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Corinna's Corner

25 March 2015

Are Standardized Extracts Better?

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

Here’s an excerpt from an article by Nancy and Michael Phillips to help address that question.
Green Blessings ~ Corinna

2012.5 hand with red clover top of pagePhilosophy enters deeply into the debate on standardizing herbal preparations. People oriented towards a scientific point of view feel the need to quantify healing possibilities by knowing the concentration of the chosen active principle (constituent) used to achieve proven results. Others view synergy and spirit as working in ways we may not fully comprehend but have certainly observed with whole plant remedies that embrace healing, often in more ways than one.

03 March 2015

Wild Green Garlic Medicine

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

cw facebook profileHungry for a bite of green medicine? One of the most potent wild edibles of the cool season is actually wild garlic, a common volunteer in lawns and gardens. Wild garlic belongs to the same genus, Allium, as both garlic and onion, known for their medicinal benefits--from boosting immunity to tonifying the heart and circulatory system.

Tromping along my favorite walking path, I usually stop to marvel when I reach the cool spot along the path’s edge where the garden meets the woods--poking up through the dead leaves, are oodles of tangled clumps of wild garlic! I grab some of the savory greens to munch on as I walk. If I have a bag handy, I break off a large handful or two to bring back to the kitchen with me.

24 February 2015

Bone Broths

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Nourishing Foods

2013.11 corinna  dylan at linville gorgeIn the winter, I always have some stock simmering on the stove. There’s something so comforting about that the delightful aroma and the simple, flavorful goodness of a hearty broth. It’s such a primal pleasure during these cold, cloistered months. It’s almost magical. My son came down the stairs one chilly morning recently, noted that I had three pots of stock going at once—chicken, beef and fish—and exclaimed, “Great! Let’s make some potato leek soup!”

Anything that can motivate a teen-aged boy to help chop vegetables has some serious mojo, indeed.

09 December 2014

Cooking Greens

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

cw headbandWhen I cook greens, my technique tends towards the traditional Southern style. I use just about any dark, leafy greens, whether they’re cultivated—spinach, collards or kale—or gathered wild—dandelion, lamb’s quarter, yellow dock, sochan or nettle. When I say "Southern style," I mean chopped greens in a long, slow sauté (30 minutes or more) at low heat with olive oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee along with onions, garlic, a generous splash of vinegar and a dash of salt. When I’m feeling really daring, I’ll even add a little fatback. I cook those greens until the leaves are soft and limp (and yummy).

12 September 2014

Black Walnut: Juglans nigra

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

2012.4.5 corinna purThe black walnut (Juglans nigra) can be hard to miss at this time of year—or to mistake for anything else. There are other regional trees with pinnate leaves that have a similar appearance but as we move toward fall, an abundance of yellowish-green “tennis balls”—the fallen fruits—covers the ground around the base of black walnut trees.

green blk walnutsI adore black walnut’s edible nutmeat—it has a richer, more complex flavor than the supermarket variety European walnut. Nutritionally, black walnuts are dense with proteins and essential fatty acids, wonderful for heart health. But the prized meats are nestled deep inside those greenish balls, and it takes a bit of effort to tease out the nut meat.

03 July 2014

Jewelweed

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

jewelweed flower

I just returned from a special journey back to my hometown, introducing my son for the first time to my old stomping grounds. When we went through the local Arboretum up there, I fondly recalled to him how, as a girl, I first met a particularly enchanting plant ally: jewelweed (Impatiens capensis).

In an Arboretum nature walk for children, the leader entranced me by submerging a translucent, serrated-edged jewelweed leaf in water, glistening silver like a mermaid underwater. And then removing it to show how the water droplets beaded up, like little “jewels” glittering in the sun! I still love to catch sight of her shimmering at the edges of ponds and streams after a light summer rain.

Adding to the fun were the distinctively spotted, brilliant orange cornucopia-shaped flowers that come out in the late summer. Turns out, their common name is “touch-me-not”, since the ripe flower seems rather ticklish and will shoot out spirals of seedpods when pinched or prodded—much to our delight!

05 June 2014

Dandelion Dip

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

dandelion flowerHow can you not love dandelion? Friendly and familiar and so very versatile, those cheerful yellow flower heads practically beg “come on, pick me!” This time of year, dandelion is abundant and offers so much nourishment, I’m constantly harvesting her leaves and flowers for my salads.

I enjoy the tangy bite of her flavor, but I do realize that some of you may find her taste rather bitter. While the Western palate isn’t attuned to bitter elements (with the exception of coffee, which we often adjust with sweeteners and dairy), Chinese medicine recognizes the value of bitters in good digestive health and includes them in a well-balanced diet.

02 May 2014

Sweet Ox-eye Daisy

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

cw cropped hatAfter the dormant months of winter, springtime is so sweet—made even sweeter by the appearance of that delightful lady, the oxeye daisy. I feel elated this time of year when I catch sight of her curvy, dark green leaves.

It was her flower — a beautiful, large yellow center surrounded by spreading white petals — that first drew me to her. Then I came to recognize the unique shape of her leaves. Oxeye daisy has toothed leaves like dandelion, but each of the little lobes are distinctly rounded and spoon-shaped.

 

08 April 2014

Sisterhood

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Self Love, Sisterhood

DSC 7452How I love this time of year, when everything is fresh and green and the world seems full of potential and possibility. Seeing the little shoots push their way up through the earth, reaching toward the sun, I can feel my own spirit renewed, refreshed and reinvigorated. It’s the longing for growth…healing…wholeness…

13 March 2014

Wild Salad Time

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

WildSaladHarvestedbyandforClass

Wild salad time already? Yes, with Spring Equinox right around the corner, the chickweed is already starting to sprout up! When I see her lush, green leaves I feel excited. It’s like seeing a beloved friend return, offering abundance and nourishment, in so many ways.
 
Wild salads are what inspired my interest in herbal medicine and nutrition in the first place. I wanted to be able to look around my yard and know what to eat. It reinforced my connection to the land on which I dwell and, over the years, wild edibles have added to my relationship to the divine as well. I find that the sacred and our bodies are one and the same; the experience of harvesting and eating these gifts of the Earth is deeply nourishing—physically, and spiritually.

03 February 2014

The Beauty of Yogurt

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

6006 336360376466583 1820463906 nThis February, we find ourselves again at the time between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Although the earth is beginning to show signs of stirrings and thaw, I'm still savoring the nourishment of the deep inward time of the winter.

This time of year was traditionally marked by one of the four Celtic fire feasts. Known as Imbolc, the name derived from Old irish "oimelc" which translates as "ewes' milk", as the sheep, goats, and cows often give birth in February. Their life-giving milk was an early source of abundant food to nourish and sustain through the remainder of the long, dark wintertime.

18 November 2013

Poke Root

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

PokeRootLate fall is the best time to harvest roots. One of my apothecary favorites is a low-dose botanical - the root of the Poke plant. Often considered toxic, I discovered that in the South poke root has traditionally been used in tiny doses as an immune stimulant. This powerful plant actually has a wide range of medicinal uses -- but you have to treat it with respect or risk unpleasant side effects (see below).

Herbs can rival the effectiveness of antibiotics, and they're generally much gentler on the body. Some folks turn to goldenseal for this purpose, but it is an endangered species. Poke, on the other hand, is a weed -- the problem is not having too little of it, but too much. And for most purposes, poke is at least as good, if not better.

15 October 2013

Thank you Wonderful Wise Women

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Announcements, Corinna's Corner, Sisterhood

Thank you for being part of the magic of the 2013 Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference ~ together we created another amazing year! From the gorgeous sunny skies to the talented and passionate teachers, we were deeply blessed by our days together. 

We're already hearing rave reviews on the herbal classes, Connection Hour performances, and deep sharing circles. Participants are telling us they are astonished by how much they could learn in a few days!

As we hoped, Unity Village indeed created a new "heart" for our gathering, where women gathered to celebrate and connect. The Red Tent, Sister Love Tent, Wise Maiden Tent, and Hearth Tent were places women retreated throughout the weekend to rest, renew and be deeply nourished. Women danced, drummed, sang, and enjoyed the central Hearth fire all weekend long. 

Thank you to all of you for making the weekend conference this powerful celebration that honors women and the earth. We look forward to seeing you next year for our 10th Anniversary! What a web we are weaving. 

Green blessings!

16 September 2013

Unity Village

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Announcements, Corinna's Corner, Sisterhood

cw cropped hatI am so grateful to the many women who have educated and guided me in cultivating inclusivity and cultural diversity at the Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference. 

Supporting diversity is an evolving process for our wise woman web, and we are all learning together--core staff, participants, and teachers alike. We've needed to recognize our limitations, stretch our inner worlds, acknowledge we're delving into arenas that are complex and multi-faceted. And ultimately, many of us are finding the growth we're harvesting to be richly rewarding.

24 August 2013

Plant Communication

Written by Flora, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

blog plant communication"Open to the world of plants and see what it has to say. After all, your heart chakra is green!" This statement, uttered during a plant communication class, resonated with an unstruck chord. Months later, I found myself at SE Wise Women's Spring Herbal Immersion where we experienced this practice. Corinna led us to a shady area overflowing with a tall, green, proud plant. We laid under her stalks, relaxed our bodies, and as the drum played, we began to listen.

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