Wise Woman Herbal Ezine

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  • Tuesday, June 02, 2020 4:34 PM | Anonymous

    by Susun Weed

    Safe Use of Herbs After a Cesarean:

    ·       Water-based infusions provide optimum benefit and greatest safety

    ·       Capsules are most likely to cause ill-effects and odd reactions

    ·       Avoid poisonous forms of herbs such as essential oils

    ·       Use tinctures diluted to treat acute problems

    ·       Herbs move rapidly into breast milk (10-20 minutes)

    Simple Nourishing Herbs for Mother and Child After a Cesarean:

    1. Nourishing herbal infusions:

    ·       Nettle (Urtica dioica)

    ·       Oatstraw (Avena sativa)

    ·       Comfrey leaf (Symphytum uplandica)

    ·       Red clover (Trifolium pratense)

    ·       Linden flowers (Tillia americana)

    2. Benefits of nourishing herbal infusions after a cesarean:

    ·       Nettle increases breast milk and helps replace blood loss.

    ·       Oatstraw improves sleep and strengthens the nervous system.

    ·       Comfrey leaf helps incisions heal and helps prevent scarring.

    ·       Red clover improves breast milk production and brings hormonal sanity.

    ·       Linden soothes and heals mucus surfaces and incisions; prevents colds.

    Tonic Herbs for Mother and Child After a Cesarean:

    1. Water bases:

    ·       Raspberry leaf (Rubus ideaus) to tonify uterus.

    ·       Aromatic mints - rosemary, lavender, and lemon balm - for digestion.

    ·       Avoid sage (Salvia officinalis) if breast feeding.

    2. Tincture bases:

    ·       Astragalus (A. membranaceous) strengthens immunity, prevents infection.

    ·       Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) to ease after-birth pain and prevent post-partum depression.

    Herbs That Can Counter Infection After a Cesarean:

    ·       Echinacea (Echinacea augustifolia) to increase macrophages; counter bacteria.

    ·       Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) against all gram-positive and -negative bacteria.

    ·       Usnea (U. barbarata) to counter deep infection.

    ·       Poke root (Phytolacca americana) - USE WITH CAUTION.


    Benefits to Being Pro-Active in Healing After a Cesarean:

    ·       Quicker healing for mom.

    ·       Less scarring of the incision site.

    ·       Better bonding between mom and babe.

    ·       Deeper sleep for mom and babe.

    ·       Fewer problems with infection at incision site and fewer infections for baby.

    Bringing It Home:

    1. Making nourishing infusions:

    ·       One ounce stinging nettle, quart of boiling water; steep 4 hours - for energy.

    ·       One ounce oatstraw, quart of boiling water; steep 4 hours - for patience.

    ·       One ounce comfrey leaf, quart of boiling water, steep 4 hours, strain; rebrew with two cups cold water, bring to a boil; steep 4 hours, strain - to improve chances of a VBAC with next child.

    ·       One ounce red clover blossom, quart of boiling water, steep 4 hours, strain - to prepare for the next pregnancy.

    ·       One-half ounce linden flowers, quart of boiling water, steep 4 hours, strain; rebrew with two cups cold water, bring to a boil; steep 4 hours, strain.

    2. Additions to infusions:

    ·       Honey (Note: do not give honey to infants younger than 12 months)

    ·       Milk

    ·       The Israeli Public Health Ministry recommends against soy beverage for children under the age of eighteen (18); it's not good for mom either.

    ·       Ice

    ·       Juice (Note: problems with fructose)

    3. Sources for buying herbs and tinctures:

    ·       Listed in my books and website

    For Further Information:

    ·       Visit www.susunweed.com

    ·       Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year by Susun Weed

  • Friday, May 29, 2020 10:51 AM | Anonymous

    One of my favorite herbs -- oatstraw -- is a grass. Oatstraw (Avena sativa) is the dried leaves, or straw, of the plant that gives us the grain oats, found in most households as rolled oats. I use a full ounce (by weight) of dried oatstraw, with or without seeds, in a quart of boiling water, steeped at least four hours, to make a restorative tonic.

    Oatstraw is considered an herb of longevity in India. American herbalists value it as a strengthener and nourisher to the nerves. Like oats themselves, oatstraw infusion is heart healthy and cholesterol-lowering. Many a menopausal woman has praised oatstraw's cooling, calming ways.

  • Wednesday, May 20, 2020 9:13 AM | Anonymous

    Herbal Oils for Breast Self-Massage Part One
    Excerpt from: Breast Cancer? Breast Health! the Wise Woman Way
    by Susun S. Weed

    Using infused herbal oils is an easy and pleasurable way to keep your breasts healthy, prevent and reverse cysts, dissolve troublesome lumps, and repair abnormal cells. Breast skin is thin and absorbent, and breast tissue contains a great deal of fat, which readily absorbs infused herbal oils. The healing and cancer-preventing actions of herbs easily migrate into olive oil—creating a simple, effective product for maintaining breast health.

    Add beeswax to any herbal oil and you have an ointment. The antiseptic, softening, moisturizing, and healing properties of beeswax intensify the healing actions of the herbs and carry them deeper into the breast tissues. Whether you want to maintain breast health—or have had a diagnosis of cancer—infused herbal oils and ointments are soothing, safe, and effective allies.

    Burdock seed oil (Arctium lappa)
    One of the world’s most valued allies for nourishing the scalp, thickening the hair, and restoring hair growth is burdock seed oil. It won’t make more hair grow on your breasts, but it will do a wonderful job of keeping your breast tissues healthy. Burdock seed oil strengthens cells and quickly relieves bruises caused by fine needle aspirations, biopsies, breast surgery, injections of chemotherapeutic drugs, and other medical procedures. If your breast skin breaks out in a rash (from surgical tapes or drains or nervousness), burdock seed oil offers quick relief.

    Calendula blossom oil (Calendula officinalis)
    Calendula blossom oil is a reknowned old wives’ remedy against breast cancer, yet it’s gentle enough for regular use. Older books call it pot marigold, causing some people to confuse it with the unrelated modern garden marigold. In addition to keeping breast tissues healthy, calendula excels at preventing—and, with patience, removing—adhesions and scar tissue, even keloid scars.

    Keloid scars are elevated, hard scars, usually with irregular edges. They can be painful, especially when they occur as a result of breast surgery. Keloid scars are caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue at the site of an injury or incision and are more frequent in dark-skinned women than light-skinned women. Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that bind together internal body surfaces that ought to be free to slide by each other. Adhesions are common after abdominal surgery but can form after breast surgery.

    For maximum effectiveness, infuse slightly dried calendula blossoms in lard (organic if possible). The animal fat is taken deeper into the tissues than vegetable oils and rapidly dissolves lumps.

    Golden calendula oil brings new life to dull skin and is highly recommended for breast self massage.

    Cancerweed root oil (Salvia lyrata)
    This uncommon plant contains ursolic acid, and is a folk remedy for cancer. The roots of the more common ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) are similar in action. Oil/ointment of either plant, used several times a day, is said to eliminate cysts and abnormal breast cells including indeterminate lesions and hyperplasia.

    Castor oil (Ricinus communis)
    The commercially extracted (not infused) oil of the seeds of this poisonous plant was the remedy most frequently recommended by the psychic healer Edgar Cayce for resolving lumps and growths. (The poison isn’t in the oil, but—if taken internally—castor oil is a strong laxative.) The classic application is a hot castor oil compress made by baking a flannel cloth saturated in castor oil in the oven until it is thoroughly heated. This hot compress is applied, covered with plastic and/or layers of towels to hold in the heat, and kept on as long as possible. In extreme cases, compresses are applied continuously, day and night. For small lumps, room temperature castor oil is applied morning and night ( before bed), and covered completely with a regular adhesive strip (or two).

    Comfrey root oil (Symphytum officinale)
    Comfrey root oil/ointment is a specific remedy for those with sore breasts. It is especially wonderful for breast self massage.

    Infused oil of comfrey root (best) or leaves is one of the most amazing healing agents I’ve ever used. Comfrey oil/ointment both strengthens tissues and helps them become more resilient and flexible. As a pre and post surgical ally, it has no peer. Time after time, I’ve seen deep wounds, old wounds, stubborn wounds, and persistent ulcers heal fast, with little or no scarring, when dressed with comfrey.

    If you’ve heard scare stories about comfrey—or read elsewhere, even in this book, to use only comfrey leaves—this remedy may alarm you. Substantial, lengthy internal use of comfrey root can cause liver damage (not cancer) in rare instances. But external use of comfrey root, even for extended periods, has never been connected to liver damage, nor any other harm.

    Dandelion oils (Taraxacum officinale)
    Dandelion has a special affinity for breasts. Regular use of dandelion flower oil promotes deep relaxation of the breast tissues, facilitating the release of held emotions. Applied regularly to the entire breast area, glowing golden dandelion flower oil can strengthen your sense of self worth as well as your immune system. Easily made, this oil is a superb ally for regular breast self massage, and highly praised by those doing therapeutic breast massage.

    Dandelion root oil, used alone or in conjunction with the flower oil, can help clear minor infections, relieve impacted milk glands, and reduce cysts in the breasts.

    Essential oils
    Essential oils are concentrated oils obtained from aromatic plants by steam distillation or with chemical solvents. They are capable of killing normal as well as abnormal cells, and severely disrupting liver and kidney functioning. Essential oils are quite different from infused oils (which are made by steeping fresh plants in an edible oil). Essential oils can cause poisoning; infused oils cannot. Essential oils can’t be made at home; infused oils can. Essential oils can be costly (up to $300 per ounce); infused oils are reasonably priced (generally under $10 per ounce). Essential oils can irritate tender skin; infused oils rarely do. Essential oils are used in small amounts; infused oils are used lavishly.

    Caution: Test your sensitivity before using essential oils. Put a drop of the oil on the sensitive skin inside your elbow. If your skin gets red or mottled, itches or burns in the next 12 hours, be very cautious with essential oils and certainly don’t use them on your breasts. My cat’s neck fur fell out after I anointed her chin with three drops of essential oil to (successfully) rid her of fleas!

    Essential oils of citrus, rosemary, lavender, marjoram, juniper, or clary sage—ten drops diluted in one ounce/30 ml of olive oil—have been used to increase circulation to the breasts, warm them, activate the immune system, and offer the healing benefits of their aromas as well.

    Excerpt from: Breast Cancer? Breast Health! the Wise Woman Way
    by Susun S. Weed

  • Thursday, May 14, 2020 4:41 PM | Anonymous

    Weed Walk - Dandelion, Chicory and more

    Dandelion (Taraxacum off.) leaves are smooth on the back. They are often
    confused with chicory, shepherd’s purse, and wild lettuce.

    Chicory (Chicorium intybus) leaves are hairy, and much bitterer; few like it in salads.

    Shepherd’s purse (Bursa capsella-pastoris) leaves taste like cress.

    Wild madder (Galium mollugo) tips are yummy in salads.

    Cleavers (Galium aparine) sticks to your tongue; wait a while, until it has seeds on it, then we will tincture some.

    Cronewort (Artemisia vulgaris) leaves and roots are still mild enough for salads.

    Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella) leaves add a sour tang to salads

    Baby burdock (Arctium lappa) leaves spring up from the overwintering root. Too bitter for me, and definitely not for salad, but they are served as a cooked green by some Italian-Americans.

    Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is big enough to harvest for soup.

    DO NOT EAT marsh marigold (Caltha palustris). Just admire the beauty, soon gone, of another spring ephemeral.

  • Tuesday, May 05, 2020 5:31 PM | Anonymous

    Strengthen your immune system!
    by Susun Weed


    Echinacea root is the all-American immune system strengthener. It triggers production of white blood cells, interferon, leukocytes, T-cells, and B-lymphocytes, as well as directly inhibiting the growth of most bacteria and viruses. Peter Holmes, author of Energetics of Western Herbs, cites it as being effective against anthrax. Echinacea tincture is my first choice for countering infection. (Capsules and pills of Echinacea, if used for lengthy periods, may be counter-productive.) A dose of the tincture is one drop for every pound of body weight. I take this several times a week as a preventative; several times daily when there is active infection.

    Usnea, a common lichen, is especially rich in a powerful antibacterial bitter called usnic acid (also usinic acid). I use the tincture of Usnea barbata (a dose is 1-2 dropperfuls), but other lichens show similar immune-enhancing and tonifying properties. There are no side effects reported from use of even large amounts of usnea tincture.

    Poke root tincture (Phytolacca americana) kicks the immune system into gear incredibly fast. I’ve seen chronic infection of many years’ standing resolve after only one dose, and acute infection subside in a matter of hours. Poke’s effect seems to be focused on the lymphatic and glandular tissues of the throat and chest, making it the perfect counter to inhaled anthrax, which attacks the lymph nodes around the lungs. Poke is a specific against pneumonia and a protector of the lungs. It contains an antibacterial alkaloid and a special antiviral protein. It magnifies the effects of Echinacea and they work wonderfully well together.

  • Tuesday, May 05, 2020 5:24 PM | Anonymous

    Wild Salad with Wild Flowers

    You will need a sharp pair of plant scissors and a few baskets. For safety sake, I harvest each plant into a different container. Keep the chickweed stalks parallel as you cut them and place them in your basket that way, making them much easier to cut into uniform pieces.

    Largest basket (about 50% of salad): chickweed leaves, flowers, and stalks

    Large basket (about 25% of salad): first year garlic mustard leaves

    Medium basket (about 5% of salad): mild leaves, your choice, mallow or five-finger ivy (Virginia creeper)

    Smaller baskets (total of 20% of salad): aromatic, strong-tasting plants like lemon balm, wild oregano, bergamot, cronewort, mint, catnip, and thyme

    Smallest basket: Mixed flowers. Individual blossoms of Queen of the Night, violets, periwinkle, and wild geranium. Entire flower heads of garlic mustard and barbara’s cress.

    Preparation: Cut chickweed into small (1/2 inch) pieces; tear garlic mustard, mallow, and five-finer ivy into bite-sized pieces; finely mince aromatic plants. Combine in a bowl. Add a splash of tamari, a good pour of herbal vinegar, and plenty of extra virgin olive oil (at least one tablespoonful per serving of salad). Toss, artfully arrange flowers or simply toss them on the salad and serve. I like gomasio (sesame salt) on my salads, so I shall have to teach you how to make it soon!

    Green blessings.


  • Tuesday, May 05, 2020 4:49 PM | Anonymous
    Weed Walk with Susun

    Forsythia is edible, oh my!

    So is periwinkle (Vinca minor) so long as you limit yourself to no more than 2 blossoms a day.

    Even tulip petals (but not daffodils, oh my!) can go in the salad

    Chickweed (Stellaria media) is ready to harvest for salad, oil, tincture, and pesto.

    Wild carrot (Daucus carota) leaves are loaded with potassium and delicious in salads. (They smell like carrot.)

  • Wednesday, April 29, 2020 1:16 PM | Anonymous

    Combine garlic mustard leaves, wild madder tips, minced wild chives,
    chopped wild carrot leaves, chickweed, and cronewort shoots.

    Dress with garlic mustard root vinegar, olive oil, and tamari; toss.

    Garnish with at least three different wild flowers. Enjoy!

  • Tuesday, April 28, 2020 5:46 PM | Anonymous

    Weed Walk with Susun

    Violets (and pansies and jump-ups) come in many colors, each with a different taste.

    Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) flowering tips are delicious in salads.

    Red maple flowers are a gourmet treat.

    Cherry blossoms, apple blossoms, peach flowers too; all the rose family trees provide flower petals rich in vitamin C.
    (I shake them loose after they have been pollinated.)

  • Tuesday, April 21, 2020 6:45 PM | Anonymous

    Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)

    • Ease stressed nerves, relieve anxiety

    Motherwort calms, supports, and strengthens you the way the smell of your mother did when you were very young. Used regularly, motherwort feeds your nerves and your good common sense, relaxing and unclenching any held tension.

    Motherwort is not sedating, but calming, leaving you ready for action, not flying off the handle or bouncing off the walls. Ask motherwort to be your ally in tough times, in shaky times, in grief-filled times.

    Try 10-20 drops (tincture from fresh flowering plant) as soon you feel your nerves starting to fray or just before a stressful event. Repeat every five minutes if needed.

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