facebook   twitter   goodreads   youtube   google plus  


Green Blessings ...
with Susun Weed

Island weed walk

Green blessings from Mama Ocean and me

I flew out of Seattle last weekend with people dancing in a downpour; I flew in with fires burning in the night across the forests of Washington State. In between, I was on Whidbey Island, at the First Pacific Northwest Herbal Symposium: Botanicals on the Beach.
And I did go to the beach, although not in a swimsuit. One of my favorite herbalists, Ryan Drum, led a low tide seaweed walk. What an abundance of marine life surrounded us. . . including a harbor seal and some giant tube worms.

As the tide pulled away from the shore, acres of brilliant green sea lettuce and floating sheets of purple nori were exposed. Out in the water, and washed up on the rock, we found lots of brown kelps, including Fucus and Nereocystis and wakame.

I was pleased to find out that all seaweeds are edible, and all of them, even the commercial sheets of nori, give us seaweed goodies. The brown kelps contain algin, a binding agent that draws radioactivity and heavy metals, including lead and mercury, out of tissues and into the digestive tract and thus, out of the body. Plus the brown ones, especially focus, are more active in keeping the thyroid healthy. So the kelps are the ones to focus on, but nori is not to be shunned.

In addition to the wet plants, there were dry ones too. It was too windy to get any good ocean photos, but I was able to capture a few dry old friends higher on the beach to share with you.

Hold on to your hats. The wind really blows here on the island. Notice how short the plants are? About half the size I am used to. There is hardly any winter here, but the force of the wind causes the plants to hunker down. This beautiful group contains our old friends dock and yarrow, plus a new face (grindelia) and the stunning purple seed pods of a cabbage family weed.

Artemisia suksdorfii
The lovely local "sagebrush" shares the properties and uses of many other Artemisias, like cronewort (Artemisia vulagris). It is an excellent smudge to attract dreams of all sorts. It makes a tea that helps digestion and can clear bladder infections. And it helps hold the soil against rain and wind erosion. These wise old plants are such wonderful grandmothers to us all.

Rumex species
The red-headed local "dock" is heavy with seeds. And those seeds are delicious preserved in vinegar, or threshed, dried, roasted, and ground into meal. They taste a bit like their domestic sister buckwheat. The leaves are curly on the edges, so probably not too bitter to eat. And the roots are no doubt yellow – thus the common name "yellow dock" – are so helpful in increasing iron in the blood.

Achillea millefolium
It may be short, but this yarrow certainly is lush with flowers and leaves. I am certain it would be happy to help me defend myself both before and after I got wounded or sick. Because it must grow in poor sandy soil, yarrow produces more oils and resins, making the tincture of the flowering top more antibacterial and more helpful in dealing with lung problems and bladder infections. And wonderfully effective in repelling insects. Now is the best time to harvest leaves for oils and ointments.

I know gum weed from my visits to Tucson, but sandy soil is sandy soil, no matter where you are, whether in the Southwest desert or the Northwest coast, and it seems that is what grindelia likes. As a member of the enormous, and enormously useful, Aster family, this DYC (darn yellow compositae) well supplied with medicinal resins and antibacterial properties. It is said to be calming to those with breathing problems linked to heart rate problems.

Three Seaweed Recipes

Mother Earth Ocean Soup
Ingredients: 3 onions, chopped, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 6 potatoes, cubed, 2 carrots sliced, 2 parsnips, 1 cup sliced dried or fresh wild greens, 1 cup dried seaweed of your choice, 12 cups pure water.

Method of Preparation: Sauté onions in oil until brown. Add all the remaining ingredients and cook until vegetables are done. Adjust seasonings adding sea salt as needed and let mellow overnight or serve immediately.

Green and Purple Salad
Ingredients: 4 cups of watercress, 1 cup dulse pieces, 1 cup goat cheese. Olive oil and lemon at table for dressing.

Method of Preparation: Tear watercress and dulse into pieces. Arrange on 4 plates of brilliant hue. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese. Dress with oil and lemon. Voila!

1 cup dried hijiki, 1 cup warm water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 onions crescent cut, 2 carrots diagonal cut, 1 tablespoon tamari.
Method of Preparation: Soak hijiki in water about 20-30 minutes. Cut onions in half from top to bottom, then cut into slices. Cook onions in oil until very brown. Put the carrots in an even layer over the onions. Top with a layer of hijiki. Add tamari and about half of the soaking water and cover pan tightly. Cook until the carrots are tender.

Excerpt from Susun's Healing Wise

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:




Wise Woman Herbal Ezine is sponsored by and


©Susun Weed -Wise Woman Center
~ Disclaimer & Privacy Policy ~