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07 December 2017

Gathering roots ~ giving death

Written by Flora, Posted in Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

By Judith Berger, excerpted from Herbal Rituals

When one gathers roots one is giving death. And so one must become the crone, carefully considering the effect of the act upon the environment.

One must uproot flippancy, hurry, or casualness from the ground of one’s own mind before taking trowel or spade in hand. Then one must, with certainty and clarity, be able to see as the crone sees, how this death will create the space for new life.

One must press one’s ears to the ground of mystery, listening for the voice of the plant which calls the root digger toward it to gather its flesh. Medicines made with such attentiveness often initiate healing in both the body and spirit.

28 November 2017

Squash and Sun Dried Tomato Soup

Written by Flora, Posted in Nourishing Foods

from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell
serves 6

1 butternut squash
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1 quart chicken stock
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
sea salt or fish sauce and pepper
cream or creme fraiche

Cut squash in half lengthwise and place, cut sides down, in a glass baking pan with about 1/2 inch of water. Bake at 350 degrees until tender, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, saute onions gently in butter until tender. Add tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil and skim. Scoop cooked squash out of skin and add to soup. Simmer about 1/2 hour. Puree soup with a handheld blender. Thin with water if necessary. Add basil and season to taste. Simmer gently about 5 minutes, ladle into heated bowls and serve with cultured cream. Enjoy!

See Sally Fallon's blog for more nourishing recipes

30 October 2017

Herbal Conference Reflections

Written by Flora, Posted in Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods, Sisterhood, Women's Wellness

act 2017 JK dancingWomen of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life gathered this October, to learn, teach, and grow together . . . 

We gather each fall to nurture ourselves with a shared sense of reality, to remember our own strength, beauty, and power, and to lift one another up.

At the doors to Opening Ceremony, those entering each infused a pinch of wool with her hopes for women and the Earth. As the ceremony and the weekend progressed, spinners among us actually spun that wool into yarn, and then wove it into a powerful creation (below) for the closing circle. 

gina corinna weaving 600x450

At home and during the weekend, we all are experiencing, practicing, and carrying on the Wise Woman Tradition. This work is not always easy. We must begin by getting un-confused, seeing and naming clearly what we know, who we are, what we see, and how we heal. And we continue the work of untangling ourselves from the web of messaging that is internalized day after day--messages of sexism, racism, ageism, heterosexism, all the -isms.

As Director Corinna Wood shared, “We are here this weekend as strong women, standing on the shoulders of generations of brilliant women, surrounding our circle! If it were not for the devotion of the women of my mother’s generation, to civil rights and to feminism, we would not be here like this today.”

08 October 2017

Gina Breedlove, Sound Healer & Medicine Woman

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Self Love, Sisterhood, Homepage Item

We are delighted to bring gina Breedlove, Sound Healer and Medicine Woman, from the West Coast, to the Conference this October.

gina breedlove reachingThrough her Vibration of Grace™ sound healing, gina Breedlove invites women to know and experience the power of our own voices, in an ancient practice of healing. Using intentional sound, she invites us to harmonize within our body, focus our thoughts and ground ourselves in the present moment helping to create ease, wellness, embodiment and so much more

 

08 October 2017

Sister Love at the Herbal Conference

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Sisterhood, Women's Wellness

As the Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference has grown, our Unity Village, has become the heart of the conference, which includes a gathering place for women of color as well as opportunities for all women to build bridges of understanding.

por 2013 10 smiling croppedThe conference focuses on women’s health, from a perspective of empowerment and self love, including overcoming internalized oppression for all women. For women of color, day-to-day experiences of systemic racism, micro-aggressions, and internalized oppression add up to health risk factors. Therefore, we consider dynamics of racism an important component of women’s health to address, individually and communally.

To provide a special sacred space for women of color attending the Herbal Conference, the Sister Love Deck within Unity Village was founded in 2010 by Olatakumboh Obasi. At the Sister Love Deck, women of color are welcomed to gather to honor the healing legacy of our black and brown grandmothers and ancestors . . . For many centuries the suppressed earth-based practices of People of Color went underground in order to protect and preserve knowledge for future generations. In honor of our grandmothers, we join to reclaim our ancient wisdom.

13 September 2017

Hawthorn Recipes & Remedies - Part 2

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

EagleSong Evans Gardner, community herbalist, taught Hawthorn Remedies and Recipes at the 2016 Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference. Here is some of her wisdom about the plant and it's uses.

hawthorn berriesRead Part 1 for a brief overview of the properties of hawthorn as well as some delicious water-based preparations.

Fresh Hawthorn Tincture

Fill any size jar (start small) with fresh or frozen mashed hawthorn berries or whole leaves and
flowers. Add 100 proof vodka to cover, cap tightly, shake daily for 1 week, continue to macerate
for several more weeks shaking weekly. Finally, strain and bottle for future use as a tonic.

Dried Hawthorn Berry Tincture

Fill any size jar half full with dried haws. Fill jar with 100 proof vodka. Cap tightly. Shake daily
for one week. Let macerate for several weeks shaking weekly. Strain when ready. Use as a tonic.

Hawthorn Vinegar

Follow tincture directions using apple cider vinegar instead of vodka. Different menstruums used
for extraction add more options, expanding the basic staples in your culinary herbal repertoire for tending health!

04 September 2017

Standing strong with mullein

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

mullein mountainDriving in the mountains to the Blue Ridge Parkway the other day, my heart jumped at the sight of stand of mullein flowering out of a rocky cliff.

I thought of all you women and of the strength of community when we gather . . . In these times when the problems of patriarchy fill the newscasts, we continue to stand strong as a community of powerful, intelligent women, thriving individually and collectively.

Have you seen mullein, along the fence line or on the roadsides? This is the time we notice her, while in bloom, with her tall yellow flowering stalks. We find her everywhere, from abandoned lots to mountaintops.

28 August 2017

Women's Professional Training Course with Dr. Aviva Romm

Written by Flora, Posted in Herbal Medicine, Women's Wellness

As you may know, we are very proud to bring Dr. Aviva Romm to the herbal conference this year.  Throughout our mothering years, our staff have personally relied on Aviva’s work, including classics such as The Natural Pregnancy Book and Naturally Healthy Babies & Children. She is also the author of one of the leading natural medicine textbooks for women, Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health.

Aviva ad for newsletter smallAfter over two decades as a herbalist and home birth midwife, Aviva was called to go to Yale medical school to build upon that Wise Woman foundation.  Now, after years in medical practice, she is equipped to change the way women’s health is being approached in modern medicine. 

If you are a practitioner of women’s health, you may be interested in a new extensive professional training that Aviva is offering.  She has created an in-depth program for health professionals that synthesizes traditional women’s healing wisdom with the best of what conventional medicine has to offer.  This professional training presents her wealth of knowledge and experience to us as health practitioners who want to also help women take back their health - wisely, effectively, safely - and transformationally.

16 August 2017

Hawthorn Recipes & Remedies - Part 1

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

EagleSong Evans Gardner, community herbalist, taught Hawthorn Remedies and Recipes at the 2016 Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference. Here is some of her wisdom about the plant and it's uses.

hawthorn branchHawthorn, Crataegus spp. is the epitome of a common plant, proliferating around planet Earth in the temperate northern latitudes. A member of the congenial Rosaceae family, this small to medium tree takes her place in rough environments with grace and even charm. Growing 16’-­50’ with small pome fruits, haws, and often sharp, thorny branches, Crataegus are used as specimen trees in gardens, as a foundation tree in countryside hedges and as a gnarly free agent in neglected landscapes providing shelter and food for innumerable insects, birds, amphibians, small mammals and, occasionally, humans! Just for fun, check out www.theplantlist.org where you’ll find 2718 plant names for Crataegus sp. found around the world!

The name hawthorn is an old English term for hedgethorn. Crataegus oxycantha or monogyna predominate as a shrubby tree used in European hedges along with its counter part the black thorn, sloe or trnka plum! An exceptionally vigorous and adaptive tree, Crataegus occasionally resort to apomixis, a form of asexual reproduction not requiring cross fertilization to create entirely new species. Two other commonly used herbs with this capacity are Taraxacum and Alchemilla, our friends and allies, dandelion and Lady's mantle. Somehow, this just tickles my fancy!

Generally recognized as a food with special properties wherever it grows, hawthorn preparations include haw candies, juice, wine, herbal medicines, and is used fresh and dried in soups, teas, punches, jams, butters, chutneys and relishes. Although, not universally accepted as beneficial, at least one county in WA state has listed the Hawthorn as an invasive species...since this is the county where I harvest all the haw used in my practice and heart health is a major concern in our communities, the mark is being missed in engaging an ally by some!

07 August 2017

Evergreen Medicine in Summer

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

hemlock 450x600At the height of summer, it seems the whole world is lush and verdant. This is a good time to think about evergreens. Yes, evergreens. We tend to pay attention to them only during the winter, as we decorate our homes for the holidays. But evergreens are year-round allies; they are edible and can be used for medicine.

It may sound odd that you can eat your Christmas tree, but you actually can. The idea of eating evergreens may also sound odd because the hemlock tree is an evergreen, and most of us have heard of “poison hemlock”. This is one of those instances where the common name is misleading; the two are completely unrelated botanically.

27 July 2017

Abundant Tulsi

Written by Flora, Posted in Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

2016.7 tulsi 600x450Are you feeling the overwhelming abundance of midsummer?

Sometimes it can feel a little too much to take in, and, we'll be so grateful for everything we harvested when we get to the darker leaner times in winter! One of our staff favorites is holy basil, also known as tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum), now in peak flower!

How do we love tulsi? Let us count the ways!

  • Brewing overnight infusions
  • Pesto!
  • Rubbing her fragrance on the skin
  • Adding a few leaves to a warm bath
  • Falling asleep with some of her leaves and flowers under your pillow 

Have you too been smitten by this lovely lady? Oh, let's not forget to dry or tincture some to have for the rest of the year!

17 July 2017

Becoming Health Rebels

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Do It Yourself, Sisterhood, Women's Wellness

Corinna Wood interviews Dr. Aviva Romm

In preparation for the annual fall Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference, Corinna Wood interviews Aviva Romm about her work with supporting women in "overcoming overwhelm" and getting out of S.O.S. (Survival Overdrive Syndrome), as well as some of the root causes of trauma and oppression that contribute to these health issues in the first place. Aviva Romm is a midwife, herbalist, and Yale-trained MD, bridging the best of traditional medicine with good science for over three decades.

Corinna: Aviva, what is SOS, and how does it impact women you see in your practice?

Aviva Romm 400x400Aviva: SOS is a term I coined which means Survival Overdrive Syndrome, and it's based on a few things: one, it started because so many of my patients were coming in and saying things like, "Aviva, Dr. Aviva, I feel like I'm constantly in overdrive. I feel like I'm always stuck in survival mode. I feel like I'm going from one thing to the next, and I can't turn off the stress. I'm constantly overwhelmed." I started to pay attention to the words women were using and at the same time started looking at the impact of various contributors to health and imbalance on what symptoms that they were exhibiting, for example brain fog, forgetfulness, poor concentration, weight gain, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, hormonal problems, insulin resistance, anxiety, depression, fertility challenges, mood challenges.

Corinna: You seem to view sleep as a form of medicine. I love that. How has your perspective on that developed, and would you share some of your personal and/or professional experience regarding benefits of sleep for women's health?

Aviva: Sleep actually is medicine, and it's particularly important medicine for SOS because much as we like to think of ourselves as modern human creatures, and much as science likes to tell us that nature is unimportant and science can always win over nature, the reality is that as human beings we are hardwired to be in harmony and relationship with our planet, including the 24-hour cycle of the Earth around the sun. That's called our circadian rhythm. Cortisol is released on what's called a diurnal rhythm, which means it's got two 12-hour cycles. Those 12-hour cycles together make up that circadian rhythm. Cortisol should be high in the morning, decrease throughout the day and be much lower at night to where it reaches its lowest point about midnight or 1:00 AM or so and then it starts to go up again.

19 June 2017

Plant Spirit Meditation

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

The "Language" of Plants

Suki Roth taught a Plant Spirit Communication class at the 2016 Herbal Conference. She has created these easy to follow guidelines for getting in touch with our green growing friends, and as she says "if you listen, they will ​teach y​ou​".

imm out 2014 5 woman writing plants

Feeling Vibrational Fields

Plant communication strengthens our connection to the plants on a spirit-to-spirit level… We are literally in their energetic field, open to their vibrations, messages and effects. Each one of us has a fingerprint uniquely our own. Each plant species has a specific frequency or vibration unique to that species. Sensitive people can feel and sometimes see these vibrations. Ancient peoples used this skill of observation and receptivity to develop a greater understanding of an individual plant’s attributes.

Exercise To Enhance Sensitivity to Plant’s Energy Fields

  • Rub your hands together briskly till palms feel warm.
  • Now blow on them and feel the effect of your breath.
  • Repeat .. your hands are now more sensitized.
  • When ready slowly pass them over the tops of your plant.
  • Do this several times and observe the feelings on your hands.
  • Next try a different species nearby; a tree, a rock, a person, or a body of water.
  • What do you notice? What physical sensations do you feel?
  • If you practice this exercise frequently you will become much more sensitive to vibrational frequencies.

Use the following ​suggestions to make your experience more successful and intimate.

30 May 2017

The 9 Elements of a Sexually Empowered Life

Written by Flora, Posted in Self Love, Women's Wellness

From Amy Jo Goddard

Amy Jo Goddard taught Turning Up and Turning On Your On Fire Sexuality at the 2016 Herbal Conference. Here are some of her insightful suggestions for sexual healing and empowerment.

land 2013 10 lake eden night square 600x600Element 1. VOICE

Excavate & Rewrite Your Sexual Story
You have an internal and external sexual voice. Rewriting your sexual story means looking clearly at your sexual experiences – the painful ones as well as the exciting and pleasurable ones. Examining the beliefs you carry around your sexuality, what it means to be a sexual person and the messages that you may have internalized without realizing it helps you to reorganize your beliefs about sexuality so you can claim your true voice. When you work on this step, you give yourself the gift of releasing the parts of it that no longer serve you or do not embody the sexual person you are becoming.

Element 2. RELEASE

Make Space for the Sexual Self You’ve Been Waiting For
There are many things that get in the way of you having the sexuality you truly want. This element is about making room so your true sexual self can come in. As you identify beliefs about who you need to be, your sexual shame, guilt and trauma, and the many other perspectives that have blocked your own sexual magnificence and expression, you can release what you do not need and move into your ideal sexual self.

10 May 2017

Making Motherwort Tincture

Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Women's Wellness

Motherwort goddess 450x600Open up a Wise Woman medicine chest and chances are, you will find motherwort tincture.

Easy to grow in a garden, motherwort often finds her way into the paths and new beds. She is is in the mint family—relax, though, she’s not like peppermint. Motherwort spreads by seed, and not by creeping roots.

Like all plants in the mint family, motherwort has square stems, opposite leaves and double lipped flowers. Motherwort's leaves, though, are maple shaped. And unlike most other mints, Motherwort is not aromatic and is quite bitter to the taste—some say it tastes like chocolate!

Botanically Motherwort is known as Leonurus Cardiaca which translates to lion-hearted! She is well known as an ally for the heart and circulatory system.

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