Herbal Medicine Ezine --  Wise Woman Wisdom
July 2005
Volume 5 Number 7

What's Inside Weed Wanderings this Month...

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Healing Wise ...
Plantain:
First Aid in Your Backyard

by Corinna Wood

Plantain
First Aid in Your Backyard

by Corinna Wood

Twelve years ago, I was walking barefoot with a friend in the Catskill Mountains. I was enjoying the flowers and conversation when I suddenly felt an excruciating pain. I quickly realized I had stepped on a bee. Immediately, I was flooded with memories of the last time I was stung on my foot: restless nights and over a week of pain and itching. My friend, who was studying herbs with me at the time, suggested plantain, an herb that was growing right at our feet. I I said, "Sure, plantain may be good for mosquito bites, but this is a BEE STING! I don't think so!"

After a few minutes, as the throbbing pain increased, I decided to give the plantain a try after all. I picked a leaf, chewed it up, and put it on the bite. A minute later (to my astonishment), the throbbing and burning had almost completely disappeared! In ten minutes, when the pain began to return, I put on a fresh poultice and again experienced immediate relief. Same thing half an hour later, then several hours later, and a few more times over the next day. In less than 24 hours, the sting was completely healed.

I no longer dread bee stings. Over the last twelve years, I have turned to plantain many times - whenever I, my child, or any of our friends have been stung. I have learned that the sooner we use it, the better. So when someone cries out that they've been stung, one of us goes straight for the plantain. And it's always just a few steps away!

Plaintain flower @ Barclay Heights Bed & Breakfast Saugerties NYPlantain, one of the most widespread "weeds" in the world, is a first-choice remedy for many skin ailments. It is safe and effective, for not only bee stings, but also for bleeding, cuts, bruises, bug bites, hemorroids, and itchy skin. Its ability to draw out infection - as well as spinters and even glass shards - is especially remarkable.

The easiest way to make a plantain poultice is to chew up the leaf, put it on the wound, and cover it with a band-aid to hold it in place. Saliva actually contains many antibacterial properties (which may be why animals lick their wounds). If a "spit poultice" is not for you, you can chop plantain with a knife or in the blender with a little water.

So how do you find plantain? Luckily, it is one of the top three plants in lawns, along with dandelion and grass. There are actually two species of plantain that grow in our area: lance-leaved plantain (Plantago lanceolata) and broad-leaved plantain (Plantago major). They can be used interchangeably.

The easiest way to identify plantain (of either type) is that it has leaves with parallel veins. Most plants have leaves with veins that fork outward from a central midrib. Plantain, on the other hand, has side veins and a midrib which all run parallel to one another down to the base of the plant. Plantain doesn't have showy flowers, but it does have a distinctive, compact seed head that turns from green to brown as the seeds mature. All parts of the plant, including the seeds, are edible.

To enjoy plantain's healing properties year 'round, it's easy to make your own plantain oil (see box). This oil will last you through the winter when plantain dies back. It also comes in handy when mosquitoes make a meal of your arms and legs. A dozen spit poultices is probably more than anyone wants to make!

Plantain is what my family uses instead of an over-the-counter antibiotic cream. When my two-year-old hurts himself, he knows where to find plantain. A day later, as he takes off his poultice, my heart warms as he delights, "Mommy, it's healed! Plantain made it better!"

Making Plantain Oil

Choose a dry, sunny day and harvest the plantain in the afternoon (once the dew has dried). Tightly pack a clean, dry jar full of plantain leaves. Cover with olive oil to the top. Place the jar out of direct sunlight and let it sit at room temperature for six weeks. Every day for the first week, top off the oil so that it completely covers the leaves. After six weeks, strain out the plant material. You now have your own green, medicinal plantain oil!

For permission to reprint this article, please contact herbs@redmoonherbs.com.

Corinna Wood has opened the hearts of thousands to the wisdom of the plants and their own bodies. She is director of Red Moon Herbs, an herbal medicine company focusing on women's health and fresh, local plants. Corinna's background includes a B.S. in biology and an extensive apprenticeship with Susun Weed. Corinna is certified as an Herbalist, a Fertility Awareness Teacher, and also in Permaculture Design. Corinna lives with her family at Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.



Red Moon Herbs organizes the first annual Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference

For at least ten years, the other regions of the country have held women's herbal conferences--California, the Northeast, the Southwest . . The time has come for the Southeast to join in this powerful and vital tradition! This event will weave together hundreds of women to reweave and celebrate women’s powerful healing traditions.

The conference will be held September 16-18th, at Camp Merrimac in Black Mountain, NC. Camp Merrimac is 1 mile from downtown Black Mountain, which is 15 minutes from Asheville, NC, and 30 minutes from Earthaven Ecovillage, where Red Moon Herbs is based. The camp is in a beautiful, private, and wooded settining, including a lovely small lake, which the women will enjoy in both the sunlight and the moonlight (the conference falls on a full moon weekend!).

Motherwort and Bee @ Barclay Heights Bed & Breakfast Saugerties NYSusun Weed will give the keynote presentation on Herbal Medicine: The Wise Woman Way. Susun will also give an exciting class on Optimum Nutrition Beyond Heroic. There will be intensives on Menopause with Susun, Wholistic Sexuality with Sheri Winston, and The Language of Plants with Suki Roth. Other leading women herbalists presenting from all around the Southeast include Kathleen Maier, Katherine Chantal, Robin Bennet, Corinna Wood, and Whapio.

Over thirty other classes include Herbs for Young Children, Pampering the Skin with Herbs, Moon Cycle Magic, Local Herbs from an Eastern Perspective, Aphrodisiacs, Midwifery and Pregnancy. There will be Plant Walks and hands-on Herbal Medicine Making classes offered throughout the weekend.

Mornings begin early with yoga, and all the meals will feature delicious local, organic food. Evenings will feature local woman artists, with woman-centered dance & music, fun & frolic. Sunday afternoon, there will be a field trip to Red Moon Herbs and Earthaven Ecovillage.


For more information about the conference, and to register go to:

http://www.redmoonherbs.com/womens_herbal_conference/index.php

Study with Susun Weed in the convenience of your home! Choose from four Correspondence Courses: Green Allies, Spirit & Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition, Green Witch, and ABC of Herbalism - includes audio/video tapes, books, assignments, special mailings, plus personal time.

  Learn more at www.susunweed.com or write to:
Susun Weed PO Box 64 Woodstock, NY 12498
Fax: 1-845-246-8081


Visit Susun Weed at: www.susunweed.com and www.wisewomanbookshop.com
Vibrant, passionate, and involved, Susun Weed has garnered an international reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings, and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges conventional medical approaches with humor, insight, and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine. Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative.

Susun is one of America's best-known authorities on herbal medicine and natural approaches to women's health. Her four best-selling books are recommended by expert herbalists and well-known physicians and are used and cherished by millions of women around the world. Learn more at www.susunweed.com

Introducing a brand new course:

ABC of Herbalism
A Correspondence Course with Susun Weed

A special course for the aspiring herbalist who would like to have me "by your side" teaching you how to identify, harvest, and buy 52 healing herbs. I'll "watch over your shoulder" as you make nourishing herbal infusions, tinctures, vinegars, oils, honeys, poultices, soups, and beauty aids.

Your studies will be both experiential and intellectual. You will make and use herbal remedies as well as reading about them in a variety of sources. You will try out my favorite remedies.

Your course materials include:
* Fifty-two herbal projects and twenty health projects to complete at your own pace. (Value $100)
* Guidance in developing a green ally.
* Five herbals: 1. A City Herbal; 2. Common Herbs for Natural Health; 3. Healing Wise; 4. The Herb Book; 5. Natural Health Bible. (Value $80)
* Up to four more books -- your choice from the enclosed list. (Value up to $65)
* Four of my audiotapes or one of my videotapes -- your choice from the enclosed list. (Value $40)
* Three hours of phone time to talk with me personally. (Value $300)
* Initiation and completion gifts.
* Erratic mailings several times a year for two years. (Value $50)
* A 50% discount on three days of classes with me. (Value up to $150)
* A graduation certificate for you to frame and hang. (Priceless)


Click here to learn more about the ABC's of Herbalism Correspondence Course

Register online at www.wisewomanbookshop.com or via mail:
Susun Weed PO Box 64, Woodstock, NY 12498 ~ phone/fax: (845) 246-8081

Learn more about Wise Woman classes with Susun Weed

Healing Wise
by 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 $17.95.

 


Wizard of Weeds DVD

Wizard of Weeds DVD

Dr. Peter Gails, the Wizard of Weeds, shows you how to harvest the bounty of your backyard for your culinary pleasure and health. Discover the bounty of wild foods.

Time: 63 minutes Green Earth Studio Produced by HerbTV Studio

 

Price: $14.95

Order Wizard of Weeds DVD in our Bookshop

 


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INDEX | CHILDBEARING & MOTHERING | YOUR INTUITIVE DREAMS | EMPOWER YOURSELF
WISE WOMAN WISDOM | ANTI-CANCER LIFESTYLE | THE GODDESS SPEAKS| FEATURED LINKS