Tag Archives: Herbs

Grandmother Speaks… The Vagina (Part 2)

by Susun Weed

Georgia O'Keeffe, Series 1, No. 8I am the sheath of the sword. I am toothed, armed, and ready to bite. I have the power to defend, to keep women safe. I am not passive, accepting, ready to be filled. I am aware, watchful, ready to reject what I don’t want and to seize what I will.

Listen to me and I will tell you how safe we are, right now, in this moment. When we are secure, I am open and receptive, moist and inviting. When we feel threatened, I become cold and hard, hot and tight, irritated, and inflamed. If the danger goes on and on, I weep, I am overrun.

In health and joy, I am a rich and thriving ecosystem: friendly yeasts, beneficial bacteria, and a generous assortment of slippery, slidey lubricants thrive in my tangy-tasting depths.

I am stretchy. I am expansive. Fill me and I yearn for more. I am yielding; I melt, I surrender. Yet in yielding, I deliver. I am the victor. I clench my fist and grab the prize. Mine. Read More...

Grandmother Speaks… the Vagina

by Susun Weed

The Vagina – part 1

orchidI am the sheath of the sword. I am toothed, armed, and ready to bite. I have the power to defend, to keep women safe. I am not passive, accepting, ready to be filled. I am aware, watchful, ready to reject what I don’t want and to seize what I will.

Listen to me and I will tell you how safe we are, right now, in this moment. When we are secure, I am open and receptive, moist and inviting. When we feel threatened, I become cold and hard, hot and tight, irritated, and inflamed. If the danger goes on and on, I weep, I am overrun.

In health and joy, I am a rich and thriving ecosystem: friendly yeasts, beneficial bacteria, and a generous assortment of slippery, slidey lubricants thrive in my tangy-tasting depths.

I am stretchy. I am expansive. Fill me and I yearn for more. I am yielding; I melt, I surrender. Yet in yielding, I deliver. I am the victor. I clench my fist and grab the prize. Mine. Read More...

Be Your Own Herbal Expert – Part 8

Healing sweets: herbal honeys, syrups and cough drops - Part 2

by Susun S Weed

Herbal Syrups

elderberries

Herbal syrups are sweetened, condensed herbal infusions. Cough drops are concentrated syrups. Alcohol is frequently added to syrups to help prevent fermentation and stabilize the remedy. Cough drops and lozenges, having less water, keep well without the addition of alcohol.

Bitter herbs, especially when effective in a fairly small dose, are often made into syrups: horehound, yellow dock, dandelion, chicory, and motherwort spring to mind in this regard.

Herbs that are especially effective in relieving throat infections and breathing problems are also frequently made into syrups, especially when honey is used as the sweetener: coltsfoot flowers (not leaves), comfrey leaves (not roots), horehound, elder berries, mullein, osha root, pine, sage, and wild cherry bark are favorites for "cough" syrups. Read More...

Be Your Own Herbal Expert – Part 8

Healing sweets: herbal honeys, syrups and cough drops - Part 1

by Susun S Weed

Honey

honey & chamomile Honey has been regarded as a healing substance for thousands of years. Greek healers relied on honey water, vinegar water, and honey/vinegar water as their primary cures. An Egyptian medical text dated to about 2600 BCE mentions honey 500 times in 900 remedies. What makes honey so special?

First, honey is antibacterial. It counters infections on the skin, in the intestines, in the respiratory system, or throughout the body.

Second, honey is hydroscopic, a long word meaning "water loving". Honey holds moisture in the place where it is put; it can even draw moisture out of the air. A honey facial leaves skin smooth and deliciously moist. These two qualities - anti-infective and hydroscopic - make honey an ideal healer of wounds of all kinds, including burns, bruises and decubita (skin ulcers), an amazing soother for sore throats, a powerful ally against bacterial diarrhea, and a counter to asthma. Read More...

An Abundance of Greens

by Susun S Weed

peachesI didn’t lose it all in the recent USA downturn, but, like many others, I watched my material wealth shrink this past year. Am I worthless because I’m worth less? Of course not. I’m worthwhile, no matter what I’m worth financially. Having less money doesn’t have to mean having less joy or less abundance. I didn’t lose my job – since I am self-employed, I know I won’t be laid off – but work has slowed down, giving me time to appreciate the many ways abundance pops up in my life.

An abundance of things is not fulfilling or satisfying. Having many things can be a burden. It takes time to care for them, leaving less time to enjoy them. Things can be lost, stolen, or broken, giving rise to anxiety about loss. To find abundance, give something away. Trust that the empty hand will be filled. Read More...

Quench Your Thirst with Herbs

by Susun S Weed

linden teaAs we slide from summer into autumn, the sun seems hotter and fiercer than ever. And the summer's heat makes us thirsty. What shall we drink? There are so many choices. Since 2003 the number of new drink products on the market has tripled. How are we supposed to choose the best drinks? Does it even matter?

I think it does. The liquid portion of our diets is as important as the solid portion. That's why I drink herbal brews, nourishing herbal infusions to be exact, instead of juice or water. Some herbs are powerhouses of nourishment, energy, and health-promoting factors. By choosing those herbs as my drink, I increase the amount of protein, vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients in my diet without consuming extra calories, and at a cost of only pennies a day. I'd rather drink nourishing herbal infusions than any other beverages. I drink infusion in the morning, throughout the day, and in the evening, too. Read More...

Everyone Ought to Have a Little Mother[wort] Around the House

by Susun S Weed

tincture"Everyone ought to have a little Mother around the house," grandmother Edith would frequently say. The Mother she meant is motherwort, a locally common weed and a treasured ally to women stressed by menopausal problems.

Grandmother Edith's love affair with motherwort began when her hot flashes knocked her out in the supermarket, continued as it mended her husband's heart, and grew and grew as her five daughters found relief from PMS and menstrual cramps, constipation and the crazies with the help of the little Mother, motherwort. Read More...

Be Your Own Herbal Expert – Part 7

by Susun S Weed

herbsHerbal medicine is the medicine of the people. It is simple, safe, effective, and free. Our ancestors used -- and our neighbors around the world still use -- plant medicines for healing and health maintenance. It's easy. You can do it too, and you don't need a degree or any special training.

Ancient memories arise in you when you begin to use herbal medicine. These lessons are designed to nourish and activate those memories and your inner herbalist so you can be your own herbal expert.

In our first session, we learned how to "listen" to the messages of plant's tastes. In session two, about simples and water-based herbal remedies. In the third, I distinguished safe (nourishing and tonifying) herbs from more dangerous (stimulating and sedating) herbs. Our fourth session focused on poisons; we made tinctures and an Herbal Medicine Chest. Our fifth dealt with herbal vinegars, and the sixth with herbal oils.

In this, our seventh session, we will think about how we think about healing. Read More...

Be Your Own Herbal Expert – Part 4

by Susun S Weed

Echinacea TinctureHerbal medicine is the medicine of the people. It is simple, safe, effective, and free. Our ancestors used -- and our neighbors around the world still use -- plant medicines for healing and health maintenance. It's easy. You can do it too.

In your first lessons, you learned how to "listen" to the messages of plant's tastes, how to make effective water-based herbal remedies, and how to distinguish safe nourishing and tonifying herbs from the more dangerous stimulating and sedating herbs.

In this lesson, you will learn how to how make herbal tinctures. You will make tinctures from fresh and dried roots as well as from fresh flowers and leaves.

Then you will collect your tinctures into an Herbal Medicine Chest and begin to use them. Shall we begin?

Tinctures Act Fast

Tinctures are alcohol-based plant medicines. Alcohol extracts and concentrates many properties from plants, including their poisons. Alcohol does not extract significant amounts of nutrients, so tinctures are used when we want to stimulate, sedate, or make use of a poison. (Remember that nourishing herbs are best used in water bases such as infusions and vinegars.) Read More...

Be Your Own Herbal Expert – Part 5

by Susun S Weed

Apple cider vinegarHerbal medicine is the medicine of the people. It is simple, safe, effective, and free. Our ancestors used -- and our neighbors around the world still use -- plant medicines for healing and health maintenance. It's easy. You can do it too, and you don't need a degree or any special training. Ancient memories arise in you when you begin to use herbal medicine -- memories which keep you safe and fill you with delight. These lessons are designed to nourish and activate your inner herbalist so you can be your own herbal expert.

In our first session, we learned how to "listen" to the messages of plant's tastes. In session two, we learned about simples and how to make effective water-based herbal remedies. The third session helped us distinguish safe nourishing and tonifying herbs from the more dangerous stimulating and sedating herbs. Our fourth session focused on poisons in herbs and herbal tinctures, which we made and then collected into an Herbal Medicine Chest.

In this, our fifth session, we will find out how to help ourselves and our families with herbal vinegars, one of the green blessings of the Wise Woman Way. Read More...

Be Your Own Herbal Expert – Part 6

by Susun S Weed

herbsHerbal medicine is the medicine of the people. It is simple, safe, effective, and free. Our ancestors used - and our neighbors around the world still use - plant medicines for healing and health maintenance. It's easy. You can do it too, and you don't need a degree or any special training. Ancient memories arise in you when you begin to use herbal medicine - memories which keep you safe and fill you with delight. These lessons are designed to nourish and activate your inner herbalist so you can be your own herbal expert.

In our first session we learned how to "listen" to the messages of plants' tastes. In session two we learned about simples and how to make effective water-based herbal remedies. The third session helped us distinguish safe nourishing and tonifying herbs from the more dangerous stimulating and sedating herbs. Our fourth session focused on poisons in herbs and entered the herbal pharmacy to herbal tinctures, which we collected into an Herbal Medicine Chest. Our fifth session found us still in the pharmacy, learning how to make and use herbal vinegars for strong bones and healthy hearts.

In this, our sixth session, we remain in the herbal pharmacy and turn our attention to herbs in fat bases. We'll explore fresh infused oils, ointments, salves, and lip balms, essential oils, and even herbal pestos. Read More...