MONTH 2018
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Healing Wise ...
with Susun Weed

Beginner's Mind
Are you a beginner in herbal medicine? Or are you an old hand? Whichever you are, Beginner's Mind is the mindset I recommend.

Herbal medicine is best when approached with an attitude of discovery and a willingness to fail. That is how beginners do it. And that is how it is when we are in beginner's mind.

I found myself saying recently that the reason we need teachers is to show us which rules can be broken, which can be bent, and which need to be followed exactly. I am an absolute bear about weighing out the one ounce of herb to be used to make a nourishing herbal infusion, and about having it be one, only one, herb. But I am happy to support your experimentation with vinegars, tinctures, and oils. (So long as you make simples and combine them if you are experimenting with combinations.)

Beginners in herbal medicine are very important people to me. I want to spark your interest in herbal medicine. I want to help you learn to identify plants and their families. I want to be the one who shows you how incredibly simple (and fun) it is to make herbal remedies. And, of course, I want to help you understand how much of your remedy to use and when to use it.

It takes seven lifetimes to become an herbalist. Perhaps that's because we need lots of chances to forget what we think we know and come again as a beginner, with Beginner's Mind, a mind that is full of awe and wonder.

That's why I am including in this week's ezine not one, but two recipes easy enough for any beginner. I suspect I have shared them with you before, but that is one of the essences of herbal medicine: repetition. I make nettle soup< over and over again, week after week, year after year. But I can only make pom-pom cordial for a few weeks out the year.  Enjoy!

All of my courses and classes are simple enough for the rankest beginner. All my books and audio/visual material are written for and created for the greenest novice. And the work-exchange weekends that we will be having during November are perfect for beginners. How wonderful that old hands find benefit too. Ah! Repetition. There is no end to our learning about herbs and health. The spiral turns.

Halloween Weed Walk

Here comes the Witches' New Year. The official beginning of winter. The Day of the Dead. Halloween. Trick or treat. Apple cider and stars. Are there any plants left to play with? Of course. The frosts are nipping the tenderer plants these nights, but there are still plenty of green blessings to entice us outside. Here are a few green offerings I found this morning.

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiac)
Are you surprised to discover that motherwort is nearly evergreen? Ah, how wonderful to be a beginner, no matter how much we know. These tender leaves that are sprouting everywhere make a delicious vinegar.

Poor Witches Pepper (Lepidium virginicum
Though my field guide calls it "poor man's pepper," we know who really uses these seed pods as a peppery condiment. Since it is in the mustard family, no surprise that the seeds are "biting!" and hot. I toss them into salads, or harvest the dry seeds and use them in a mill instead of black pepper.

Potted Kale (Brassica oleracea)
We enjoyed being with the purple kale (in pots) on the deck all summer long. Now we will eat it, as I don't have room to bring it in and our winters are typically cold enough to kill even kale. In milder climes, or with some care in harsher weather, it will happily overwinter.

Chickweed (Stellaria media)
Chickweed is back, now that the weather is cooler. It thrives on my compost pile and in all the potted plants. It partners so nicely with garlic mustard in my early winter salads, with a few lemon balm or catnip (or even yarrow) leaves, finely minced, for savor. And, if you catch it before hard frosts kill it, there is still time to make chickweed tincture.

Simple Nettle Soup

  • Bring to a boil, 2 cups of water per person.
  • While the water is heating, harvest at least one ounce (by weight) of fresh nettle tops per person.
  • Drop the nettle tops into the boiling water.
  • Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 1-2 hours.
  • Turn off heat and allow soup to steep for up to 8 hours.

To serve: Heat. Add miso to taste. South River Chickpea Miso is exceptionally good in nettle soup.

Pom-Pom Cordial

  • Fill a bottle with peeled pomegranate fruit.
  • Fill the jar to the top with 100 proof vodka.
  • Lid and label. Let your pomegranate tincture sit for six weeks.

To serve: Mix 1 ounce (liquid measure) of pomegranate juice and 1 ounce (liquid measure) of pomegranate tincture. Sante!

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 $19.95
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

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:



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