didn’t get to cut to dry (because it was too rainy too many days in a row) will go to seed. Nettle seed is a medicine as well as a “grain,” so I don’t chide myself if I don’t harvest as much for infusion as I’d hoped to.

    The new live-in apprentice is harvesting 25 red clover blossoms every day (that is sunny). (Me too.) A little every day really adds up. My daughter Justine got the jump on the weather with her harvesting. She already had lots of lovely red clover laid out to dry before it started raining . . . and raining, and, yes . . . raining.

    A past live-out apprentice participated in the Summer Solstice Great Remedies class this weekend. She said she knows she can’t pick enough herb to make her daily quart of infusion, but she harvests what she can anyway. She puts a little of her own harvested herb in with the purchased herb when she makes her infusions. She envisions that handful of herb she has harvested herself will communicate with the commercial herb; she knows that it will deepen her connection with the infusion when she drinks it. Speaking of infusions, she has been giving them to her elderly mother, who is now off all but one prescribed drug. Ah, I love nourishing herbal infusions.

    And speaking of the Summer Solstice Great Remedies class, we had an amazing day. We made nettle soup, went on a weed walk, harvested cronewort, garlic mustard, giant chickweed, five-finger ivy, red clover and white clover blossoms, creeping jenny/ground ivy in flower, violet leaves, shiso, and wild oregano for our salad, and to top it off, we make motherwort tincture, lemon balm vinegar, catnip vinegar, St. Joan’s wort tincture and oil, and plantain oil. Green blessings were everwhere we looked.

    I am happy to bow to requests for pictures of the baby goats. Here they are. Enjoy the warm weather. And all the green blessings that abound.


    ~ Baby Goats ~

  • Tuesday, June 10, 2014 12:01 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    My neighbor, farmer John, says his wife, the RN, read an article about using mullein against breast cancer. While I know that mullein is a multi-faceted plant, with so many uses that it boggles the mind, I’ve never heard of this one. Have you?

    Learn more about harvesting mullein and
    using yummy mullein infusions!

    Mentor Students - Click Here for Core Material Work


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  • Monday, June 09, 2014 10:37 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    The Recipe Box
    Welcome-to-Summer-Solstice Salad

    Here’s what was in our salad tonight, the first week of June:

    Tender tops of Glechoma hederacea (creeping jenny, ground ivy), whole

    First-year leaves of Alliaria officinalis (garlic mustard), torn in thirds

    Leaves of Viola (violet), torn in quarters

    Tender tops of Artemisia vulgaris (cronewort, mugwort), finely minced

    Tops of Stelleria pubera (giant chickweed), whole

    Non-flowering tops of Gallium mollugo (wild madder)

    Leaves of Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel, whalewort), whole

    Leaves of Taraxacum off. (dandelion), cut small

    Leaves of Parthenocissus quinqifolia (Virginia creeper, five-finger ivy), whole

    Leaves of Sisymbrium officinale (hedge mustard), whole or torn in half

    Leaves of Daucus carota (wild carrot), leaves removed from midrib and use whole

    Leaves of Melissa off. (lemon balm), minced

    Flowers of Hesperis matronalis (dame’s rocket, Queen of the night)

    Flowers of cultivated chives, torn into individual florets

    Petals of Paeonia (peony) flowers

    Petals of Rosa (rose) flowers

    Arugula from the garden

  • Monday, June 09, 2014 9:50 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Robin Rose Bennett, one of my first apprentices (I have graduated more than 300 apprentices – more than 400 if you count live-out apprentices and those in the Germany and Florida apprentice groups –  to date and Robin Rose was number seven) just celebrated the publication of her second book!

    The Gift of Healing Herbs joins a growing genre of herbals written by practicing herbalists – as opposed to the previous generations’ herbals, which were mostly compilations of herbal remedies collected from oral sources and, of course, books, but not written by those actually using the herbs.

    I am so proud of her, and love her subtitle: Plant Medicines and Home Remedies for a Vibrantly Healthy Life. I hope to get her permission to share one or more of the 180 recipes included in this big book of green blessings. You can order The Gift of Healing Herbs at the Wise Woman Bookshop online or at your favorite bookseller.

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