April 2011
Volume 11 Number 4
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What's Inside Wise Woman Herbal Ezine this Month...


Wise Woman Wisdom ...
Nourishing the Body
the Wise Woman Way
A Conversation with Herbalist Susun Weed
by Janice Lynne Lundy

Nourishing the Body the Wise Woman Way
A Conversation with Herbalist Susun Weed
by Janice Lynne Lundy

Susun S. Weed is an internationally renowned and respected ‘Wise Woman’ whose strong belief in the power of the body to heal with nature’s assistance is the foundation of her approach to life. Her teaching is broad and encompasses herbal medicine, psychology of healing, Eco herbalism, nutrition, and women’s health issues, speaking to lay people as well as more traditional healthcare institutions around the world. Susun appears on many television and radio shows, including National Public Radio and NBC News. Susun Weed also pens a regular column in Sagewoman magazine.


Best known for being the modern voice of the Wise Woman Tradition and the founder of the Wise Woman Center, Susun’s goal is to help women rediscover these ancient Wise Woman ways, passed down through countless generations.  JULIE FAIN ART She states, “This tradition of natural healing can carry you into the 21st century by offering ancient wisdom and modern information you can use right now to heal yourself and your loved ones.’

Susun is the author of several books including Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years (now in its 29th printing); Healing Wise; Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way; and Breast Cancer? Breast Health! The Wise Woman Way.

In addition to her writing, Susun trains apprentices who live and work with her on Laughing Rock Farm in Woodstock, New York, learning as they play with the plants and animals. She also oversees the work of more than 300 correspondence course students.

For more information on training programs, Susun’s travel schedule, as well as articles authored by her, visit www.susunweed.com.

Susun Weed is one of those rare individuals who has chosen to live in a peace-filled manner. On Laughing Rock Farm in Woodstock, New York, she grows most of her own food, heats with wood, milks the goats twice a day. There is no radio, no recorded music, no TV, no newspaper to intrude on her day or interrupt her thoughts. She says, “I listen to the plants and put their words into print. I publish their thoughts.”

She believes that the year in which she was born, 1945, was no fluke in helping to determine the path she would walk in life. In that year before World War II ended, everyone’s thoughts were on peace. Susun believes her place here, as a result of that ominous birth, is for peace. Like so many others of her generation (in the 1960’s), she thought that she had to fight for peace. As she became older and wiser, she realized that fighting itself was what she didn’t want. Susun began to explore more and more what were the roots of peace and war. She has an answer that may surprise you.

“The root of war is purity. What word did Hitler use to describe what he was doing? Purification. The Serbs and the Bosnians—what are they doing? Cleansing. We can look around and say that wars start over money or this and that. But really, war starts at home over spring cleaning.

I never clean my house. I nourish it. I go around my house looking for dirt, which is the essence of my Mother the Earth so I can return it it to her. I am doing the same thing that someone is doing when they clean their house, and yet, if our thoughts have meaning and reality, which I believe they do, what I am thinking when I am sweeping, leads to peace. What someone else is thinking when they are cleaning leads to war.

I continue to be the voice of the Wise Woman tradition which says you are not a dirty sinner. You do not need to be cleansed or detoxified. We are going to bring about health through nourishment.”

Besides education and life experience, Susun Weed honors three mentors in her life who taught her about peace: Grandmother TwilaNitch of the Seneca nations, Elizabeth Kübler Ross (“I miss you, Elizabeth,” she says) and Jean Houston, with whom she still collaborates regularly. Susun shares that they helped her to understand that peace doesn’t necessarily mean not being angry.

“We have a New Age idea that peace means a kind of inane acceptance of everything. People say to me, ‘How can you possibly teach peace when you get angry?’ I say, ah, there are things we need to get angry about. How many women in the world have been sexually mutilated in the last year? You’re not angry about that? I am furious about it! How many grown women have been sexually assaulted by advertising? I am angry about it! And my anger is not an unpeaceful anger. It is a motivating anger. My anger is anger that is energizing. It is anger put to good use; it is that which gets rid of what stands in the way of peace. It is not fighting. It’s being willing to maintain that power, that energy. I do believe rage is the task of the post—menopausal women to say, “This stuff stops here! Cut it out!” She IS the peacemaker.

Elizabeth (Kubler-Ross) taught us we don’t have to stay in our anger. We can stay in it for 5 minutes and it can be constructive. Then we leave it. It doesn’t become who we are. It isn’t, as Elizabeth would say, the ‘story’ we run or are run by.

So the Wise Woman tradition is difficult in many ways for people to get, because it doesn’t set up opposites and make them bad.  JULIE FAIN ART I honor the dark and I honor the light. And I have a real problem with people who tell me they are praying for the planet to be bathed in light. Because what could cause this entire planet to be bathed in light? The only answer I can come up with is nuclear war. I want a planet that is half in the dark and half in the light. Life is about wholeness. Wholeness is health. So in the Wise Woman Tradition we are seeking the ‘both/and’ of wholeness. We must ask, ‘How can I nourish all of myself.’ By being nourished we learn a lot of things.”

Susan has no official diplomas of any kind yet her passion for study and living naturally has guided thousands toward greater health and well-being. When she began to explore alternative medicine, Susun read, as many others did (and still do) about the “heroic view” which says that we are toxic. Disease comes about from a build up of toxins and that we must detoxify to find health.

“My first experience with this was when a friend of mine decided to do a 3 day watermelon fast. Too bad she didn’t know she was diabetic. She died. A year later I was asked to ghost write a book of health and beauty secrets for a very famous model in New York City. It was never published because she died from a colonic. She is one of six people I have known personally who have died from a colonic.

What really needs to be known about the human body and its ability to heal is not being talked about. One simple course in anatomy would show that the interior of your intestines is replaced every 24 hours. You get brand new kidneys every 30 days; a brand new liver every 45 days. Your body gets rid of everything it doesn’t need including antibiotics and hormones. These drugs cannot build up in your body. The liver is a ‘flow through’ organ.”

Susun has been working now for three decades with people and their healing process. She maintains that nourishment brings more health and more ease to more people than anything else she has ever offered or done, and primarily through the use of herbal infusions.

“An infusion is a large amount of dried herb that has been brewed for a long time. The herbs that are used in infusions contain no poisons of any kind, including alkalines, glycosines, resins and essential oils. It is important to choose herbs that are high in proteins, vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients. It is very easy to get nutrients from an infusion. The nutrients from the herb don’t immediately go into the water—it takes about 4 hours (at a minimum) for this to happen. That is why we don’t get nourishment from herbal teas.

The Wise Woman tradition says, “No pleasure, no treasure.” The heroic tradition says, “No pain, no gain.” We are looking to nourish people and it should always be a pleasure. It may take our bodies a while to get used to or like stinging nettle or brown rice or seaweed. I just encourage people to keep trying; if at first you don’t like it, that’s OK. Just give yourself another chance and another chance. I have been drinking nourishing herbal infusions, between 2 and 4 cups a day for four years. I take no supplements of any kind.

Most of the women who come here to apprentice with me are in their 20’s or 30’s and most of them do not have as much energy as I have, can work as hard as I do, and are not as flexible as I am. And I truly believe it is because I am drinking the infusions. I use a variety of different herbs: stinging nettle, oatstraw, red clover, linden blossom, chickweed, comfrey leaf. These address everything from heart health and cholesterol to hormones, strong bones and cancer prevention. I always remind people to be gentle with themselves and cut themselves some slack. If you could do infusions six days out of seven, that would be terrific.”

Susun also advocates an anti cancer lifestyle which she details in her book, Breast Health (and on her website). It begins with twenty minutes a day of sun without the use of sunscreen. She maintains that sunscreen use can lead to cancer. Sunscreen prevents us from producing Vitamin D which leads to weak bones and a weak immune system. The immune system needs sunlight to function optimally. Teaching outside is one of Susun’s favorite ways to get her daily sun and to help her students do so also. Eating cooked food vs. raw food is also important. As she explains, food must be cooked for the nutrients to come out—they must literally break through the cell wall to be of use to the body. That cannot happen with raw food. She advocates eating a wide variety of whole foods and avoiding processed foods.

In closing, we asked Susun to leave us with some wise words to sustain us for the journey…

“It is an important time in history for us to be powerful people. Powerful in the sense that we have a strong sense of self-worth, and this does not mean being egotistical. Be active. Be involved! It is not productive for us to sit at home and suck our thumbs. Go out into the world and do your work. Be angry when you have to. But, most importantly, nourish yourself.”


A Conversation with Herbalist Susun Weed
Originally published in Healing Garden Journal, May 2004
©2004 by Janice Lynne Lundy, an inspirational speaker, interfaith spiritual director, syndicated magazine columnist, and the author of four self-help/spiritual growth books for women, including, Your Truest Self: Embracing the Woman You Are Meant to Be (Sorin Books). Learn more about Jan at her website:



Wise Woman University

Online Course with Susun Weed

Herbal First Aid: The Wise Woman Way
( Link to detailed description of Herbal First Aid: The Wise Woman Way )

Mentor: Susun Weed

Most of us suffer small injuries fairly regularly: scrapes, cuts, burns, bruises, muscle aches and swelling, insect bites and stings, and itching. Antibiotic ointments can delay healing. Getting stitches is not always the best response, even to a large gash. Learn how to identify, prepare, and use the common, abundant plants that grow near at hand as spit-poultices, healing ointments/oils, tinctures, compresses, and baths to soothe, ease, and heal these injuries, including surgical wounds. Then extend your herbal first aid for everyday aches in the teeth, stomach, head, and uterus, even treat food poisoning.

find out more about Herbal First Aid: The Wise Woman Way

Susun Weed, author of the Wise Woman Herbal series, is an extraordinary teacher with a joyous spirit, a powerful presence, and an extensive knowledge of herbs and health.

Ms. Weed is the voice of the Wise Woman Tradition, empowering women worldwide to reclaim their health and wellbeing through knowledge, simply and safely.   

Susun Weed is the founder of the Wise Woman University.



Susun Weed’s books:

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 $21.95
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 $22.95
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 $21.95
at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com

Down There: Sexual and Reproductive Health the Wise Woman Way
Publication date: June 21, 2011
Author: Susun S. Weed
Simple, successful, strategies cover the entire range of options -- from mainstream to radical -- to help you choose the best, and the safest, ways to optimize sexual and reproductive health. Foreword: Aviva Romm, MD, midwife, 484 pages, Index, illustrations.
Retails for $29.95
Order at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com

Abundantly Well - Seven Medicines The Complementary Integrated Medical Revolution
Publication date: December 2019
Author: Susun S. Weed
Seven Medicines build foundational health and guide you to the best health care when problems arise. Includes case studies, recipes, exentsive references and resources. Introduction by Patch Adams illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard 352 pages, index, illustrations
Retails for $24.95
Order at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com



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