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Building Your Immunity Naturally During National Crisis

Susun S. Weed reveals herbs and thoughts that help

Interview by Maralyn Lois Polak

c. 2001 The information presented here is accurate to the best of our knowledge. Of course, it cannot take the place of a trained healer. Please use your intuition and your wisdom when considering how to best take care of yourself. We cannot be responsible for your choices.

1) If someone HAS ANTHRAX, would herbs etc. work? If so, what? Or should they
turn in crisis to Western Medicine and the Heroic Tradition?

If someone has a confirmed case of anthrax, it is possible that the correct herbs, taken in the correct dose, could kill the anthrax bacteria and/or deal with the lethal effects it creates. Of course, if one has access to antibiotics, and if one is comfortable with the side effects that antibiotics can cause, then there is no reason to use herbs. If, however, one does not have access to antibiotics, or if there is an allergy to antibiotics, or if one is willing to risk a course of treatment that has not been validated by scientific studies, then herbs could be a lifesaver

In my experience, tincture made from the roots of Echinacea purpurea and/or Echinacea augustifolia, is as effective as any antibiotic, sometimes more effective. I have used it for more than thirty years to deal with a wide range of infections, some of them life threatening, with complete success, even when antibiotics have failed. Echinacea primarily works by increasing the number of macrophages (white blood cells). Macrophages kill bacteria, including anthrax. Since anthrax appears to depress the number of white blood cells, the action of echinacea ought to be a powerful and perhaps perfect counter to it. Some herbal authors claim that echinacea has successfully countered anthrax in the past. The dose must be large (one drop of tincture for each two pounds of body weight) and frequent (every two hours, at least, round the clock) in order to be effective. When dealing with massive infections, I also add one drop of poke root tincture to each dose (no matter how large or small). If the echinacea is taken twelve times a day, that would be twelve drops of poke root tincture a day, a large dose, and one that should not be taken for more than a month. Treatment with echinacea can continue for three months to be certain all the bacteria are killed, but it need not be repeated every two hours. Usually 7-10 days of round the clock care are sufficient and the frequency can then be reduced to every 3-4 hours, keeping the dose the same. After another 7-10 days, the frequency can be further reduced to every 5-6 hours, that is, four doses a day. I do not believe that capsules or teas of Echinacea would be effective against anthrax, and caution readers to avoid these.

1A) What do you recommend in advance to build up immune system.

Building powerful immunity is an action that may help us counter anthrax infection or survive it if we are exposed, and it confers numerous health benefits beyond those concerns. For more information on how to improve your immune system, see my article on bioterrorism at my website, or in my book: Breast Cancer? Breast Health! The Wise Woman Way available at

2) What herbs, remedies, or regimens are good for FEAR?

Fear depress the immune system. We cannot avoid it, but we can learn to be at peace with our fears, instead of letting them control us. Motherwort tincture (Leonurus cardiaca) is my ally when I am feeling stressed and freaked out. I find it especially helpful when I am fearful of something that could happen, but hasn't. A dose is 10-20 drops, taken as needed, even as often as every fifteen minutes in acute situations. Breathing deeply is another favorite trick I use when I am anxious and fearful. It brings me to a calm place where I can appraise the danger and decide on the actions I need to take. Herbs such as valerian merely induce sleep, fogging the brain as badly as any drug, and ultimately increasing the sense of powerlessness that underlies much fear.

3) What herbs, remedies, or regimens are good to prevent or reduce the tensions and stresses arising lately from reading papers, watching TV, hearing danger terror coming bridges will be blown up nuclear power plants are in danger someone will tamper with the water supply etc. warnings from Ashcroft, etc. which seem to terrify the American public as much as actual terrorists?

Tension and stress are helpful when we feel that we have power. Tension keeps skyscraper up; stress keeps bridges from collapse. I do not seek to avoid tension and stress, but neither do I choose to invite them into my home in the form of radio, TV, newspapers. If you are feeling especially tense, try a "media break" for a week (or more) and see if your tension doesn't abate. I hear a lot of awful things, even without the media, for I deal with many people who are in crisis. I have little power in such situations. I help as much as I can, and then I burn off my feeling of powerlessness by lighting a pink candle. In fact, this helps me so much that I do it every evening, sending love and good will to all those in need.

4) What can we do to regularize our sleep and reduce tendencies toward sadness and depression from 9-11 and the changes in our society and the horribleness of a war which seems misplaced?

Regular sleep is a critical component of health, but it does not have to be in the form of eight hours at a time. Both aboriginal peoples and highly creative people (such as Thomas Edison and Michelangelo) rarely sleep for more than four hours at a time. A cup of warm milk is a old wives remedy for those too tense to sleep, and it is just as useful today as it was before 9-11. Sleeping pills and herbs that induce sleep are not likely to have a lasting beneficial effect, though they may be useful for a day or two, if absolutely needed.

Remedies for those dealing with sadness and depression are covered thoroughly in my book: New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way . Again, the sense of powerlessness underlies these problems and needs to be dealt with directly instead of trying to manipulate that surface effects. The best remedy for the feeling of powerlessness is action. Write a letter, help those in need, create a piece of art that expresses your rage, horror, sadness. (Think of the powerful effect of Picasso's Guernica.)

Society can create us, or we can create it. We can use the events of 9-11 to withdraw and feed our fears, or we can use them to go forth and create a culture of compassion. The choice is ours.

Susun Weed is a contributor to the Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women's Studies and the author of four highly acclaimed herbal medicine handbooks. She has been at the forefront of the herbal renaissance for 35 years.

Maralyn Lois Polak is a Philadelphia-based journalist, essayist, novelist, editor and radio personality. She is the author of a number of books including her latest, a multi-media CD-Rom, "Miranda Pear's Brazen Bedtime Stories: Un-PC Fairytales for Grown-Ups," available from and by special order at Borders and Barnes and Noble. She's also the author of the collection of literary profiles, "The Writer as Celebrity: Intimate Interviews," and several volumes of poetry, including "The Bologna Sandwich and Other Poems of LOVE and Indigestion." Her books can be ordered by contacting her by Email at:

Fighting anthrax naturally, part 1
Is it just me, or are you freaked out at the notion of 32,000 Americans taking anthrax antibiotics, whether they need them or not? READ Maralyn's article published in WorldNetDaily


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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.