MARCH 2013
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Healing Wise ...
with Susun Weed

Longevity of Herbs

Longevity of Herbs

How long an herb can be stored and stay useful depends on many factors, primarily

1.    The weather when the herb is harvested needs to be dry and sunny to prevent the growth of molds and bacteria on the dried herbs.
2.    Organic and wild-grown plant seem to last longer than commercial herbs.
3.    Harvesting the herb at the right time in its growth assures the longest lasting dried herb. Using a sharp cutting tool is also important.
4.    Herbs need to be dried immediately after they are harvested. Protein-rich herbs are fussy and need to be handled in special ways. Other herbs are tougher and easier to dry.
5.    Herbs stored in a cool, dry place will retain usefulness for the longest possible time.
6.    Herbs kept as whole as possible will store for longer than those that have been cut or powdered.

Elmed Matzo Brie
for two

2 whole wheat matzos, broken into small pieces
4 organic eggs from down the road, beaten with a palmful of water
1-3 tablespoonfuls of slippery elm powder (or 1 each slippery elm and astragalus powders)
½ teaspoonful sea salt
2 tablespoons organic butter or coconut oil

Beat slippery elm powder into the eggs. Add broken matzo pieces. Let soak for as long as it takes to read the funny pages in the newspaper or to do the daily crossword. If these are inconceivable luxuries, then soak the matzo in the egg and slippery elm overnight and it will be ready to cook in the morning.

To cook, melt butter in a heavy (cast iron) skillet. Add soaked matzo and any extra egg to the skillet all at once. Lower heat a bit and cook until it is firm enough to turn over, hopefully as one piece. Continue to cook until the egg is set and the matzo is hot.

Delicious with fresh fruit and maple syrup or sour cream, though I like a savory version, with herbed tara cheese as the topping.

Greeting to you all, friends, students, apprentices, mentor members, and new faces!

Bird songs are filling the air around me! Today the red tailed hawks were calling back and forth and flying over the goats and I in wide swoops. A delightful display to entertain us as we all laid about, basking in the sun, soaking up those vitamin D rich rays.

Did you know? From spring equinox to autumn equinox, fifteen minutes of exposure (arms and face) to the midday sun will net about 60,000 IU of vitamin D. Any excess is stored for up to two years. Yep, right through the winter. So let's get outside and make some vitamin D, while the sun is shining.

While we're outside, we are bound to see a cedar tree or juniper bush. They grow everywhere it seems: city and country, desert and mountain, icy and sweltering. No matter where you are, you can find a cedar or a juniper and follow along as we explore these ancient, mysterious, magical trees in the coming weeks.

Speaking of coming weeks, apprentices will soon arrive and class will begin. For the past three years I have had spectacular live-out apprentice groups. This year too few of you have chosen this option. So I want to pitch it to you. It's a great opportunity and so reasonably priced, too. You have two years to complete your live-out apprenticeship: to attend every one of my one-day classes plus at least one moon lodge. Plus you get to stay over Saturday night in between workshops and have dinner and participate in frequent special teaching events scheduled for that evening. And did I mention that you save big time? You get a glorious graduation ceremony, which includes, at your discretion, an initiation as a green witch, too.

I really want several more special people to participate as live-out apprentices. If you are attracted to do this, it is not too late to apply. I am flexible about payments and your need to skip weekends. If you are inclined, but undecided, come to one or more of the first four workshops this spring and I will apply a credit of up to $300 ($75 per workshop) to your live-out apprentice fees. A bargain, I tell you. No lie.

Meanwhile, find a cedar or a juniper and read the following poem out loud to it. You will be surprised at the plant's reaction.

Cedars and junipers are everywhere. They grow on rocky river banks. They grow in boggy swampy swales. They grow way out in the woods where no one ever goes, silent and alone. They grow right next to your house, or your apartment building, lending a healing aura and a refreshing fragrance. You'll find them landscaped in industrial parks.

You'll find them thwarting window access at the library. You'll find them in the midst of things; you'll find them at the abandoned homestead. You'll find them in Japan, in Europe, in the West Indies, and in every ecosystem in North America. You'll find them in the desert Southwest, in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, in deciduous forests of the East, along coastal areas of the Great Lakes, in Southern swamps, in the Arctic north, and even in the prairies of the Heartland. Cedar and juniper are everywhere.

I'm going on a long walk to visit cedar grandmother. Want to come? Along the way, we can visit some of her sisters and cousins and share some cedar stories and songs.

Look up. Did you realize we were already sitting under a cedar tree? This is a northern red cedar. Possibly planted here a century ago, possibly a wilding that was cherished and kept when the house was built. Yes, she is very tall, but not so tall as her sisters, the western red cedars, which can tower up to 150 feet/50 meters.

Come closer and feel her bark. Shut your eyes and run your hands up and down the trunk. Slowly, with care. Then move your hands softly from side to side. We will do this again at the end of our walk when we visit with grandmother cedar.

I won't ask you to feel the needles with your eyes shut, as you might get stuck by a sharp point. Open your eyes and stand up. What do you notice? That the branches droop down? That the air is scented with cedar? That there are two kinds of leaves on this cedar? That the leaves are fernlike? That they are held parallel to the ground in flat, spreading sprays? That there are both green berries and purple berries? Good, then you will always be able to identify a cedar.

Only cedars have both fat, flat, thick needles and slender, sharp, awl-like needles. If you can't see the pointed ones, I guarantee you can feel them. Ouch! The flat needles are segmented or scaled, like a dragon, but so minutely that it is hard to see without a hand lens. Here, use mine. The leafy portion of cedars and junipers is the part most often used: as smudge, as infused oil, as tea, and even tinctured.

Green blessings everyone.

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:

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

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 $22.95
For excerpts visit:

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

Down There: Sexual and Reproductive Health the Wise Woman Way
Publication date: June 21, 2011
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:

Abundantly Well - Seven Medicines The Complementary Integrated Medical Revolution
Publication date: December 2019
Author: Susun S. Weed
Seven Medicines build foundational health and guide you to the best health care when problems arise. Includes case studies, recipes, exentsive references and resources. Introduction by Patch Adams illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard 352 pages, index, illustrations
Retails for $24.95
Order at:



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