Wise Woman Herbal Ezine

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  • Monday, May 28, 2018 6:41 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    8 Keys to Healthy Bones

         1. Good nutrition for your mother while pregnant with you.

         2. Good nutrition for you during the formation of your bones.

         3. Monthly menses throughout your fertile years, especially before 30.

         4. Special attention to maintaining high levels of protein, fat, minerals,
             and vitamins from herbs and foods in your diet when menses cease
             during pregnancy, lactation, or after menopause.    

         5. Regular rhythmical movement, the faster the better, daily. 

         6. Consistent practice of yoga, tai chi, or any strengthening, opening,
             flexibility-building discipline.
         7. Chop wood, carry water.    

         8. Eat yogurt.   

  • Monday, May 28, 2018 6:28 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)



    by Susun Weed


    More and more American women are using herbal remedies to help them with menopausal problems. Those who do take ERT (estrogen replacement) or HRT (hormone replacement) may be surprised to discover that herbal medicine has a lot to offer them as well.

    Herbs for women on ERT/HRT include those that alleviate side-effects as well as those that counter problems caused by the hormones.

    Herbal Helpers Counter Side-Effects

    Water retention is the symptom most often cited for dissatisfaction with hormone replacement. Herbal tinctures and tea, such as dandelion or cleavers, and ordinary foods can not only relieve the distress, they will go to the root of the problem and help prevent recurrences.

    Dandelion root tincture (Taraxacum officinale) strengthens the liver and helps it process out the excess hormones you are taking. When the liver works well, the kidneys work better, and tissues no longer bloat. A dose is 10-20 drops in several ounces of water or juice 2-3 three times a day. If you have any digestion problems, take your dandelion before meals; otherwise, anytime is fine. You can safely take dandelion daily for months or years if you need or want to.

    Cleavers herb tincture (Galium molluga) tells the lymphatic tissues to get moving. Relief from edema is usually rapid when 20-30 drops are taken in several ounces of water or juice. Repeat up to six times at hourly intervals if needed. Cleavers is especially helpful for easing swollen, sore breasts.

    Foods that relieve water retention include (in order of effectiveness): asparagus, nettles, corn (and corn silk tea), grapes, cucumbers, watermelon (and watermelon seed tea), parsley, celery, black tea, and green tea.

    Headaches are the second most common side-effect of hormone use. Unfortunately, they are common among menopausal women not taking hormones, too. Herbs that help relieve headache without a drug-like action - such as dandelion, yellow dock, milk thistle, burdock, garden sage, skullcap, and St. John's/Joan's wort - are generally considered safe to take with hormones.

    Chinese herbalists say headaches are caused by liver stress. My favorite liver-strengthening herbs are dandelion, yellow dock, milk thistle seed, and burdock. I use one at a time, a 15-25 drops of the tincture several times a day, for two weeks. If symptoms continue, I switch to a different herb.

    A strong tea of garden sage leaves (Salvia officinalis) offers immediate relief from headaches and helps prevent future ones. It also reduces night sweats. Tinctures of skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) and St. Joan's/John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) ease pain and relieve muscle spasms. Use 5-20 drops of skullcap and a dropperful of St.J's at the very first sign - no, the very first thought - of a headache. Repeat the doses every five minutes until pain free. Skullcap can be quite sedative, especially in large doses.

  • 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.

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