Weed Wanderings Herbal Ezine with Susun Weed : Herbal Medicine Chest
December 2003
Volume 3 Number 12

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What's Inside Weed Wanderings this Month...



The Wise and Natural Way...
Interview with Susun Weed
by Justine Willis Toms
New Dimensions Radio International


(Part 2)

Justine: When you talk to women, you really talk to them about taking responsibility for their own health and well-being. I mean it’s not just following you, but it’s like empowering women to take back their own initiative.

Susun: Exactly. And one of the ways that I do that is by talking about the Three Traditions of Healing. I think that health care’s very confusing and it’s confusing for us simply because there’s so many choices. You know, you have a headache. What do you do? Take an Aspirin. Call your acupuncturist. Do yoga. Get out the aromatherapy. You know, so many different possibilities. So to try to make it easy for myself to figure out what was going on, I realized that I could broadly lump different modalities into these three traditions, which I call the Scientific Tradition, which is linear, measures and then tries to fix so that we become normal within the limits of those measurements; the Heroic Tradition, which says that we are responsible for everything that happens to us, and anything bad that happens to us is basically the result of toxins, filth and bad behavior; and the Wise Woman Tradition, whose symbol is the spiral, who says that while we are responsible, it is a co-creative universe. So it’s raining today, and we both got wet.

Justine: Right.

Susun: Right. Not because we did anything wrong, but because it is raining. So in the Wise Woman Tradition, we heal by nourishing the wholeness of the individual in creative concert with the universe.

Justine: So the key word there is looking at the wholeness of the individual, not just taking out a specific part and just looking at that.

Susun: Now, I question how we can feel whole if we are divided into body, mind and spirit.

Justine: Ah! Ah!

Susun: Have you ever thought about something that had no effect on your body? Everything we think has an effect on our body, alright? And what we feel and how we acknowledge and work with the presence of spirit in our lives, no matter what we call that, all of that has a physical effect. Anything we do physically -- we talk about like runner’s high, alright? -- so what we do physically impacts on mind and our emotions and they’re all interrelated. And that’s what the Wise Woman Tradition is about. It says that the sum of the parts is not the whole, but that the whole is more than the sum of the parts.

Justine: There’s something that I do every day. I check in with my mind/body/spirit. So when I do that, it’s differentiating between like if my knee is hurting, that’s not all of who I am so to say, “OK, my knee is in pain. My mind is clear and curious, and my spirit is soaring” so that we don’t --

Susun: You’ve divided yourself into three parts.

Justine: I have divided myself into three parts.

Susun: And so you’re no longer whole.

Justine: Ah!

Susun: And that’s what I’m saying.

Justine: Yes.

Susun: As a matter of fact, you’ve already disintegrated your wholeness by making your knee different than you. So the wholeness that I am right now, is experiencing pain in my knee. In what way can I nourish myself so that this pain in my knee becomes a doorway to a greater hologram? So I’m not talking about wholeness; I’m talking about holographic wholeness. And when we make a hologram the entire hologram shows us a picture. And if we were to cut it in half we would see the same picture.

Justine: Exactly. It would be like the whole.

Susun: The whole. Exactly. You can’t take any one part of a hologram and say it’s just a knee. Any one part of it reflects all of the wholeness at any one time. So I would say that if there’s a pain in your knee, that that is not a pain that is simply located in your knee, but a pain that is reverberating throughout all of you, and that then gives you and I, an opportunity to see where the whole that creates wholeness, health and wholiness is. And through that whole, nourishment can arrive.

Justine: So it’s a re-reading of that whole then. Would that be--

Susun: Well the whole itself, the w-h-o-l-e, the whole of our pain or our problem is the opening for health.

Justine: OK so we want to go through that opening?

Susun: Yeah. In other words, in the Wise Woman Tradition we don’t seek to cure diseases, to eliminate pain or to solve problems. Because my understanding is that’s what we’re here for.

Justine: To solve problems?

Susun: To have problems.

Justine: To have problems <laughs>.

Susun: <laughing> To hang out in that landscape of difficulty huh?

Justine: Let’s talk more about that landscape of difficulty in just one moment. I’m speaking with Susun Weed, author of The New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way. My name is Justine Toms, you’re listening to New Dimensions.


Justine: I’m here with Susun Weed, author of New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way – Alternative Approaches for Women 30 to 90. Now that’s a new idea, that we think of menopause just as this one particular point in life and you’re saying that it’s a long period of time. Tell us about that.

Susun: Well actually what I’m saying is that taking care of our health is something that we can do every day. But tell me, was puberty the day that you found the first drop of blood in your underpants, Justine.

Justine: No, no.

Susun: Well of course, medically menopause is defined as the last drop of blood that a woman sheds. But of course, that’s no more menopause to a woman than puberty is that one day. Puberty was a period of time during which as I say, you underwent the changes that made your 15 year old self vastly different than your 8 year old self, yes?

Justine: That’s right.

Susun: And not just your body huh?

Justine: That’s right.

Susun: But every single part of you.

Justine: The whole kit and kaboodle.

Susun: The whole right. So similarly with menopause. Menopause is that period of time during which we change and we become as different after menopause compared to before menopause as we were after puberty compared to before puberty. The biggest difference of course, is that 10, 11, 12, 13 whatever age we hit puberty, we didn’t think we were supposed to be in control. I often say to people, “What herbs did you take for puberty?” and they give me this kind of blank expression and then smile and say, “Well, nothing”. And I say, “What makes you think that you need to take anything at all for menopause?” Menopause is puberty prime, alright? One of the reasons I think that puberty gets a little more respect is that both men and women go through it. And men don’t go through menopause. And so in a way it’s a very special woman’s issue, something that in fact so far as we know, no other female species on this planet goes through, is menopause. Now Kristen Hawkes who works at the University of Utah and studies hunting/gathering cultures, especially the Hadza, has found that women in their 60s, 70s and 80s are the most productive members of these communities. I mean, they out-produce the men, the teenagers, and women of any younger age. I often talk about getting through the frumpy 50s and into the scintillating 60s. As a matter of fact Kristin Hawkes goes further. She says that menopause is as critically important as a big brain and an upright posture in making us fully human.

Justine: Now you made a statement that no other species even other mammals go through this.

Susun: So far as we know. No-one else. No other species goes through menopause. Right.

Justine: So in other words, let’s say dogs or horses. They can continue to give birth to the end of their lives.

Susun: Exactly.

Justine: So they don’t have this pausing in being able to give birth. So you’re saying --

Susun: Dr Kristin Hawkes is saying is that this cessation of our birth giving allows women then to live another 50 years, because the hormone that is responsible for ovulation is no longer produced, and that hormone unfortunately is a hormone that cancer cells love. So we’re born, as women, making 29 out of the 30 estrogens that we can make. We’re not born without estrogen. If we were born without estrogen we would’ve been called Dick or Peter, right? So we got our girl’s names; that proves we were producing estrogens. In fact, we produced it in our mom’s uterus. At puberty however, the 30th estrogen gets turned on. That’s called the stradiol – or estradiol – and that estrogen is stronger than all 29 others combined. Now one of the things that we find in the Scientific Tradition – we talked about how in the Wise Woman Tradition the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. In the Heroic Tradition the whole is the sum of its parts – body, mind and spirit. In the Scientific Tradition the whole is equal to the most active part. So even though you and I and every other woman produce 29 kinds of estrogen every single day of our lives, we are told that we stop producing estrogen at menopause. Which is not true.

Justine: So we continue to produce estrogen even --

Susun: 29 kinds of it.

Justine: In our 70s, 80s, 90s.

Susun: You got it. Right till <inaudible>.

Justine: But there’s just one estrogen that --

Susun: Powerful one. Turns on puberty and off at menopause.

Justine: Off at menopause.

Susun: Right? And it is to cancer as kerosene is to fire. Does kerosene cause fire?

Justine: No.

Susun: No. Kerosene doesn’t cause fire and estradiol doesn’t cause breast cancer. And you know, scientists – and I love ‘em for it – are very specific about words. Ordinary human beings are not so specific about words. So when they say, “Oh, chemicals cause cancer” and scientists say, “No it doesn’t”, well it doesn’t. But estradiol, and certain chemicals which act like estradiol, can promote or feed cancer.

Audio tape , 1 hr.

Today, Susun Weed is one of America's foremost authorities on herbal medicine and natural approaches to women's health. Susun engages in a fascinating, candid and controversial dialogue about women's health, natural healing and the "wise woman" tradition. Susun exposes the illusion about menopause and hormones, addresses the HRT/cancer connection and shares information about bone density. She reveals her knowledge about powerful anti-cancer herbs, and how to prepare herbal infusions with reverence. (Interview hosted by Justine Toms). Topics explored in this dialogue include: seeing yourself as a hologram keeps you healthy; herbal infusions, how they fully nourish your body; and, the six steps to personal healing.

Susun Weed's complete interview is available from Ash Tree Publishing
Mail $12 to Susun Weed PO Box 64 Woodstock, NY 12498
or order online at www.wisewomanbookshop.com

Susun Weed
PO Box 64
Woodstock, NY 12498
Fax: 1-845-246-8081

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


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