“'Simply' is Safe”
Review of “Nutritive and Tonic Herbs”
An intensive given by Susun Weed at the 2007 Green Nations Gathering
By Jan Calloway Baxter
2 CD Set
I have two warnings for you about these two CDs. Or maybe three. First, not much is said about “tonic” herbs. I think Susun ran out of time. Second, they will make you sing or at least hum and want to order Lisa Thiel tapes. (Go to http://www.herbalmedicinehealing.com and put Thiel in the search box to scratch this itch.) And if you’ve ever wondered why Susun sings at the beginning and end of her sessions, you can find out on this CD.
In classes or talks where Susun runs out of time, you may not get quite as much breadth as you came for, but I promise you will get more depth than you ever imagined. After listening to this talk, you will be able to converse about the wonders of nettle to anyone at anytime. I could barely get through the second CD without getting up to brew some nettle infusion.
You can also get a very cogent explanation of why Susun believes that such elements as guarana, caffeine, ginger, and cayenne stimulate and undercut your personal energy. Nettle, “Blood of the Earth,” on the other hand , nourishes and rebuilds kidneys and adrenals from the inside out, building your essential energy. Thinking of nettle as Blood of the Earth has helped me because you should treat nettle infusion in the same way that you treat any blood product (like meat). Nettle infusion will keep in the fridge for only a day or two. But it can be eaten in so many different ways—iced, heated, frozen as ice cubes, used as soup stock, with honey, miso or even whisky in it! So having trouble drinking your infusions every day? Take another approach!
You can learn in great detail how to make nettle infusions—and that method works for many herbs—as well as how to make linden infusions—a bit more complicated because it has two steps. (still SO simple) But “simply” as it is used in our title, means using a “simple,” one herb at a time. That way you can learn one herb intimately and know how it effects you. Once you hear Susun’s analogy for using simples, you’ll never forget it!
You can find out why teas are not nearly as effective as infusions, at least infusions as Susun defines them. Why supplements are injurious to your health. Why boiled water used in infusions is great for absorbing the minerals from dried herbs. Why calcium supplements make your bones brittle. Why Susun doesn’t sell herbs or specialized combinations. “If I sell you a special combination of herbs that I have made and it works for you,” she says, “your power is in my pocket. And I am more interested in empowering YOU.” She talks a bit about the ethical concerns of herbalists, the conflict with giving information and selling product at the same time.
Other nourishing herbs mentioned by Susun in this talk along with nettle and linden are red clover and comfrey. It’s easy to remember what red clover can do for you when you realize that it is usually grown in order to make hay for lactating and pregnant animals—cows and sheep. This herb of fertility is also a powerful cancer-fighter. It has twice as many phytoestrogens as soy—which has falsely been labeled a “health” food. And if you’re worried about the pyrrolizidine alkaloid scare concerning comfrey, listen to Susun explain why she isn’t worried.
I am amazed every time I hear about the amount of protein and minerals that these nutritional herbs can provide us. Drinking herbal infusions is a simple, inexpensive way to get good nutrition and improve your energy level. I’ve got to go now, give my nettle leaves back to the earth now that they have been thoroughly infused, and drink some tasty, nourishing Blood of the Earth. I prefer mine with sea salt.
© 2010 Jan Calloway Baxter
Listen to a 30 minute radio interview with Jan Calloway-Baxter
Nutritive and Tonic Herbs
- 2 CD set
Susun S Weed. 8th International Herb Symposium 2007.
Nourishing and tonifying herbs are often overlooked in favor of more dramatic, faster-acting stimulating and sedating herbs.
Can stinging nettle, oatstraw, comfrey leaf, linden flower, red clover blossoms, burdock, chickweed and dandelion really replace supplements? How come I call them nutrition powerhouses?
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