Weed Wanderings Herbal eZine with Susun Weed
June 2004
Volume 4 Number 6
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What's Inside Weed Wanderings this Month...


Wise Woman Wisdom ...
We All Need Weeds:
Strengthening the Immune System

by Marie Summerwood

Marie Summerwood
mentor at the Wise Woman University


With the change of season many of us catch colds or the flu, or some other seasonal illnesses, or healing opportunities. Herbs and home remedies are important as strengtheners and restorers of our immune systems. One or two well-placed regular herbal choices can help carry us through the season. But let me mention several and you might choose some from the list. Some are strict herbal remedies such as tinctures, others are herbs that work their way into the diet easily, such as herbal infusions and soups.

Sun King by Nancy DelliberSimple and effective, inexpensive and impossible to measure since so much preventive care happens with herbs. But our bodies know, and we often hunger for the right herbs, if we know a few to choose from. I know when I get too stressed I want nettle leaf infusion everyday for days; then I feel restored and I keep drinking it. Buy organic if possible, it's not that much expensive.

Place 1 C dried nettle leaf in a quart jar. Fill to the brim with boiling water, stir, cover, and let sit on the counter overnight or for four hours. The deep dark liquid is a coilloidal suspension and both the liquid and the suspended food particles are exquisite sources of many mineral salts, including iron, calcium, zinc and more. Nettle leaf is also considered completely safe herb for restorative treatment for the kidneys and adrenals.

No article about this topic would be complete without reference to Echinacea root. The tincture works very well to nourish production of white blood cells and other immune system components that travel throughout the body fighting infection. The general dose is 1 drop of tincture per pound of body weight. It can be taken several times a week or several times a day, once per hour, when dealing with active infection. I carry a full tincture bottle around with me when I am sick.

Usnea barbata is a lichen that grows on trees in rain forests, both tropical and temperate. It contains usinic acid which enhances and tonifies the actions of our immune systems. No side effects are reported from even substantial longterm use of this tincture although as with any new herb, take a very small dose to begin, in case it doesn¹t agree with you. Usnea has both antibacterial and antiviral effects and has been known to stop a flu in its tracks. No guarantees but I have seen it work many times. It can also be taken in small doses over time or in large doses when dealing with immediate illness.

Buddah by Nancy Delliber Astragalus root is a wonderful crossover herb from Traditional Chinese Medicine. Its rich supply of starches nourish the immune system deeply, in the bone marrow. Astragalus can be used for long periods of time, as its action is nourishing. You can make an infusion of dried astragalus root, or add a handful to another infusion, as it doesn't have much taste of its own. As the herb is quite woody and inedible. you can fill an herb bag with dried astragalus root and cook it in a soup or in beans. Allowing the pot of soup to infuse overnight with the root will bring out even more of the herbs ability to build powerful immunity. Remove the bag of root before serving.

Medicinal mushrooms are great immune system tonics. For that matter, all wild mushrooms are very enhancing to the immune system. But a few are champions. These include Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) and Reiishi, (Ganoderma lucidum and other species). As for the shiitake, eat them. they are delicious.

Dried or fresh, they are delicious medicine. As for Reiishi, you can buy the tincture, or you can make tea from the dried mushroom. Chop up some of the very hard mushroom in a coffee grinder until it becomes beige fluff. Use a good handful of fluff per quart of water. simmer covered for one hour. You¹ll have a dark brown liquid that has a bitter taste and a mushroom taste. Some people drink it straight, others add milk and honey and drink it as a coffee alternative.

Hydra by Nancy DelliberMany other herbs can be used to strengthen immune system. Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus) is widely held to be one of the best immune system tonics available in herbal medicine. It is safe, helps the immune system respond quickly. Use the tincture or again, cook a piece of dried root in your soup.

When strengthening the immune system, it is also important to identify any immune system suppressors or detractors that are in your life. Overuse of coffee, tobacco, alcohol, vitamin/mineral supplements can depress the immune system, as can almost all prescription drugs, For a healthier immune system, eat very well and drink nourishing herbal infusions such as nettles.

Regular exercise is a great way to tonify all the body¹s systems including the IS. Make sure you sleep in a completely dark room at night if you want to improve your immune system functioning. Even lighted alarm clocks can be too much light if they are close to your face. And get at least 15-20 minutes of light a day outside without your classes or contacts.

Food is an effective way to restore and strengthen ourselves daily . Eat seaweed of all kinds, and cooked dark leafy greens such as collards. Cook them (don¹t steam them) in water for at least 30 minutes to release many of the carotenes and mineral salts. Garlic is a wonderful food to improve immune system functioning. You can eat a little raw if you want but cooked garlic is still plenty supportive of our health in many ways. You just have to eat more. Garlic in soups, and in beans, make large pots and freeze meal portions for future use.

Daily attention in even small amounts makes a difference over time - months, years. The best way to restore and strengthen the immune system is slowly and regularly, with intention. Herbal allies offer support that makes a difference in our strength and our endurance. They are safe and effective at holding us as we wrangle with the rodeo ride of life.

Marie Summerwood for 25 years, has been a voice for the Earth. In addition to her love for magnificent cooking Marie also teaches chanting in the Wise Woman Tradition - It is her sacred work to write and sing chants to honor all women. . Her second CD—Step into the River—joins her first—She Walks With Snakes—in praise of Her.

read some other writings of Marie Summerwood:
Women's Sacred Chants


...from the kitchen of Marie Summerwood


Marie Summerwood
She Walks With Snakes - Women's Sacred Chants

17 chants - Produced by Marie Summerwood.
One-hour audio CD for $15

Listen to some sound clips:
I Honor What Is Sacred -mp3
She Walks With Snakes -mp3
Open Until Then -mp3



Vocalists: Cherie Ackerson, Debra Lee Gertz, Lois Needham, Lisa Renaud, Carol Resnick, Radell Roberts, Marie Summerwood.

Musicians: Lisa Davis, Suzanne Jerrett, Amy Jerrett.

order SHE WALKS WITH SNAKES in our Bookshop

A Labyrinth of Chants with Marie Summerwood--CD

With chant we journey to the heart of the Great Mother and anchor ourselves there. With chant we feel at one with Her voice, Her heartbeat. With chant we remember our place as the daughter of the Mother of the World.

These chants were written in Bastrop Texas at a workshop called "Chantwriting for Goddesswomen." Marie Summerwood, musical artist and teacher of women's sacred music, led the day during which each of the 14 women present wrote her own chant. This CD shares with you the beautiful music created that day.

Come, chant with us. Chant in the name of the sacred feminine in us all, in the name of She Who.

Order A Labyrinth of Chants in our Bookshop

CLASSES with Marie Summerwood

May 15: Sacred Heart of Mary with Marie Summerwood

We'll gather in sacred song to Mary and be blessed by the beautiful love of Her sacred heart. Her presence is strong in circles of women like us. She loves us; come feel the love of Mary. I am Marie Summerwood, singer of sacred music, composer and green witch. I am a priestess who claims Mary as my sacred mother. I have long blessed and been blessed by the Wise Woman Center.

This day-long workshop is taught at the Wise Woman Center in Woodstock NY.


Find out more & REGISTER HERE


May 16: Chant, Chant, Chant with Marie Summerwood

Yes, that's right, we'll chant and chant. We'll feel how chanting holds and heals us. Learn about breath and intention, the sacredness of women chanting together, and yes, we'll chant. I am Marie Summerwood, singer of sacred music, composer and green witch. I am a priestess who claims Mary as my sacred mother. I have long blessed and been blessed by the Wise Woman Center.

This day-long workshop is taught at the Wise Woman Center in Woodstock NY.


Find out more & REGISTER HERE



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