Wise Woman Herbal Ezine

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  • Wednesday, June 09, 2021 1:51 PM | Anonymous

    NEW Personal mentorship website!

    Exciting news.
    I have a beautiful, new, custom-built mentor site and it rocks!

    As a mentored student, you’ll open the door to exclusive content, special photos, new videos, private talks with me, bi-weekly group zoom meetings, recipes, bonus gifts, and lots more.  
    The new site is a basket overflowing with green wisdom from my heart to yours: easy access to new and old workshop talks, lots of plant monographs, my radio show archives (including HealthyLife and Time Monk), and so much more.
    Everything you need to learn your way.
    Let’s explore green blessings together and have fun.

    Check it out and Register here: 



  • Tuesday, May 11, 2021 8:58 PM | Anonymous

    Twilight Salad
    by Susun Weed

    Serves 4

    Buy a nice bunch of arugala or watercress. Or, better yet, harvest your own. Chop into 1½-inch lengths.
    Collect 30-40 large first-year garlic mustard leaves and tear them into thirds or quarters.
    Collect 25-30 hedge mustard leaves and tear them in half.
    Collect ¼ cup creeping Jenny tops and mince.
    Toss all greens together.
    Garnish lavishly with Queen of the Night blossoms, periwinkle flowers, and purple pansies.
    Serve – at twilight, of course – with tamari, herbal vinegars, extra virgin olive oil, and gomasio.

  • Tuesday, May 11, 2021 8:57 PM | Anonymous

    St. Joan’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a natural antiviral. One of its alkaloids, pseudo-hypericin, kills HIV. But ingesting it in concentrated form causes hypersensitivity to sunlight, making it useless as a drug. Fortunately, the tincture of the fresh plant - even in large, frequent doses - counters viruses without triggering sensitivity. Avoid capsules or teas; they can cause sensitivity.
    When I feel the need to prevent a viral infection, I use one dropperful of Hypericum tincture in a little water three or four times a day for a few days. When I want to treat viral infections, I use one or two dropperfuls in water every hour or two until symptoms abate, and continue at a lower dose until I no longer need it.

    green blessings,


  • Tuesday, May 11, 2021 8:49 PM | Anonymous

    Pain-relief Alternatives
    excerpt from: Abundantly Well: Seven Medicines

    Generally best not to combine these with drugs.

    Serenity Medicine: Meditation alters brain regions that process pain.
    Mind Medicine: Acupuncture releases endorphins.
    * Alexander Technique is more effective than massage or exercise in relieving low-back pain.
    Lifestyle Medicine: Regular exercise counters chronic pain.
    Alternative Medicine: Reflexology releases endorphins.
    * A cold plunge alters pain perceptions, counters chronic pain.
    Herbal Medicine (safest first):
    * High CBD (Cannabis) - up to five drops of tincture of the fresh flowering plant, taken as often as every fifteen minutes - is my favorite non-addictive pain reliever. Often, a single dose will do. There will be some THC in the tincture, as all plants contain a mix of cannabinols, but this does not, in my experience and the experience of many students and friends, make you “high.” First choice as an ally for transitioning off opiates/opioids.
    * Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) - 5 drops of tincture of the fresh flowering plant, taken as often as needed - is my favorite pain relief, especially when I need to sleep.
    * Kava kava (Piper methysticum) - sips of the lightly-fermented infusion or dropperful doses of root tincture - offer fast, effective relief of musculo-skeletal pain, traumatic pain, chronic pain from injuries, heartache. Less likely to put you to sleep, too.
    * Willow (Salix alba) - 1-2 dropperfuls of tincture as needed - is as effective as aspirin and contains the same active ingredient.
    So does meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria).
    * Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa) - tincture of the fresh sap taken by the spoonful - may be as pain-relieving as poppy juice.
    * Valerian - up to a teaspoonful of root tincture - counters chronic pain, puts you out, leaves you hung-over and groggy.
    * Poppy (Papavera somniflora) is the source of opium, heroin, opiates, and poppy seeds. Opiates are addictive; poppy seeds aren’t.
    A tea of the fresh poppy seed heads entices the brain to make natural opiates (endorphins). Do not combine with drugs or alcohol.

    excerpt from: Abundantly Well: Seven Medicines

  • Tuesday, May 11, 2021 6:16 PM | Anonymous

    The Healing Medicine of Trees - Elder
    by Susun Weed

    ELDER is the last letter of the ogam alphabet (Ruis). It rarely attains tree status where it grows in North America, but it has taken me by surprise several times in Europe by the height to which it can grow (up to ten meters) and the tough bark it is capable of making.

    Around the world, elder is viewed as a tree that is so sacred and awesome that it is to be feared. In the British Isles, anyone who cut down an elder tree, it was believed, would suffer at the hands of the woman who lives in the elder. She is known by many names, including Elda Mohr, Hylde Moer, Frau Ellhorn, and Frau Holle. And she is found in many stories from many lands.

    She is a guardian of children and is willing to help anyone who asks her nicely. But she takes revenge if she is not honored or respected.

    One year, when I had a job taking juvenile delinquents on weed walks, I took the girls to an elder bush and had them sit under it while I told them a story about Elda Mohr. The counselor told me that many of them went back, over and over again, to sit with the Elda and talk to her. They found a refuge in her branches and ease in her leaves. Yes, elder is indeed the guardian of all children.

    Remedies made from elder flowers and elder berries (Sambucus nigra) are favorites for easing children’s fevers, colds, and flus. Elder flowers may be dried to make a tea, or tinctured fresh to bring down high fevers rapidly. Five to ten drop doses may be repeated every thirty minutes or as needed. Elder berries may be tinctured from fresh or dried berries, or turned into tasty syrups, jams, and jellies. Science confirms their flu-fighting abilities. Elder berries soothe sore throats, quell coughs, relieve asthma, ease bronchitis, and clear chest congestion. Fermented elder berries make a semi-permanent hair dye for those who prefer a their locks dark in color.

    Fresh elder flowers may be fermented into champagne.  One book refers to this brew as “Liquid Light.” It relies on the natural yeast present on the flowers, which must be picked on a bright sunny day. Elder berry wine is justifiably famous; the color and taste are unlike anything I have ever drunk.

    Ruis means “red in the face,” which some authors connect with shame and embarrassment, while others believe it refers to anger. I don’t agree with either of those views. I think it reminds us that elder is used to treat those who have red faces; in fact, I suspect it may be effective against the skin disease rosacea, which reddens the face and causes outbreaks of pustules.

    The “pimples” on the bark are the “signature” to use it against pimples. Elder leaves are steeped into a tea that is used as a wash to clear the complexion of redness and outbreaks.

    Elder leaf poultices are also used to ease sprains, bruises, and headaches. Fresh leaves are the best; I admit to never using elder this way as there as so many common poultice plants and elder, at least where I live, is rather uncommon – certainly not as near at hand as plantain or burdock leaf! An ointment of the bark is used to help heal ulcers, burns and abrasions.

    Elder trees are said to be the home of fairies. If you sleep under an elder at the full moon, you may see the fairies. If the full moon is near the summer solstice, the fairies may invite you home to play with them. An elder wand is the best one to use if you must exorcise something or someone. An elder wand wards off evil so well, the drivers of the hearses used to carry whips fashioned of elder wood.

    Elder is hollow, so it has been used to make functional pipes for transferring liquids as well as musical pipes for transferring emotions. An elder stake is said to outlast iron when put into the ground. Elder grows easily in the temperate regions; it likes cold winters. Plant one and you will enjoy her fragrant flowers, delicious berries, stately grace, and – who knows – you may even become a friend of the fairies.

  • Wednesday, May 05, 2021 4:26 PM | Anonymous

    Dandelion wine time!

    Violets are smiling at you

    Glechoma is good in salads.
    Great as a vinegar.
    And why not try an oxymel this spring?

    Mustard family plants have “upright and elongated seed pods” as we can see. All plants in the family are edible.
    This cress is yummy before it flowers. 

    The seed pods of this mustard family plant are not erect and upright. Instead they look like hearts. Thus the name: shepherd’s purse. Entirely edible. In hard times, seeds were gathered to grind as a flour extender. Tincture flowering plants and you have an excellent remedy to check menstrual flooding. 

    It’s not too soon to start eating plantain in salad. A little early for making plantain oil though.

  • Wednesday, May 05, 2021 3:55 PM | Anonymous

    Welcome Arnold and Ashay

    Ashay on the goat tower

    Purple dead nettle - (Lamium purpurea) - is a scentless mint.
    Here it is very young.


    Purple dead nettle in full bloom. Sure is pretty.

    ~ Page 2 ~

  • Monday, May 03, 2021 9:58 PM | Anonymous

    Dandelion Italiano
    This makes about a quart of intense, delicious marinated greens.
    It keeps in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.
    So I make a lot at once (doubling the recipe) and eat it bit by bit.

    You will need:
    * a “bunch” of dandelion leaves
    * a kettle and a 2-quart (or larger saucepan) or 2 large saucepans
    * a gallon of water
    * a stove or other heat source
    * a 2-quart storage dish with a tight lid
    * tamari
    * powdered (or granulated) garlic or fresh garlic, finely minced
    * extra virgin olive oil


    Harvest a pound of dandelion (or chicory) leaves.Or buy them in the produce department of your favorite store.

    Fill the teakettle (or saucepan) with water and put it on a high heat.

    Pick out any yellow, brown, or blackened leaves. Rinse well. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

    Put the cut dandelion greens into the empty (cold) saucepan.

    When the water boils, pour it over the greens, just enough to cover them. Refill the kettle and return it to a high fire.

    Stir the greens in the hot water. You may taste the water if you wish. It is bitter. We are leaching the bitterness out (but not the nutrition) out of the dandelion.

    When the kettle boils, drain the greens, then cover them with boiling water. Refill the kettle and return it to a high fire.

    Put a fire on under the dandelion greens and bring them to a boil.

    Drain the greens and again cover with boiling water from the kettle.

    You may taste the water if you wish. It is less bitter than the first.

    Cook greens until fairly soft, about 20-30 minutes. Put hot greens in storage dish.

    Add 2 tablespoons tamari and stir.

    Add 2 teaspoons garlic powder or 3-4 cloves fresh minced garlic and stir.

    Add ½ cup olive oil and stir.

    Taste. Add more tamari, more garlic, or more oil as your taste buds decree.
    Serve warm or cold. Store, tightly lidded, in the refrigerator.


    green blessings,

    Susun Weed

  • Tuesday, April 27, 2021 3:16 PM | Anonymous

    Sage the Savior
    by Susun S Weed

    Does the odor of sage evoke warmth, cheer, and holiday feasts for you? Sage has long been used to add savor, magic, and medicine to winter meals. Culinary sage is available at any grocery store, and sage is one of the easiest of all herbs to grow -- whether in a pot, on a windowsill, or in the garden. So, grab some sage, inhale deeply, and let me tell you more about this old friend.

    Sage is Salvia, which means "savior." As a member of the mint family, it has many of the healing properties of its sisters. Of special note are the high levels of calcium and other bone-building minerals in all mints, including sage, and the exceptionally generous amounts of antioxidant vitamins they offer us.

    Everywhere sage grows -- from Japan to China, India, Russia, Europe and the Americas -- people have valued it highly and used it as a preservative seasoning for fatty foods and a medicine for a variety of ills. The volatile oils in sage are antimicrobial and antibacterial and capable of countering a variety of food-borne poisons, as well as other infections.

    A tea of garden sage can help

    prevent and eliminate head colds

    soothe and heal sore throats

    clear the sinuses

    speed up immune response to the flu

    ease asthma and heal the lungs

    aid digestion, especially of fats

    improve sleep and ease anxiety

    insure regularity

    invigorate the blood

    strengthen the ability to deal with stress

    counter periodontal disease and tighten the gums

    reduce profuse perspiration

    help wean baby by reducing breast milk

    The easiest way to use sage as medicine is to make a tea of it. The addition of honey is traditional and wise, as honey is a powerful antibacterial in its own right and magnifies sage's ability to ward off colds, flus, and breathing problems. If you have dried sage, a teaspoonful brewed in a cup of boiling water for no more than 2-3 minutes, with an added teaspoonful of honey, ought to produce a pleasant, aromatic tea. If it is bitter, the tea was brewed too long, or the sage was old or too-finely powdered, or you have the wrong sage. If you have fresh sage, use a handful of the leaves and stalks, brew for about five minutes, and add a spoonful of honey. Fresh sage tea is rarely bitter. Or, you can make a ready-sweetened sage tea by using your own home-made sage honey.

    As the cold comes on and frosts threaten, I make my major mint-family harvests of the year, including pruning back the sage. Where I live, the frost won't kill the sage, but it will blacken the leaves and cause them to fall off. Before that happens, I take my scissors and cut the plants back by at least half. I coarsely chop the stems and leaves and put them in a jar. (For best results, I choose a jar that will just contain the amount of herb at hand. If there is unused space in the jar, oxidation will occur, and components of the herb can be damaged or altered.) Then, I slowly pour honey over the chopped herb, poking with a chopstick to eliminate air bubbles, until the jar is nearly full. A SAGE HONEY label completes the preparation. All that is left to do is to store it in a cool, dark place and wait for six weeks. From then on, or sooner if you really need it, the sage honey is ready to use. Just dig in! Put a heaping tablespoonful in a big mug of boiling hot water, stir and drink. Or let it brew for a few minutes, strain and drink.

    Be sure to use Salvia sages, the ones with pebbly-fleshed ovate leave, not Artemisia sages which have white hairs on the backs of the ferny leaves. White sage, frequently sold as a "smudge" herb (that is, an herb whose smoke is used to create a protective field around a space) is a Salvia sage but it is too strong for use as a food or medicine.

    I make honeys of other fresh mint family plants, too. (No, dried plants don't make good honeys.) Besides fresh sage honey I often make peppermint honey, lemon balm honey, rosemary honey, thyme honey, oregano honey, marjoram honey, shiso honey, and bergamot honey. They all help me stay healthy throughout the winter, and they all taste ever so good.

    Although the tincture and essential oil of sage are available, I find them too concentrated and too dangerous for general use. Households with children do best when there are no essential oils on hand; fatal accidents have occurred.

    I do make sage vinegar: by pouring room temperature apple cider vinegar over a jar filled with chopped fresh sage. Sage vinegar is not as medicinal as the tea but, with olive oil and tamari, it makes a delicious and healthy salad dressing. Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily can reduce your risk of adult onset diabetes by half; two tablespoons of sage vinegar daily might just keep you alive forever, as the saying goes: "Why die when the Savior grows in your garden?".

    Using herbs as allies to stay healthy and to counter life's ordinary problems is simple and easy, safe and effective. Herbal medicine is people's medicine. Green blessings grow all around you.

    Green Blessings.
    Susun S Weed

  • Tuesday, April 20, 2021 4:16 PM | Anonymous

    Chickweed is a Joint Oiler
    by Susun Weed

    Those experiencing burning, hot, searing pain from arthritis, rheumatism, stiff neck, sore back, sore legs, gout, backache, and bursitis find relief, often in a few hours, with hot chickweed baths, soaks, and poultices.

    Those with chronic rheumatic pain can use Wise Woman ways and 20-30 drops of the fresh plant tincture (taken in water several times a day for several months) to restore joint mobility and ease pain.

    To heal, stretch, and restore elasticity and strength to your tendons and ligaments, eat fresh chickweed freely, and treat with poultices or hot chickweed oil packs.

    Read more about chickweed in Healing Wise:

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