WEED WANDERINGS
with Susun Weed

October 2001 ~ Volume 1 Number 4

Legal Disclaimer

 

What's Inside Weed Wanderings this Month...

Calendar of Events

Feature Article
Menopausal Years - NEW!!

Book Review
A City Herbal


Ask Susun Weed
Nourishing Infusions and more..

Recipe of the Month
                                   Native American Indian Corn Pudding

~ New Links ~
Fun and interesting
sites for you to visit!

Extra Feature
How Safe Is Soy?


 

Weed Wanderings Archive




Calendar of Events

Wise Woman Center -- Workshops for Women
Join us this year for spirit healing and herbal medicine workshops, intensives, and apprenticeships with Susun Weed and other Wise Woman teachers. The Wise Woman Center in Woodstock NY exists to re-weave the healing cloak of the Ancients. This land, this sacred sanctuary for women is a place for the teachings of the Wise Woman way. The Goddess lives here, as do goats, fairies, green witches, and elders. Located between Woodstock and Saugerties, 5 miles from the NYS Thruway, the Wise Woman Center is easily accessible while private enough for nude swimming. You'll receive a map and directions when you register. Nourishing wild-food vegetarian meals are included with all workshops.
See the Calendar of Events & Workshop schedule (and to register) for this year, click here.





~ FEATURE ARTICLE ~


Menopause - The Wise Woman Way



NEW Menopausal Years

by Susun S. Weed


Menopause is a period of transition and metamorphosis, like puberty. It consists of three stages: isolation, melt down, and emergence. Each stage calls forth new energies and new perceptions of ourselves. Each stage has different demands, different tasks, and different needs.

Wise Woman ways, such as simple ceremony, compassionate self-care, and daily use of dooryard plants, can be of tremendous benefit to women going through menopause. Please allow me to share with you some of my favorite herbs for easing hot flashes, sleeplessness, and other distresses of The Change. They're easy to find; you may already know them as weeds! These plants, and their cautions and contraindications, are described in detail in NEW Menopausal Years, The Wise Woman Way. Please refer to it before you decide whether or not to use any of these green allies to aid you during your menopausal years.

Calcium intake during and after menopause must be high to maintain health. But calcium in pills can't compare to calcium in plants when it comes to maintaining healthy, flexible bones. Bones are made of a dozen minerals besides calcium (potassium, manganese, magnesium, silica, iron, zinc, selenium, boron, phosphorus, sulphur, and chromium), all of which are found in rich supply in the roots and leaves of edible weeds and herbs. Eating weeds is my preferred way of preventing osteoporosis and insuring freedom from heart disease, depression, headaches, leg cramps, and joint pain.

There are scores of calcium/mineral-rich plants to choose from, such as the aromatic leaves of sage, peppermint, lemon balm, bergamot, rosemary, and thyme; the cooked or fresh greens of lamb's quarters, amaranth, dandelion, chicory, comfrey, stinging nettle, chickweed, parsley, watercress, kale, collards, and cabbage; the flowers of red clover; and the roots of yellow dock, dandelion, chicory, and burdock.

For maximum extraction of mineral richness, I cook with these herbs, drink them as infusions, and steep them in vinegar. (See Old Sour Puss Mineral Mix recipe, NEW Menopausal Years - p.256)

Seaweeds have incredibly generous amounts of calcium and minerals, too. I make it a practice to eat seaweeds such as kelp, dulse, and nori daily, as condiments, and a seaweed such as wakame, hijiki, arame, and kombu once a weed, cooked with carrots or in a soup. I feed seaweed to my goats in the form of powdered kelp and to my plants in the form of a liquid emulsion. That's why we all have shiny hair, sleek skin, bright eyes, and lots of energy.

Hormones are a hot topic for menopausal women. To help myself with hormonal surges and drops, I prefer to use tinctures of plants rich in plant hormones (phytosterols) rather than prescribed hormones (estrogen replacement or hormone replacement), which actually elevate the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, contrary to advertising, and are linked to increases in breast and uterine cancers. Women whose blood is rich in plant hormones have the lowest rates of cancer in the world. Plants rich in phytosterols include: roots of dong quai, ginseng, wild yam, black cohosh, black haw, dandelion; flowers of hops, yarrow, red clover; leaves of stinging nettle, sage; berries/seeds/hips of chaste tree/vitex, fenugreek, roses.



~ Favorite Herbs for Menopausal Women ~

Oatstraw infusion (Avena sativa) strengthens the nerves, helps reduce emotion distress, promotes sound sleep, keeps the bones and heart strong, and strengthens libido. The tincture is a stronger sedative but not nourishing to the bones and heart. Oats for breakfast is an excellent way to "take" this herb, but avoid pills and capsules. Oatstraw baths are exceptionally calming. Instructions for making one are in my green book: Healing Wise.

Nettle infusion (Urtica dioica) strengthens the adrenals, eases anxiety, increases energy, helps prevent night sweats, builds blood, protects bones and heart. Eating cooked nettle is another excellent way to gather its benefits, as is nettle vinegar. I avoid freeze-dried, encapsulated, or tinctured nettle, believing all these forms ineffective and over-priced.

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) -- tincture of the fresh flowering tops -- is a favorite with menopausal women, their daughters and their mothers. A few drops (up to 25 at a time) will calm emotions, relieve heart palpitations (and strengthen the heart), reduce the severity of hot flashes, increase vaginal lubrication, moderate and eliminate PMS and menstrual cramping. Motherwort vinegar is a fantastic tonic, and tasty, thank goodness. The tea is violently bitter and disliked by 99 out of 100 women, including me, yuck.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)-- any part, in any form -- is a superb strengthener for the liver, the control center for hot flashes. Dandelion improves digestion, especially of calcium, helps relieve headaches, and sees to it that the liver provides steady blood sugar supplies. Dandelion wine (from the blossoms) is the most elegant way to take this remedy, but the cooked leaves and vinegars (as well as the pickled parts) of the roots and/or leaves are also excellent nourishing digestives. The tincture, especially of the root, is considered the strongest medicine, but doesn't contain bone-building nutrients, so is less ideal than the other forms.



Startling Facts About Menopause

The Grandmother Hypothesis maintains that "menopause, like a big brain and an upright posture, is one of the essential traits of the human which allowed us to colonize the world."

Menopause is not a recent phenomenon, but an ancient women's mystery, with special gifts for the woman who uses its energies wisely.

Estrogen is not one hormone, but many, and our bodies continue to make estrogens all of our lives. The adrenals, the fat tissues, and perhaps the uterus make estrogens.

The levels of hormones in a woman's blood are never higher than when she is in menopause.

Herbal hormone (phytosterols, or phytoestrogens) are usable by the body and, in contrast to prescribed hormones, protect against breast cancer.

For permission to reprint this article, contact us at: susunweed@herbshealing.com


Order the NEW Menopausal Years The Wise Woman Way

The Perfect Holiday Gift for a loved one or for Yourself!!


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~ BOOK REVIEW ~


A City Herbal - Lore, Legend, & Uses of Common Weeds
by Maida Silverman
Paperback - 192 pages (1997)

Maida Silverman was born and has spent her life in New York City. The fantasy of a garden of her own, overrun with fruit trees flowers, berries, vegetables,and herbs has not yet come to pass. Because of this she turned her attention to wild plants that grow in the city and found them rewarding and engrossing.




Thirty-four herbs are featured in this informative, inspiring, and useful book. Ms. Silverman includes weeds such as Blackberry, Burdock, Chicory, Dandelion, Motherwort, Mullein, Plantain, Pokeweed, Sorrel, Yarrow and many more!
With this book you will be able to:

Locate and identify wild herbs of abandoned lots, parks, and sidewalks.
Explore botanical, historical and magical lore from modern and ancient herbal sources.
Freeze, store, and preserve the plants you find
Try out and use wonderful recipes for breads, teas, salads, and cosmetics.

Here is your preview of A City Herbal - MULLEIN (Verbascum thapsus) pp.99-104


...A delightful way to get acquainted with wild herbs that you have no doubt walked on or over without ever dreaming how useful they can be. It has increased my interest and curiosity a hundredflod and I'm sure it will do the same for you. James Beard

...A treasure for city dwellers - abundant pleasures free for the finding. Silverman is articulate and affectionate as she tells of the beautiful and valuable plants - bitterswet to yarrow - in urban areas. Publishers Weekly

...Terrific....well-researched, interesting, straightforward... Washington Post

An absolutely delightful book that focuses on 34 common wild plants of the city, including their uses for food and medicine, and a great deal on their lore. The illustrations are excellent - which is rare in herbals - a perfect introduction to local plants for city friends. Organic Gardening


Order your copy of A City Herbal here


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Extra Feature...

How Safe Is Soy?
by Susun S Weed


Condensation of an article in NewLife Mag, May '96,
by Sally Fallon, M.A. and Mary Enig, Ph.D.

With widespread concern about the possible unhealthy effects of commercial meat and cows' milk many more people than before are using soy products as substitutes for animal products. Soy products are supposed to be high protein, low calorie, devoid of cholesterol, and easy to digest. The authors disagree on most of these counts.

Soybeans were one of the five sacred grains in the Orient according to records dating back to before 1134. Agricultural reports speak frequently of using soybeans in crop rotation (to fix nitrogen and thus improve soil fertility) but there is no indication that soybeans were eaten until fermentation processes were discovered, sometime around 440 BCE. The first soy products eaten by people were tempeh, natto, miso, and shoyu tamari. And it was not until some centuries later (2nd century BCE) that the process of making tofu was discovered.

While it is true that the people of the Orient have relied heavily on tofu as a source of protein for about a thousand years, this is not necessarily by choice nor beneficial. The early Chinese did not eat soybeans, although they did eat other pulses, because they recognized the large quantities of a number of harmful substances which have been well studied scientifically. Some of the most detrimental are potent trypsin inhibitors which block the action of enzymes needed for protein digestion. Soybeans also contain hemagglutinin, which causes red blood cells to lump together.

Soybeans are also high in phytates, an organic acids which blocks the uptake of calcium, magnesium, iron, and especially zinc and contributes to widespread mineral deficiencies. In fact there are more phytates in soybeans than in any other grain, bean, or plant studied and these phytates are remarkably resistant to reduction techniques. Only a long period of fermentation will significantly reduce the phytate content of soybeans. The phytates and other anti-nutrients in soybeans are only partially deactivated during ordinary cooking and can produce gas, reduce protein digestion, and create chronic deficiencies in children.

Another way to moderate the harmful effects of tofu and other unfermented soybean products is to eat tofu with meat or fish, as is traditionally done in the Orient. Vegetarians - especially vegetarian children - who eat tofu and drink soy milk as substitutes for meat and dairy products are at very high risk of loss of bone mass and severe mineral deficiencies. Oriental children who eat soy but no meat, eggs, or dairy often suffer from rickets, stunted growth, and lowered intelligence. Unfermented soy virtually destroys all zinc in the body; and zinc is critical for optimal development and functioning of the brain, nervous system and immune system.

To what do we owe the current upsurge in use of soy products such as TVP and tofu in America? Most of the 140 billion pounds of soybeans raised in the USA every year are made into animal feed or pressed into soy oil.

The soy industry has concentrated for 20 years on creating markets for the byproducts of soy oil manufacture: lecithin and soy protein. But these were generally (and rightly) considered "poverty foods" and rejected by most consumers.

The soy industry recognized that, according to a spokesman: "The quickest way to gain product acceptability in a less affluent market is to have the product consumed on its own merit by those who are more affluent." Thus these soy byproducts have been cleverly marketed to resemble traditional foods: soy milk malteds, soy baby formula, soy yogurt, soy ice cream, coy cheese, soy hot dogs, and so on. Let's face it: these are fake products, not health foods.

The production of soy milk does remove trypsin inhibitors, but at the expense of denaturing the proteins, making them indigestible, of creating a carcinogen, lysinealine, and of reducing the cystine content, an essential amino acid which is already very low in soybeans. The phytate content remains, further deranging the diet.

Soy formula and soy milk is often made with soy protein isolate, an extremely refined product lacking virtually all minerals and vitamins. Many soy formulas sold for infants are rich in trypsin-inhibitors which can stunt growth. And all contain staggering amounts of mineral-depleting phytates. The aluminum content of soy formula is 100 times greater than unprocessed milk. Aluminum has a toxic effects on infants kidneys and may be a cause of Alzheimer's in adults. Soy formula lack three important nutrients found in all milk: cholesterol, which is essential for brain development, and lactose and galactose, which play vital roles in the development and functioning of the nerves.

All is not what it seems with the supposed health benefits of soy. Allergies to soy are at least as common as allergies to milk. Nitrosamines, potent carcinogens often associated with meat, are found in high concentrations in all commercial soy protein foods. Isoflavones, anticarcinogenic sub-stances present in soybeans may have a pro-cancer effect when consumed unfermented. Although soybeans contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, these acids are particularly susceptible to rancidity when subjected to the high heat and pressure require to remove the oil from the bean; such rancidity promotes cancer and heart disease. Additionally, all soy oil is extracted with a solvent, traces of which remain in the oil.

In addition to containing anti-nutrients, soybeans lack these important nutritional elements (found in all animal products): cysteine, vitamin B12, vitamins A and D, and cholesterol. Consumption of unfermented soy products actually increases the body's needs for vitamin D and vitamin B12.

To summarize: traditional fermented soy products, especially when made with organic beans, are beneficial in the diet when combined with rice, sea foods, and fermented vegetables. The value of other soy products is questionable at best, disease causing at worst. The use of soy as a primary protein source is misguided.

For permission to reprint this article, contact us at: susunweed@herbshealing.com

MORE LINKS ABOUT SOY.....

http://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz/ Soy Online Service: uncovering the truth about soy - New Zealand.

http://www.westonaprice.org/ The Weston A. Price Foundationis your source for independent and accurate information on diet and health. We support traditional foodways, organic farming, pastured livestock, truth in labeling, prepared parenting, nurturing therapies, access to clean certified raw milk and a ban on soy infant formula. Check out their detailed Soy Alert pages.

http://www.unitedsoybean.org/ United Soybean Board - Making Your Checkoff Pay Off .... We are committed to implementing new technologies that will improve the United States soybean industry in terms of market expansion and production quality.

Listen to an interview with Sally Fallon at Wise Woman Radio!

30 minutes on-demand, listen now or download MP3

 


MP3 File



~RECIPE of the MONTH ~

Native American Indian Corn Pudding

Ingredients: two and a half cups fresh milk, half cup corn meal, one tablespoon vegetable oil, one teaspoon powdered ginger, half cup black molasses or maple syrup, quarter teaspoon salt.

Directions: First heat one and a half cups of the milk. Now mix the rest of the cold milk into the corn meal, then combine this with the heated milk. Cook slowly until it has thickened slightly, then remove from heat, and add, with strenuous stirring, the oil, ginger, sweetener, and salt. When well blended pour into a fireproof pot brushed inside with oil, and bake at 350F for half an hour.

Excerpt from Juliette de Bairacli Levy's book Nature's Children

Chapter 7: Recipes from Many Lands (p113) Starts as such...
The bookshelves of libraries and private houses are filled with cookbooks and there is really no need to add to them - especially no need as few of the recipes seem to be followed; in most homes the same foods are served day after day through the years!

Also, who am I to give recipes when I very seldom serve a meal of cooked food, and further have never possesed, nor needed, a kitchen in my various homes. I am not a dedicated cook but I am interested in food.

The several dozen recipes which I offer now are, I think, mostly new, collected on my travels and kept because they are healthful as well as good tasting; none is complicated, for I have never had time to waste on elaborate cooking....





NEW LINKS to check out...




Birthing The Crone By Helen Redman
Menopause & Aging through an Artist's Eyes
This presentation is about bringing to life my Wise Woman Crone, birthing it, so to speak, through my art. Today, those of us who choose to name ourselves CRONES do so to raise consciousness around issues of aging. Paradoxically, as we enter a new century, the ancient Crone archetype is emerging within women all over the world. We are beginning to realize that this third and crowning stage of female life (the one our culture throws away) is more authentic, creative, outrageous, powerful, funny, healing and profound than we ever imagined. Artist - Helen Redman



HERBAL RITUALS
book by Judith Berger
A journal of a year-long communion with herbs that connects us with nature and the plant world, keeping us near the ground of our own souls. Following the rhythms of nature for a single year brings us into awareness of both nature's and our own moods and keeps us in contact with the instinctual cycle of life, death, and rebirth. HERBAL RITUALS offers beautifully written insight on how working with herbs can powerfully revive the sense of fulfillment we have lost in the modern era. When we gather plants, prepare our own teas, oils and extracts with them, we receive satisfaction from working with our hands as we become wise in the simple ways we can care for our physical and soulful selves.


Sanctuaerie Organic Botanicals

Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Sanctuaerie makes products for people who seek natural, toxin-free ingredients.All of the ingredients have a specific healing purpose, be it for body, mind and/or soul. Nothing is added to the products to enhance color, flavour, texture or longevity. Sanctuaerie Organic Botanicals grew out of my search for high quality, nature-based products, made simply, with pure ingredients. Sanctuaerie is committed to continuing the spirit of herbal traditions kept alive by many for centuries.I am sustained & nurtured by the work that I do.


Spiritual Consultant Valerie Celene
She offers a discussion group on spiritual development issues, links and information for related resources. Valerie has been sharing her gifts of "Spirit" in the Twin Cities area for 14 years. She is Clairvoyant, Clairaudient,& Clairsentient. She offers a variety of services including... PSYCHIC CONSULTATIONS, VIBRATIONAL HEALING, using crystals and essential oils to clear and balance chakras,along with teaching private & group classes on... SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT,HEALING, and BODY AWARENESS.


Know of a good site to recommend?

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ASK SUSUN WEED

Seaweed helps to remove heavy metals

Nettle strengthens the kidneys, adrenals, and liver

Nourishing Herbal Infusions rather than estrogen and progesterone

Motherwort tincture to lower blood pressure

Use Wild Yam or Vitex to increase fertility

Red Raspberry strengthens uterus and prevents miscarriages

Red Clover, Nettle, and lots of lentils boost phytoestrogens and reduce cancer risk

Thank you for the blessing of your books - from childbearing to menopause - Beth

If you have a personal health question for Susun, she has a free hotline every Tuesday evening (from Mid-April to the end of October from 7:30 to 9:30 EST - Call: 845-246-8081. NOTE: It is helpful if you have read Susun's article and books before calling her, as you will find answers to your preliminary question there and so Susun will be able to help you with more indepth questions you may have.


Legal Disclaimer: This content is not intended to replace conventional western medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat,cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material on this website/email is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Always check with your personal physician when you have a question pertaining to your health and healthcare.





To: susunweed@herbshealing.com
Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2001
Subject: Exposure to Chemicals and Pesticides...

Hello Susun,
I live in an area that is sprayed with agricultural chemicals rather frequently. I was wondering if there is anything I can do to strengthen my family's bodies against these harmful things. I already filter my water and buy organic food. I try to stay inside while they are spraying. I cannot afford to move. Besides I don't want to sell the place...there are too many ancient oaks, my connection to my land(I have spent my entire life here), and many memories here. I feel that just about every place has some danger of poisons since humans have so little respect for anything, and have decided to ruthlessly use these chemicals. I speak out all the time against pesticide and chemical use, but I just don't know what else to do when it comes down to actually being exposed to the stuff. I'm frightened.

Thank you for your time


Sent: Monday, September 3, 2001
Subject: Seaweed helps to remove heavy metals

Susun's Response:
I hear you. The use of chemicals all around us is frightening. I am especially carefull to eat organic meat, milk, butter, cheese, eggs, and other foods that contain oils (seeds, nuts, grains) as that is where the chemicals concentrate. Organic fruits and vegetables don't matter as much. However, according to EWG and USDA, the twelve most contaminated foods include: Strawberries, Bell Peppers, Spinach, Cherries, Peaches, Cantaloupe, Celery, Apples, Apricots, Green beans, Grapes, Cucumbers - buy organic when at all possible, otherwise peel or wash well! The five least contaminated veges are: avocados, sweet corn, onions, cauliflower, and asparagus.

Seaweed helps remove heavy metals and radioactive isotopes; I eat it as a vegetable once a week or more. You can learn more about wonderful KELP from Ryan Drum, professional wildcrafter, herbal educator. And, make certain to discover Dulse (Palmaria Palmata) featured by the outstanding Mendocino Sea Vegetable Company.


Our bodies remove as much of the water soluble chemicals as possible, the oil soluble ones just linger until we die. Not much we can do to remove them except cry! Tears help release the dangerous chemicals. :)

Green Blessings,
Susun Weed


To: susunweed@herbshealing.com
Sent: Monday, September 3, 2001

Thank you so much for your info. I absolutely LOVE seaweed





To: susunweed@herbshealing.com
Sent: Sunday, September 23, 2001
Subject: Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Are there many herbal helpers for MCS(multiple chemical sensitivities)?


Sent: Monday, September 24, 2001
Subject: herbal remedies for MCS

The primary herbal helper for those with MCS would be stinging nettle. The infusion (one ounce of dried herb brewed in a quart of boiling water for 4-10 hours) strengthens the kidneys, adrenals, and liver and helps the body deal with chemicals.

Both seaweed and burdock root, eaten as a vegetables rather than taken in pills, remove heavy metals and radioactive particles from the body and could be of tremendous assistance to you in becoming more tolerant of the modern world.

Green Blessings,
Susun Weed





To: susunweed@herbshealing.com
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2001
Subject: Asking about progesterone

Intercourse is painful and there is bleeding. My periods are taking longer to start. The doctor did a D&C and said that I had hyperplasia, but it had very small chance of it becoming benign. But he put me on progesterone. I take 1 tablet at night for the first 12 days of the month. My emotions have calmed down a little. The med. is called prometrium at 200mg. I'm 40 yrs old and a mother of seven. My oldest is 20 my youngest two are 2 and 3yrs. old, so I cannot take a year off. Would you recommend that I not take this. The only thing I've heard about you is a tape from the Herbfest 2000, that a friend gave me to listen to.Thank you for your time and answer in advance.


Sent: Monday, September 24, 2001
Subject: Nourish Yourself with Infusions

Susun's response:
Progesterone is a hormone that encourages the growth of new tissues; it is the hormone of pregnancy. As such, it has a strong link to cancer. Women who take estrogen and progesterone for five or more years have 40% more breast cancer than women who take no hormones.

Since you are obviously beginning menopause, I would not want to change your hormones. But I am a woman and I have no need to keep you available to satisfy my urges (as men do). In Tennessee the man of the house builds himself another place to live during his womans menopause. You may find your body acting in new and strange ways, maybe less interest in intercourse and more interest in other forms of sexual pleasure.

In general, I encourge you to take time to nourish yourself. I especially recommend daily use of yogurt and nourishing herbal infusions. These remedies may not solve your immediate problem, which as I understand it is painful intercourse which causes bleeding, but they will strengthen you throughout and may make your vaginal tissues stronger too. Red clover infusion is also anticancer and may be a special ally for you.

You can learn to make an infusion from any of my books. Do you have a copy of Menopausal Years? It contains pages of remedies for women with dry vaginal tissues.

The revised edition (due out November 2001) includes a new section on progesterone creams, one on wild yam as a progesterone precursor, and one focusing on herbs as sources of hormones. It will be out in less than six weeks. You can preorder it on line at www.wisewomanbookshop.com

Green Blessings,
Susun Weed

 




To: susunweed@herbshealing.com
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2001
Subject: High Blood Pressure


Hi I am new to the site and you might have already answered this before. I am 26 and about 50 lbs over weight. I have 3 children (by the way the Childbearing Years was my bible the whole time) well I have high blood pressure and while I am losing weight I was wondering what herbs I could take to aid in controling my blood pressure. Thank you so much for your time


Sent: Monday, August 05, 2001
Subject: Motherwort tincture to lower blood pressure

I like Motherwort tincture, a dose of 25 drops several times a day, to lower blood pressure. And an hour of yoga a week is also in order, or a mile walk at least three times a week. And a diet with lots of whole grains, well-cooked fruits and vegetables, and yogurt or fish more frequently than meat helps too.

Green Blessings,
Susun Weed

 




To: susunweed@herbshealing.com
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2001
Subject: IVF and herb safety?

Susun,
Women sometimes consult with me about herbs for fertility, and I generally recommend red clover, nettle, raspberry leaf, to build up the body, with the addition of false unicorn root or dong quai after a few months. Some of these women at some point decide to try a course of IVF and want to know if they should discontinue the herbs. I feel that nettle and raspberry leaf should be continued, but I'm less sure about plants like red clover or false unicorn, which have more of a direct effect on the hormone balance and might distort the action of the hormones administered during IVF. What do you think?


Sent: Monday, September 11, 2001
Subject: Wild yam or Vitex to increase fertility

I think red clover would help protect them from the carcinogenic effects of the hormones they take to do IVF and could be safely used as an infusion several times a week. I don't use false unicorn much as I have been led to believe that it is in short supply. Wild yam would be my choice to increase fertility, or vitex. I believe both could be safely used with IVF hormones, but not in capsule form, only tincture or tea.

Green Blessings,
Susun Weed





To: susunweed@herbshealing.com
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2001
Subject: Miscarriages...

Hi Susan,
I have had 5 miscarriages. I have had tests and blood tests and everything has come back normal. I have one healthy little girl and had no problems carrying her except that I was so sick. So sick that even my doctor remembers how sick I was and that was five years ago! My doctors now want to send me to a specialist but are so slow in doing things and I am getting frusterated. And to tell you the truth, I doubt the "specialist" will do much either. I lose the babies very early like 5 through 8 weeks. The longest I have carried was 10 and 1/2 weeks. they did look at my husbands sperm and it is fine and normal they also looked and my levels of hormone last time I was pregnant and said they were a little low at first but then as the pg progressed they went up and also they tested for chromosonal problems last time on the fetus.( I had a D/C and they said nothing was found wrong.

Can you help me? Anything to suggest as what do I do?

I am currently taking vit e with tocopherols and B-complex and vit C with bioflaviniods 500mg, calcium, folic acid and a prenatal supplement. Is this even going to help? Ive never taken vitamins before and I started taking these sept 3 and I got sick but kept on. Now I am fine and my body is use to it now.

let me know what you think. Hope to hear from you soon.


Sent: Friday, September 21, 2001
Subject: Herbs for fertility

Response from Susun's Daughter (Justine):
First do you have Susun's book Childbearing Year the Wise Woman Way? If not, I suggest you get it...carried in bookstores, Amazon.com and at our website www.wisewomanbookshop.com It is inexpensive and quite valuable....

Second, here is an article Herbs for Fertility from our website and a link to the page...PLUS, you may also want to read another article by Susun - Fertility after Forty, even if you are under forty it still has some good tips.

My guess is that susun would not be so pro the vitamins...except maybe the vitamin E, which you could get from Wheat Germ Oil, as a more complete and natural source...However, red clover infusion would be her first choice for you...do you drink it???

ALSO ...too much vit C may make your environment too acidic and inhospitable for conception...check out this site for more info...Sister Zeus.... Using Vitamin C to Prevent Conception.

Write back with the answers to my questions and to let me know if you have her book... She will be answering emails on Monday, so she may be able to add further insight then...

Love, Justine (Susun's daughter)


To: susunweed@herbshealing.com
Sent:Friday, September 21, 2001
Subject: Re: Herbs for fertility

Hi Justine!

First of all I just want to say that I am so happy you wrote back. I have written for help and advice from different people ( doctors mostly) And have never gotten a response. So thank you so very much.

Anyways to answer your question first off no I do not have susun's book. But would like one.
I forgot to mention in my e-mail that I conceive very easliy. We joke that my husband could look at me and I'm pg!

Secondly , Im not so hot on Vitamins myself, but I really didnt know what else to take. We are desparate to try anything and not go to a specialist. Im tired of being poked and checked and scanned and having my blood tesed and taken for absolutely everything they think might be wrong.

I don't drink red clover.I have never heard of it. Is the stuff that you buy in a health food centre any good? I live up north and don't know if we have it up here.
Thank you again for writing back to me.


To: susunweed@herbshealing.com
Sent:Friday, September 21, 2001
Subject: Red Clover and Red Raspberry

You can buy red clover flowers and raspberry leaf dried from a health food store or from frontier online...or another herbal vendor on line...check out some of the resources in our herbal links on the links page..frontier is there as well as other herbal vendors...

You need to first buy the herb, then make an infusion for it...I can send you directions...or making the infusion its pretty easy...

Add to a canning jar one ounce of dried cut herbs, fill to the top with boiling water...cap and let sit for 8 hours or more...drain and drink....you should refrigerate after a few hours, if you make a big batch but you can drink alot of it for a long time....

Really, do order Susun's book...its only 9.95 and it tells how to make infusions, tinctures, salves, and the rest...plus lots of really good info you must know..... www.wisewomanbookshop.com

Excerpt from her book:
P19 Preventing miscarriages and hemorrhage
Raspberry leaf tones the uterus and helps prevent miscarriage and postpartum hemorrhage from a relaxed or atonic uterus.

P18 Red Raspberry Leaves
Brewed as a tea or as an infusion, Rubis is the best known, most widely used, and safest of all uterine/pregnancy tonic herbs. It contains fragrine, an alkaloid which gives tone to the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus itself. Most of the benefits ascribed to regular use of raspberry leaf throughout pregnancy can be traced to the strengthening power of fragrine or to the nourishing power of the vitamins and minerals found in this plant. Of special note are the rich concentration of vitamin C, the presence of vitamin E, and the easily assimilated calcium and iron. Raspberry leaves also contain vitamins A and B complex and many minerals, including phosphorus and potassium.

Susun also has a Threatened Miscarriage Brew on page 150 ( with Wild Yam, Cramp Bark, and a few others) which you would want to read about and prepare when you feel its necessary......

Let me know what luck you have sourcing the herbs and the book and how it goes for you....

Love, Justine (Susun's daughter)


To: susunweed@herbshealing.com
Sent:
Subject: Wild Yam for conception

Hope we aren't overdoing it with advice for you!! :) :)

Yes, do get my book, and check out the threatened miscarriage brew in the introduction (really) by Jeanine Parvati Baker.

Sounds to me like you are not really producing enough progesterone early on in your pregnancies. Wild yam tincture, 30 drops twice a day, or two cups of tea a day, can help. The funny thing is that if you take it every day it may prevent you from conceiving, so be sure to take it only two weeks out of the month. For you, probably from ovulation to menstruation. Once you do conceive, you can take the wild yam every day.

Avoid herbs in capsules.

Important: to make an infusion, put one ounce (by weight) of dried red clover blossoms or raspberry leaves in a quart jar and fill to the top with boiling water. Cap and let sit fot 4-10 hours, strain and drink the entire quart in a day. With bulk herbs, a cup is the right amount if you don't have a scale to weigh out the ounce.

These infusions provide all the vitamins and minerals you need and in more effective (and safer) forms than pills. I really do not think that taking supplements will be of any use to you at all, and may, as justine mentioned, be counterproductive.

Let us know if any of these things help you so we can keep helping other women.

Green Blessings, Susun Weed


To: susunweed@herbshealing.com
Sent: Monday, October 01, 2001
Subject: Childbearing Years is helpful

Hi Susun and Justine,
I got your book! Its very informative. Lots of information to help. Really good book. But I do have another question. I am drinking red clover, but I read in your book that it was used for fertility, does it help in pregnancy? Or more so raspberry leaf? Great cover on the book! I didn't notice the baby in the moon right away, I noticed it the second time I was looking at it.


Sent: Monday, October 01, 2001
Subject:Red Clover and Red Raspberry are great!!!

Yes, both are great. Use the 1:1 mix as described in the book on page 3, or alternate. Both have great stuff in them that will help you at this time and through your pregnancy and after as well...You can, of course lean towards the Red Raspberry now, and use more of the red Clover later.....But, both are allies for you for sure! So glad you like the book!!!!!!!

Love,
Justine (Susun's daughter)




To: susunweed@herbshealing.com
Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2001
Subject: Your book: Menopausal Years

Hi Susun
First of all I would like to tell you how great it is what you are doing. I love your books! They are much needed! I just recently bought the one about menopausal years and I have a question.
I had breast cancer when I was 43 in 1997 (Your book breast cancer-breast health helped me tremendously through that difficult time. I did have surgery, radiation and 2 sessions of Chemo, which I stopped, because I didn't tolerate it well and it just didn't make sense to me. Through the radiation I ate mostly fruits and your immune soup to help clean out my system) My cancer which was hormone receptive is in remission now. I totally changed my diet, mostly organic/vegetarian (with fish, once in a while an organic chicken) am doing Yoga and meditation a couple of times a week, etc., and I am not taking any Tamoxifen. I am wondering now if there are any herbs in your book I should not take, because it would increase my estrogen level. I try to cut down on my hot flashes with dietary changes and additional Vit. B6, but I can't wait to start on using some of your suggested herbs. Please let me know. Thank you so much!


Sent: Monday, August 06, 2001
Subject: Avoid Soy and Dong Quai

Susun's response:
Get ready for the New Revised Menopausal Years, with lots more information on phytoestrogens. (Available in two months)

The phytoestrogens found in foods and food-like herbs act like tamoxifen, reducing cancer risk. Those in certain herbs, including soy, act differently. So in your situation, I would avoid any soy except miso and tamari, and probably not use dong quai either. I would use red clover, nettle, and lots of lentils in my daily diet.


To: susunweed@herbshealing.com
Sent: Monday, August 13, 2001
Subject: Your book: Menopausal Years

Dear Susun,
Thanks so much for your mail. I can't wait until the new revised Menopausal Years comes out and will definitely get that one too. I knew about soy, but I didn't know about Don Quai. So that's great advice and I will not take that one. I will definitely add the suggested herbs and foods to my diet. I know I will have more questions down the line. In the meantime thanks again and have a great rest of the summer.

 





To: susunweed@herbshealing.com
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2001 12:26 AM
Subject: we've walked hand in hand

Dear Susun,
I would like to thank you for the blessing of your books. For the past 18 years I have turned to you for guidance and wisdom. Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years carried me through five pregnancies, four home births ( two unattended homebirths), and child care . You have never failed me. When my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer we devoured Breast Cancer Breast Health, which is my least favorite book to have to give someone, but it has been a blessing to many of my friends. Healing Wise is one of my favorite reads. Every time I pick it up there is something (someone) new speaking to me. Now as I begin menopause, I have turned to you again through Wise Woman Herbal for the Menopausal Years and received relief, perspective and wisdom. Thank you for walking this journey with me. You've been there through it all the fears, joys and sorrows.

Blessed Be,
Beth


Sent: Monday, September 03, 2001
Subject: Thanks so much for your words of praise

Susun's response:
Dear Beth,

Aw gee shucks. blush blush Thanks so much for your words of praise. Can I quote you?

There will be a revised and expanded version of  Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way available by Hallloween. We will let you know as soon as it is printed.

Green Blessings,
Susun Weed





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Susun Weed's books include:

 






Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year
Author: Susun S. Weed. Simple, safe remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns. Includes herbs for fertility and birth control. Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker. 196 pages, index, illustrations.
Retails for $14.95
Order at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com





Healing Wise
Author: 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 Order at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com



NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way

Author: Susun S. Weed. The best book on menopause is now better. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. Introduction by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, illustrations.
Retails for $16.95 Order at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com
For excerpts visit: www.menopause-metamorphosis.com



Breast Cancer? Breast Health!

Author: Susun S. Weed. Foods, exercises, and attitudes to keep your breasts healthy. Supportive complimentary medicines to ease side-effects of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or tamoxifen. Foreword by Christiane Northrup, M.D. 380 pages, index, illustrations. Retails for $14.95
Order
at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com


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