Using Herbs Simply & Safely
Review by Jan Calloway Baxter
mentor at the Wise Woman University
Using Herbs Simply and Safely - 2 CD Set
Susun Weed. HerbFest 2000
In her talk on Using Herbs Simply and Safely, give at Herb Fest 2000, Susun Weed gives us a clear vision to help us determine when the revolution is upon us. “I’m glad to see doctors using herbs,” she says. “But when I see four-year-olds using herbs, THAT’s a revolution! I couldn’t help but visualize Susun’s Granddaughter Monica-Jean when reading this statement—even though she’s only three.
I’m sure many of you, like me, have followed the growth of this remarkable girl on Susun’s You Tube videos and in the photos in this newsletter. Monica-Jean chops comfrey and picks dandelions like she was born to it. And she was! The revolution has arrived.
And one of the most important boundaries we must navigate during this revolution, as we go forth following Monica-Jean’s lead, is the distinction between the wholesome and the unwholesome uses of herbs.
This talk clearly delineates this difference by looking at examples, discussing methods of preparation, examining the consequences of the growing herbal marketplace, and many other issues. Every time I listen to one of Susun’s CDs, I come away with a feeling of additional understanding. This one is no different.
Susun names herself a Simpler—one who uses herbs simply, one at a time. Her famous analogy demonstrating vividly how using one herb at a time is like going to bed with only one person at a time has stuck in my mind since the first time I heard it!
She also explains the admirable basis on which she builds her herbal tradition—she wants to empower us, teach us to use the herbs ourselves, to make our own identifications, our own tinctures, and our own infusions. By making our own medicines, we are in harmony with the Earth, we are not leaning on the marketplace—where someone might want to sell you their special secret combination to heal you. We can heal ourselves and each other and gain in knowledge and in power.
Of course this does not mean that she uses only one herb a day. To explain this, she talks about her four divisions of herbs—although a surprise fifth division comes up before the class is over, lending support to the idea that nature abhors organization. The four main divisions are nourishing, tonifying, stimulating/sedating, and potentially poisonous. She might eat an apple (nourishing), a salad with motherwort vinegar (tonifying), lay her head on a lavender dream pillow to relax (sedating). Potentially poisonous herbs, like poke, might also be used if an emergency occurred on that same day.
Another very important message Susun gets across in this talk is the danger of powdered herbs served in capsules, “the least effective, most cost-prohibitive way to use herbs.” And, like special mixes, where you can’t tell which herb is helping you, a consequences of what Susun calls the herbal marketplace.
Much more information is available in this basic 2 CD set such as the liver protecting benefits of milk thistle, the fallacy of “cleansing” and fasting one’s body, and why your tongue pushes food up against the soft palate when you swallow.
So far I’ve really only covered one of the two stories Susun tells in this talk to help explain how we use herbs. She also goes into great detail about the differences between allopathic medicine and homeopathic medicine. You may be surprised to find out which side of that dichotomy you come down on. You can also find out why she believes flower essences are like email sex.
This informative CD set is very appropriate for someone just beginning to use herbs for health. It also has new ways of viewing the use of herbs that would enlighten even an experienced hand. I was delighted to discover that on this CD, I could clearly here every question asked by the audience. And if you get bothered at the beginning of the CD by what sounds like a wind noise, don’t despair. It goes away quickly.
So hang on Monica-Jean. Keep stuffing those dandelions in the jar, and pouring that olive oil over the comfrey. You’ll be four, soon, and we’ll be right behind you.
© 2010 Jan Calloway Baxter
See my Crone doll at herbalmedicinehealing.com.
Read other reviews by Jan Baxter
Women, Witches, Weeds – Review by Jan Baxter
Shamanic Weed Walk – Review by Jan Baxter
Baba Yaga’s Bag - Review by Jan Baxter
Fantasy Art Collection - Book Review by Jan Baxter
Nutritive and Tonic Herbs - Review by Jan Baxter
Herbal Medicine As A Subversive Act - Review by Jan Baxter
The Visionary Art of Martina Hoffman - Review by Jan Baxter
Optimum Nutrition - Review by Jan Calloway-Baxter
Herbal Healing for Women - Review by Jan Calloway-Baxter
Magical Plants - Review by Jan Calloway-Baxter
Elements of Herbalism: Harvesting - Review by Jan Calloway-Baxter
The Visionary Art of Martina Hoffmann - Review by Jan Calloway-Baxter
Using Herbs Simply and Safely - 2 CD set
Susun Weed. HerbFest 2000
Susun Weed discusses homeopathy, allopathy and simplifies and categorizes herbs into four groups for safe use.
Are herbs natural and therefore safe? Or are herbs really drugs in green guise and therefore dangerous? Are standardized extracts safer? Are combinations of herbs necessary? What about homeopathy?
Whether your interest in herbs is new or well-seasoned, this talk will help you understand how to get the most out of herbal medicine -- with the least risk.
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Online Courses by Jan Calloway-Baxter
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About the Mentor:
Jan has taught writing, literature and humanities in universities, colleges and high schools for many years, including developing online composition courses. Jan is delighted to be a mentor at the Wise Woman University.
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Handmade fabric art doll by Jan Calloway-Baxter
Handmade by Jan Calloway-Baxter. This fabric art doll named Grandmother Cronewort has home grown cronewort in her stuffing and cronewort twigs in her hand. Take her magic home with you for your altar or bookshelf.
Grandmother is 15" around the bottom and 12" tall. Her fingers are poseable to hold your treasures for you.
The Crone dolls are designed from a pattern invented by Julie McCullough.
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