Wise Woman Herbal Ezine

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  • Tuesday, May 22, 2018 1:42 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Dear Susun,

    I live in Finland, and am trying to find a herbal/alternative remedy for the serious migraine attacks that my wife suffers from. This is a bit of a hinterland when it comes to alternatives, so was wondering whether you could recommend something herbal/botanical that may help, and if so, where one could purchase your recommendation(s) from.?

    In anticipation of your help -many thanks


    Dear Stephan,

    Three possibilities, both may be hard to get there, but who knows, and I will add one you can do at home at the end.

    First, a live plant of feverfew. Eat a leaf a day. This is a sure remedy.

    Second, tincture of St. Joan's wort (hypericum perforatum; a dose is 25-30 drops) and tincture of skullcap (scutellaria lateriflora; a dose is 10-30 drops.) Take both together as soon as she thinks she might be getting a headache. The earlier it is taken, the better it works.

    Dose can be repeated as needed.

    Or you can get some clothes pins and pin them onto the very tips of the toes for 10-15 minutes when in pain. Or try the acupressure point in the web between the thumb and the first finger. Press hard for a full minute.

    Hope this helps.

    Green Blessings,

  • Tuesday, May 22, 2018 10:22 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)



    by Susun Weed


    The energy aspects of menopause are of special interest to me.

    As a long-time student of yoga, I was struck by the many similarities between menopausal symptoms and the well-known esoteric goal of "awakening of the kundalini." Though the ideas presented in this section may seem strange or difficult to comprehend, they contain powerful messages about menopause, which lie at the heart of the Wise Woman approach.

    Kundalini [is] the root [of] all spiritual experiences ...

    Kundalini is a special kind of energy known in many cultures, including Tibetan, Indian, Sumerian, Chinese, Irish, Aztec, and Greek. Kundalini is said to be hot, fast, powerful, and large. It exists within the earth, within all life, and within each person.

    Psychoanalyst Carl G. Jung called kundalini anima. Kundalini is usually represented as a serpent coiled at the base of the spine, but women's mystery stories locate it in the uterus - or the area where the uterus was, if a hysterectomy has occurred. During both puberty and menopause, a woman's kundalini is difficult to control and may cause a great number of symptoms.

    East Indian yogis spend lifetimes learning to activate, or wake up, their kundalini. This is also called "achieving enlightenment". When they succeed, a surge of super-heated energy goes up the spine, throughout the nerves, dilating blood vessels, and fueling itself with hormones.

    As kundalini continues to travel up the spine, it changes the functioning of the endocrine, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. Not just in yogis, but in any woman who allows herself to become aware of it. Menopause is a kind of enlightenment. Hot flashes are kundalini training sessions.

  • Tuesday, May 22, 2018 9:51 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)


    by Susun S. Weed

    Excerpt from Susun Weed's book

    Breast Cancer? Breast Health! The Wise Woman Way

    Can Foods Prevent Cancer?

    Absolutely, without a doubt, eating certain foods can prevent breast cancer. Analysis of 156 studies linking diet and cancer found extraordinarily consistent evidence that some foods actively protect cells from undergoing cancerous changes, especially breast, cervical, ovarian, and prostate cells. While these foods don’t guarantee freedom from cancer, they are vital elements of an anti-cancer lifestyle.

    The United States National Research Council states that 35-70 percent of all U.S. cancer deaths are related to diet and that 60 percent of the cancer incidence in women is related to diet. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans contain phytochemicals that are active against cancer initiation in many direct and indirect ways. They neutralize carcinogenic compounds. They capture and neutralize free radicals. They protect DNA from environmental damage. They prevent the activation of oncogenes. They nourish anti-cancer enzymes in the digestive tract and strengthen the immune system cells which search out and eliminate cancer cells.

    If cancer has already begun to grow, phytochemicals can disrupt the processes necessary for the growth and spread of the tumor. They block metastasis by checking the growth of blood vessels to the tumor. Some foods can even reverse damage to the DNA and turn oncogenes off.

    Here’s the rub: It doesn’t work as well if it isn’t organic.  An apple a day may even promote breast cancer if it’s been heavily sprayed with pesticides. Eating anti-cancer foods as the mainstay of your diet will improve your chances of living a long life even if they aren’t organic, but choosing organic foods pays the extra dividend of knowing you’re investing in the health of future generations as well as your own.

  • Wednesday, May 09, 2018 4:36 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Evergreen Oil
    There are so many uses for an antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-tumor oil.

    Collect needles and twigs of any aromatic evergreen: cedar, juniper, hemlock (tree), spruce, pine. You will also need a bone dry jar, some olive oil, and a label or two.

    Fill the jar very full of evergreen needles and twigs. You may leave them whole or cut them. Make sure their uppermost tips are well below the top of the jar.

    Fill the jar to the top with pure olive oil (or other oil of your choice). It is best if there is a “head” of oil floating over the evergreen. Cap well.

    Label, including date, on front and top. Place jar in a bowl to catch overflow. Ready to use in six weeks.

    Edit Note: For External use Only. ....

  • Tuesday, May 01, 2018 2:26 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    More Uses for Burdock

    Susun Weed

    With so many abilities to offer, it is no wonder that burdock (Articum lappa) is a beloved ally of wise women and herbalists everywhere. Burdock's action is most profound on lymph, sweat, and oil glands, though its influence is felt in the liver, lungs, kidneys, stomach, uterus, and joints. Medicines made from the fresh burdock root are always preferable and superior to dried root preparations. Burdock is not for people in a hurry, or most acute problems; burdock works thoroughly and slowly.

    Use burdock root as a nourishing tonic, a skin clearer, a super cooler, a slick trick in the guts, and a guardian of your inner flows.

    • Dose of fresh burdock root tincture is 30-240 drops a day, in water
    • Dose of dried burdock root infusion is 1/2-2 cups/125ml-500ml a day.
    • Dose of burdock root decoction is 1-9 teaspoons/5-45ml a day.

  • Monday, April 30, 2018 6:06 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Mineral Rich Vinegars, part 2
    Susun Weed

    Vinegar and Candida

    Some people worry that eating vinegar will upset the balance of gut flora and contribute to an overgrowth of candida yeast in the intestines. Some people have been told to avoid vinegar altogether. My experience has led me to believe that herbal vinegars help heal those with candida overgrowth, perhaps because they're so mineral rich. I've worked with women who have suffered for years and kept to a strict "anti-candida" diet with little improvement and seen them get better fast when they add nourishing herbal vinegars (and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, miso, and yogurt) to their diets.

    Making Herbal Vinegars

    Fill any size jar with freshly-harvested and coarsely-chopped aromatic herbs: leaves, stalks, flowers, fruits, roots, or even nuts. For best results and highest mineral content, be sure the jar is well filled and the herb well-chopped.

    Pour room-temperature vinegar into the jar until it is full. Cover jar: A plastic screw-on lid, several layers of plastic or wax paper held on with a rubber band, or a cork are the best covers. Avoid metal lids—or protect them well with plastic—as vinegar will corrode them.

    Label the jar with the name of the herb and the date. Put it someplace away from direct sunlight, though it doesn't have to be in the dark, and someplace that isn't too hot, but not too cold either. A kitchen cupboard is fine, but choose one that you open a lot so you remember to use your vinegar, which will be ready in six weeks. You can decant your vinegar into a beautiful serving container, or use it right from the jar you made it in.

    Which Vinegar?

    I use regular pasteurized apple cider vinegar from the supermarket as the menstrum for my herbal vinegars. I avoid white vinegar. Malt vinegar, rice vinegar, and wine vinegar can be used but they are more expensive and may overpower the flavor of the herbs.

    Apple cider vinegar has been used as a health-giving agent for centuries. Hippocrates, father of medicine, is said to have used only two remedies: honey and apple cider vinegar. Some of the many benefits of apple cider vinegar include: better digestion, reduction of cholesterol, improvements in blood pressure, prevention/care of osteoporosis, normalization of thyroid/metabolic functioning, possible reduction of cancer risk, and lessening of wrinkles and grey hair.

    Notes for Herbal Vinegar Makers

    Collect jars of different sizes for your vinegars. I especially like baby food jars, mustard jars, olive jars, peanut butter jars and individual juice jars. Look for plastic lids.

    The wider the mouth of the jar, the easier it will be to remove the plant material when you're done.

    Always fill jar to the top with plant material and vinegar; never fill a jar only part way.

    Really fill the jar. This will take far more herb or root than you would think. How much? With leaves and stems, make a comfortable mattress for a fairy: not too tight; and not too loose. With roots, fill your jar to within a thumb's width of the top.
    After decanting your vinegar into a beautiful jar, add a spring of whole herb. Pretty.

    My Favorite Herbal Vinegar
    Pick the needles of white pine (or pinon pine) on a sunny day. Make herbal vinegar with them. Inhale deeply the scent of the forest. I call this "homemade balsamic" vinegar.

  • Tuesday, April 24, 2018 3:13 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Chickweed Eye Lotion

    • 4 oz/125ml distilled water
    • 4 oz/125ml witch hazel
    • 1 Tbs/15ml chickweed tincture

    Combine all ingredients in a clean plastic dispenser-top bottle. Use pre-pared witch hazel from drugstore. Shake well.

    To use: Wet a cloth or cotton ball with lotion and apply to closed eyes for 3 minutes. Discontinue if eyes are sensitive.

  • Tuesday, April 24, 2018 1:46 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    The Fast Root

    Preparation time: 30 minutes. Grating or shredding fresh roots before cooking increases their already abundant energy. This food/medicine gives optimum nutrition for great strength, staying power, rooted energy, and creativity. Serves four.

    • 1 tablespoon/15ml olive oil
    • 1 burdock root*, grated
    • 2 carrots, grated
    • 1 parsnip, grated
    • 1 Tbs/15ml dark sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoon/5ml tamari
    • handful water

    *or salsify, sunchoke, wild carrot root, turnip, or cattail roots.

    Heat oil. Add shredded or grated roots. (Soak burdock in vinegar water before grating; do not par-boil.) Saute while stirring for five minutes or so. Then toss in water, tamari, and sesame oil. Cover well and cook until tender, roughly ten minutes more.

  • Tuesday, April 24, 2018 1:41 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Chickweed Weed Walk, page 2

    by Susun Weed

    Pick one and feel the slightly swollen joints. Crush it, and note the juiciness. This is such a great plant to use as a poultice. Nothing like it for juicing things up and cooling off heat at the same time!

    An inconspicuous plant, say most writers: smooth, green, small, low, no strong taste, and not very active medicinally. Inconspicuous, if you mean easily overlooked. Many a lawn owner is totally unaware of chickweed at play in the grass. What a feast of food and fun and fantasy they could have if the lawn mower didn't work.

    Few town dwellers notice it either, though I've never been in a city yet, except in the tropics, that wasn't graced with chickweed. I was picking and eating chickweed off a curbside in West Berlin just a few months ago, much to the dismay of my German companions. At first, that is. A few salads later, they wanted to help me gather some more!

    Most gardeners notice it. Small stature seems only to encourage our little star lady to a glorious abandon of abundance in vegetable or flower bed, thus bringing many an unladylike gardener's curse to little star lady's ears. As any annual does, chickweed focuses her energy on producing as many viable seeds as possible.

    Here's a seed capsule. Not much more visible than the rest of the plant. Maybe that's why wise women love the little star lady so: she's as invisible as they are.

    The seeds in here will ripen even if you cut the plant or uproot it. If I pick a lot of chickweed and leave it in the refrigerator (it's one wild green that keeps well), within a few days the bottom of my storage bag is covered in a layer of tiny yellow-orange seeds that have ripened and fallen loose.

    With your magnifying lens you'll see the teeth on the seed capsule. When the seed capsule gets wet, these teeth swell, and keep the capsule tightly shut. When the sun and wind dry the capsule, the teeth loosen and allow the wind to shake the seeds free.

    These patches of chickweed seem almost perennial, they self-sow so readily and constantly. But we don't curse the chickweed; we bless it, and accept its blessing of abundant green.

    Few patches of chickweed can outproduce my appetite for it! Last year I served chickweed salad to thirty women on spring equinox from this very patch. When I don't have that much help, I can eat quarts of chickweed a day all by myself .

    Sometimes the chickweed's already flowering by spring equinox. Wouldn't you be surprised in this little plain plant had flashy flowers? Don't worry, it doesn't. Unless you use a magnifying lens.

    Magnified, the pattern of delicate deeply-divided petals, each set off by a pointed green sepal, becomes a whirling mandala, a glittering star. The symmetry of the flower vibrates and the five white, cleft petals become ten slivers of light in your eye. The sepals' five-pointed under-star of shimmering green adds to the effect.

    There you are peering through a magnifying glass at a tiny flower, and suddenly you're having an experience of cosmic proportions. That's the little star lady for you!

    This patch of chickweed is out in the sun, so it dies early, as soon as the days lengthen and the heat builds. But there's a patch back at the house, under the roses. That patch doesn't give many greens in winter, but it stays so shady and moist that stars bloom there almost all year.

    The little star lady prefers cool, rich, moist soil. Along misty coasts, deep in mountain valleys, and even in cities, she has no shortage of likely habitats.

    She thrives here, along my quiet strand, though not as lushly as I once saw her growing.

    I was in northern California, along the coast. The wind was fierce, so my walk that day wasn't far. Just far enough to find a little stream that ran down to the sea, spreading herself out and out as she came, and smoothing the way for acres of nearly knee-high chickweed (with a healthy bit of miner's lettuce mixed in to add to the bounty).

    I would have lain down on the ground and eaten my way to bliss, but it was too wet. With my outer shirt as a makeshift carrying basket, and my ever-handy pocket knife, I cut enough to feast on for days to come, and plenty for sharing the earth's bountiful gifts with my chickweed-loving friends, too.

    And why don't we do the same? Though we have a proper basket and won't have to undress to hold onto our chickweed! The days are short. Let's cut our salad and go have a cup of hot cider by the wood stove.

  • Tuesday, April 24, 2018 1:37 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Chickweed Weed Walk

    by Susun Weed

    Put on your warm coat, and boots, and your hat, and come out with me to pick some chickweed. Yes, it is the middle of January! No, I'm not crazy. The sky has cleared and we'll have some good foraging down where the river widens and seeps toward the sea.

    I have the basket and some scissors. There's no dirt to wash off if we carefully cut an inch away from the ground, like giving the plants a haircut. Come on, already; you won't need gloves. It's warm out today.

    I love chickweed. It's my favorite salad green. And not just because I can harvest it fresh all winter long. The taste is exceptional: clean, bright green without a trace of bitterness, but just a little salty , Umm !

    Umm...smell the fresh sea air. There's our supper. Ready to be cut. Snip, snip. We'll be like the hairdresser for the little star lady. Our haircut will encourage the chickweed to branch many times and provide that many more tender shoots for our next cutting.

    And our cutting keeps the leaves large. Well, large for chickweed. I see your point, but, look, some of these are nearly as big as your thumbnail. In a, harsher habitat, the leaves don't get any bigger than your tiny toenail.

    But large or small, all the leaves are an even, bright, clear green, absolutely smooth, and growing in opposed pairs. See how the leaf stalks get longer and longer as they get farther and farther from the growing tip?

    Old chickweed is mostly stalk and not as edible as the tender leafy parts. Snip the growing leafy tops off, like this. And leave behind the soiled, stalky stuff. Lay it in the basket in a neat bundle, with all the stalks parallel. That makes it easier to chop for salad when we get back to the kitchen, No fuss, no mess, no dirt, no tedious washing.

    Look at this line of hairs that runs up the stem. Just one tiny line of hairs on an otherwise totally smooth plant. That's not a second line of hairs; this one merely jumped to the other side there at the leaf node. It goes around to each of the four directions, as in a prayer to the four elements: fire, water, earth, and air.

    You almost need a magnifying glass to see the hairs, unless you hold the stem to catch the light, just so, making the hairs visible.

    Take another look at the stem. See how it barely rises from the ground? Not that it exactly creeps or lies on the ground, but chickweed can be said to grow out instead of up. There are so many branches to the stalk, and more here than usual, since my cutting increases the branching, that a single plant seems to grow like a super-nova, radiating out and up.

    ~ Page Two ~

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