Cronewort, Motherwort, Maidenwort
Review of “Triple Goddess Herbs” class with Susun Weed
2007 Women’s Herbal Conference
c 2010 Review by Jan Calloway-Baxter
mentor at the Wise Woman University
Triple Goddess Herbs CD
Two very simple rules, about which plants to use as medicine and how much of them to use, come to us through Susun in this CD.
1. The closer to people that a plant grows, the greater its desire to be used.
2. You can tell how much of a plant to use by how much of it grows.
Such simple understandings always seem so obvious AFTER some genius has said them.You say, “Of course!” although you would never have thought them on your own.
Observing the plants in my vicinity by that rule, plantain and chickweed are volunteering to be used in great measure. Well, the chickweed WAS volunteering in early spring—it’s too hot for her delicate nature right now—and for mine, too. But she will return. And the plantain is sorely needed on the bumps and bruises and bites that come from yard work in the scorching Oklahoma summer heat.
The delicate nature of the little star-lady, stellaria media, Chickweed, is one of the clues that led her to reveal her juicy self to Susun Weed as Maidenwort. Not only is she full of saponins, making her oil a great ally for those suffering vaginal dryness, but she is shy and timid, growing close to the ground in moderate weather, disappearing in the scorching summer heat and freezing winter temperatures. She produces her tiny white maiden-like flowers and self-pollinates, closing her petals bashfully to do so.
Chickweed, of course, is wonderful to eat in spring salads or to use in a vinegar. But she sadly gets short shrift in this CD and her discussion seems chopped off rather suddenly.
Motherwort, on the other hand, gets covered very nicely. After listening to Susun’s tape, I was inspired to go see if my motherwort had any blooms left to tincture. Good for anxiety about something that hasn’t happened yet? And for cramps? My daughter, facing moving across country for college in the fall, needs even more of this tincture than I thought!
Instead, I discovered the reason for her name, Leonurus cardiaca, the lion hearted. No lion could have defended her children more fiercely than did my motherwort plant, surrounding her seeds with a sharp painful covering. No more blossoms until late summer.
Susun’s stories of Edith (a client of Susun’s), her daughters and her granddaughters is very amusing. It is also a fine mnemonic helping me remember the uses of motherwort, from Edith’s own menopausal suffering, one daughter’s anger at her husband, a granddaughter’s menstrual cramps, and similar stories.
I was especially interested in the story of how motherwort can support the growth of capillaries toward the heart—also suggested by her name. Like Susun’s sweetheart, my husband had artery blockage. Unlike him, my husband’s blockage led, unfortunately, to a full blown heart attack. But my husband’s heart survived almost unscathed because of the existence of so many small capillaries feeding his heart. I attributed this outcome to his walking habit, but am now feeding him motherwort along with his hawthorn to continue to support his cardiac health.
The Cronewort section was full of useful information. Once you could find an herbalist or midwife by looking for the Artemisia Vulgaris growing or hanging outside her door, or even painted on her door if all else failed. And of course the herbalist and the midwife were often the same woman.
Now, if you plant it by your door, as Susun did, you may soon lose everything else planted there as cronewort can crowd out even mint, squeezing it out of the available room. If you’ve ever grown a single sprig of mint, you know what a difficult deed that is.
If you haven’t heard the story of how mugwort became cronewort, I won’t spoil it for you here. Buy the tape and listen to Susun as she tells it in her immutable style, punctuated with song and her strong laugh. Did you know that moxa is the white hairs on the back of cronewort? Neither did I. Learn about the technique of mother roasting, not nearly as awful as it sounds, and of the vivid dreams cronewort can bring.
© 2010 Jan Calloway Baxter
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
Triple Goddess Herbs - 1 CD
Susun Weed. Women’s Herbal Conference 2007
Great information on Cronewort (mugwort), the old woman's friend. Motherwort, every stressed woman's allly. And Maidenwort (chickweed), dissolver of cysts and delight of many. 80 minutes.
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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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