Wise Woman Herbal Ezine

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  • 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


    Interested in becoming a mentor student? Learn more here.

  • 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.

  • Monday, June 09, 2014 9:29 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Weed Walk – June – Clovers

    Here are three common clovers. And several uses for each. The clovers are part of the pea and bean family; they are legumes. Legumes bring fertility to the soil by fixing nitrogen out the air and making it available to the plants. Chemical fertilizers break a bond in ammonia to free nitrogen to give to the plants.

    Red clover (Trifolium pretense) is the clover we love best.  Try the fresh blossoms in salads. Make an oil from the fresh flowers. Or try your hand at red clover wine. (Use the dandelion flower wine recipe, or my rose wine recipe.) Tincture of red clover is sometimes used as a cancer treatment, alone or with drugs. Red clover infusion is my hedge against cancer.

    White clover (Trifolium repens) is the native clover. The leaves have the chevron, just like red clover. White clover can be used in exactly the same ways as red clover: in salads, as a softening oil, as a delicious vinegar, as a wonderful wine, tinctured as a medicine, or dried to use as infusion.

    Yellow sweet clover (Mellilotus officinalis) is the tallest of these three clovers. It is taller than Monica Jean. The sweetly-scented flowers are marvelous in potpourri. They make a heavenly oil that smells delicious. The root can be used, with caution, as a tincture to replace vanilla extract. All clovers contain blood-thinning compounds; but sweet clover has lots of coumadin. Great to help prevent strokes and heart attack, but problematic in quantity.

  • Monday, June 09, 2014 8:30 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Green greetings to you all.

    And isn’t it green?!

    As the days lengthen toward summer solstice, the leaves do their utmost to take in as much solar energy and light as they can. Where we could see blue sky but a few weeks ago is now totally covered over with leafy tree canopies.

    Isn’t it green?

    The meadow that was easily walked through last month is now teeming with plants, especially clovers. Meet three of my favorites – red clover, white clover, and yellow sweet clover – on this week’s weed walk. And a dozen more of my favorites in this week’s recipe: Welcome-to-Summer-Solstice Salad.

    Isn’t it greener than green?

    We are hustling to harvest the last of the nettle to dry for infusion before it goes to flower. Mentored students receive the first chapter of my Step-by-Step, Start-to-Finish, Making Nettle Infusion Photo Essay this week: Harvesting Nettle Barehanded. In weeks to come, they will read about and see photos of: Harvesting Nettle to Dry for Infusion, Hanging Nettle to Dry for Infusion, Storing Dried Nettle for Infusion, Cutting Dried Nettle for Infusion, Buying Dried Nettle for Infusion, Making Nettle Infusion in a Quart Jar, Making Nettle Infusion in a Pan, Using Nettle Infusion.

    OOOOOh! Isn’t it green?

    Join me for our upcoming Father’s Day work exchange weekend June 14-15 or for my lushest classes of the year: The Great Remedies, Hands-on on Saturday June 21, and Talking with Plants on Sunday. Wishing you a Blissful Summer Solstice !!

    Green blessings are everywhere.

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