APRIL 2019
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Healing Wise ...
with Susun Weed

Something new is blooming everyday now
Green greetings to you all, friends, students, and mentor-ees.

Once again, the little bulbs of Holland burst forth in color to enliven the last days of spring. It sure is nice to sit back and enjoy the work I put in months ago when I planted those bulbs.

Something new is blooming everyday now. I have chosen some real wildflower beauties to share with you this week. But not to worry, not only are they beautiful (and beautifully dressed in becoming shades of white, yellow, and blue) they are medicinal too.

It is almost time for my semi-annual workshop at Rowe Center in northwest Massachusetts.  This year it is the first weekend of May and we are gathering to celebrate the trees. Rowe Center is one of those special places where they get everything "right:" the food, the energy, the accommodations, the teaching spaces, the wonderful staff. I guarantee that our weekend together absorbing the medicine of the standing people will be relaxing, renewing, and, as always, filled with stories, songs, recipes, and the magic and mystery of the green nations. I hope you will join me.

Speaking of workshops, I still have openings available in the Green Goddess Apprentice Week and the Green Witch Intensive this summer at the Wise Woman Center. These events always create a community of women focused on learning to love themselves and learning how to use simple herbal medicine, the Wise Woman Way.

We're coming to the end of our core curriculum on cedar. I trust you have found one or more ways to invite Grandmother Cedar into your life. Soon we will switch our focus to plantain, ever useful, ever peaceful plantain, the bandage plant. If you haven't already, now is the time to choose a mentorship level so you can enjoying the special core curriculum, special teleseminars, videos, and more.

Below is a recipe for new greens salad, made from plants you already know. Enjoy!


Here are three pretty, and possibly poisonous, wildflowers for you to enjoy. These plants are not for your salads, nor are they to pick for indoor beauty. Leave them alone. Admire them outside in their natural settings. If you do use them, please harvest only tiny amounts for medicine. The earth and the plants thank you.

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)   
Here are the gleaming yellow flowers of coltsfoot, so named because it the shape of its leaf. Note the hairy, white scales on the flower stalk. Dandelion has yellow flowers just like coltsfoot does, but its flower stalk is smooth. Because the flower appears before the leaf (an adaptation that increases pollination chances for small plants of deciduous forests), coltsfoot is sometimes called "son before the father." The leaves of coltsfoot have been smoked to counter asthma, but are not considered safe for internal use. I have eaten them, with no immediate consequences, but they do contain problematic PAs. Coltsfoot flowers may be preserved in honey and used to counter coughs.




Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
As soon as I see the buds of the bloodroot I know that summer is nearly upon us. These charming wildflowers announce the presence of an unusual root. Just beneath the surface of the ground lies a finger-thick rhizome. Cut it and it appears to bleed red blood. Thus, the name. And thus, the belief, supported by science, that bloodroot will heal bleeding gums and counter gum disease. I feel protective of this little plant and only dig one rhizome per year, making just enough tincture (with 100 proof vodka) to put one drop a day on my toothbrush. Remember also, that plants with colored saps are usually poisonous. Large doses of bloodroot are more likely to cause harm than to help.




Periwinkle (Vinca minor)
Here's another pretty, poisonous plant. "Poison" is often a matter of quantity; a large amount of something may be deadly, while a small amount of the same substance may be medicinal. I have, indeed, eaten the small amounts of the stunning blue-purple flowers of wild periwinkle, with no ill effects. I limit myself to no more than 2 per day, though, just to be on the safe side. Her sister, Madagascar periwinkle is poisonous enough to kill cancer. Vincristine is one drug made from periwinkle. Alas, it takes tons of the plant to make a single dose of the drug, so doing this at home is simply not feasible, practical, or safe.




New Greens Salad
  • One-third chickweed (Stellaria media), cut in one-inch pieces
  • One-third garlic mustard leaves (Alliaria officinalis), torn in half
  • One-sixth purple dead nettle flowers and leaves (Lamium purpurum)
  • One sixth wild chives or dandelion leaves




Garlic mustard (Alliaria officinalis)
Here it is again. Return, return, return. The loathed and loved, hated and heralded, vicious, vibrant garlic mustard. Grab it while it is still young and tender. Once it bolts (sends up a flower stalk), it gets too bitter for many palates. (Not ours, I will admit. I continue to put flowers and little leaves from flowering plants into my salads.) There may be a new YouTube of Monica Jean and I making garlic mustard root (also known as wild horseradish) vinegar. One of my prize vinegars and ever so helpful for clearing the sinuses.




Baby cronewort (Artemisia vulgaris)
And here comes Artemis striding back from her winter journey, spreading her silver radiance over the ground. Return, return. The little emerging fronds of cronewort are outstanding in salads, especially when chopped up a bit. When I am clearing an area of cronewort (it is soooo invasive), I keep the roots and leaves, rinse them well, then make a vinegar of them. It is delightful as a salad dressing, especially for invoking dreams of fairies, but I get ahead of myself, Fairy Salad is next week.




Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
And now the most famous spring tonic in the world makes her return appearance. Welcome back Dr. Dent-de-lion.  You are a most generous and compliant plant: Any part of you, harvested at any time, and prepared in any way, can be used successfully to benefit the digestive system, liver, pancreas, kidneys, and breasts. You will want to check out the simple recipe for Dandelion Wine (and lots of other dandelion recipes) in my big green book Healing Wise. And do be on the lookout for dandelion greens at farmers' markets, green grocers, and supermarkets this month. When you find them (or harvest your own), try one of my most cherished recipes, Dandelion Italiano.



Susun Weed’s books:




Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year
Author: Susun S. Weed. Simple, safe remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns. Includes herbs for fertility and birth control. Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker. 196 pages, index, illustrations.
Retails for $14.95
Order at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com





Healing Wise
Author: Susun S. Weed. Superb herbal in the feminine-intuitive mode. Complete instructions for using common plants for food, beauty, medicine, and longevity. Introduction by Jean Houston. 312 pages, index, illustrations. Retails for $21.95
Order
at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com



NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way

Author: Susun S. Weed. The best book on menopause is now better. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. Introduction by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, illustrations. Retails for $19.95
Order
at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com
For excerpts visit: www.menopause-metamorphosis.com



Breast Cancer? Breast Health!


Author: Susun S. Weed. Foods, exercises, and attitudes to keep your breasts healthy. Supportive complimentary medicines to ease side-effects of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or tamoxifen. Foreword by Christiane Northrup, M.D. 380 pages, index, illustrations. Retails for $21.95
Order
at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com



Down There:
Sexual and Reproductive Health the Wise Woman Way

Author: Susun S. Weed Simple, successful, strategies cover the entire range of options -- from mainstream to radical -- to help you choose the best, and the safest, ways to optimize sexual and reproductive health.
Foreword: Aviva Romm, MD, midwife, 484 pages, Index, illustrations Retails for $29.95
Order at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com

 

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