The resulting brew, which is dark and rich, nourishes the kidneys and adrenals as well as the liver. Allergic reactions of all kinds, including sensitivities to natural and man-made chemicals, may have as much to do with the adrenals as with the liver. I drink 2-4 cups of nettle infusion daily for optimum health. There is no known overdose. Look for results from these Wise Woman ways within a month of beginning regular use. No need to use all the herbs mentioned. Consistent use of even one of them, along with anger work and a good diet, can bring results that border on the miraculous. Herbal medicine is people’s medicine. It is here for all of us: simple, safe, and free. You don’t have to be an herbalist to understand and use the herbs I have discussed. You can buy or make your own remedies, as you wish. Your children will be delighted to join you in exploring the green blessings that grow all around you. For permission to reprint this article, contact us at: [email protected] or write to: Susun Weed
PO Box 64
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Fax: 1-845-246-8081 Visit Susun Weed at: www.susunweed.com and www.wisewomanbookshop.com Vibrant, passionate, and involved, Susun Weed has garnered an international reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings, and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges conventional medical approaches with humor, insight, and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine. Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative. Susun is one of America’s best-known authorities on herbal medicine and natural approaches to women’s health. Her four best-selling books are recommended by expert herbalists and well-known physicians and are used and cherished by millions of women around the world. Susun Weed’s books include: 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.
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Anti-Cancer Lifestyle .
NOURISHING THE LIVER THE WISE WOMAN WAY
by Susun S Weed
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.
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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. Foreword by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, illustrations.
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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.
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NOURISHING THE LIVER THE WISE WOMAN WAY
c. 2006 Susun S Weed The liver is one of the most important organs in the body. Commonly referred to as a "filter," the liver is actually more subtle and sophisticated than a passive filter. Every drop of blood in your body moves through your liver every hour of every day you are alive – not to be filtered, but to be restored. Think of the liver as a recycling center. As the blood moves through the intricate network of cells that make up the liver, it is carefully examined. Metabolic by-products, hormones, cholesterol, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, bacteria, viral particles, and all the chemical detritus of living that are in the blood are judged: some are allowed to stay, others dismantled for recycling, and some tagged for removal. The liver stores very little. It produces bile, which is stored in the gall bladder. With the kidneys, it creates vitamins A and D, and stores those fat soluble products. And, of course, the liver caches unused energy from food in the form of sugar. Chemicals, however, do not build up in the liver, despite what you may have read. The liver sends unneeded water-soluble chemicals, such as ammonia, to the kidneys to be excreted. (To get a sense of how quickly this happens, eat some asparagus, which contains a harmful natural chemical, and notice the smell of your urine, and how quickly you have to "go.") The liver incarcerates oil-soluble chemicals by locking them up in fat cells, or sending them to be excreted in breast milk, ejaculations, ovulations, and tears. (Chemicals are not excreted by sweating.) The liver can be damaged. Alcohol can kill liver cells. Viruses, especially hepatitis viruses, can destroy liver cells. And cancer can take over the liver and quickly render it dysfunctional. But the liver is amazingly regenerative. Cellular turnover is quite fast. Every cell in a healthy liver is replaced every forty days. Only substances that can keep up with the ever-changing liver are preserved (such as vitamins and sugars); chemical toxins are made homeless. To regain and maintain good liver health is reasonably easy if the liver is not too badly damaged. I follow these guidelines to nourish and protect my liver: Avoid liver cleanses. Herbal and other products and regimes which claim to cleanse the liver can damage and destroy cells. The liver cannot be dirty; and it does not need to be cleansed. Eat well and regularly. Fasting reduces liver efficiency quickly. Eat cooked food. Raw food may contain bacterial, viral, and enzymatic substances that create more work for, and may even cause an infection in, the liver. Fruits and vegetables need to be well cooked; steaming may not be enough to kill pathogens. Eat enough fat. But not vegetable oils, which can cause inflammation and increase chemical sensitivities and auto-immune problems. Instead, I use olive oil, butter, and full-fat dairy products. I believe that diets containing 30-35% non-vegetable fats promote both liver and heart health. An article in Science News, May 28, 2005, observes: "In the absence dietary fat [there is] a marked decline in the metabolism of glucose, fatty acids, and cholesterol." Avoid ingesting chemicals. Remember that chemicals are stored in fat and excreted in milk, eggs, and sperm. To avoid chemicals in your food, focus your organic expenditures on organic butter, oil, cheese, full-fat milk, eggs, meat, nuts, seeds, beans, and grains. The amount of agricultural chemicals in one pound of non-organic butter is equivalent to eating non-organic produce for ten years. With the exception of apricots, cherries, peaches, strawberries, melons, cucumbers, green beans, and bell peppers – the most heavily "dosed" produce – I often buy locally-grown non-organic produce since the cost is usually far less. Get angry. The liver is the storehouse of unexpressed rage. And, yes, we are all angry about "life as it is" as one of my teachers puts it. My mentor, Elizabeth Kubler Ross, favored a Manhattan phone book and a rubber radiator hose as a way to "wake up and work out" anger. A rolled-up newspaper and a cushion, a tennis racket and a bed, or even boxing gloves and a "heavy bag" will also work. Don’t wait until you are angry. Make it a part of your routine, just like brushing your teeth. Set aside at least thirty minutes a week to bring your anger to the surface. You will be shocked at the rapid benefits this brings your liver and your health. Avoid essential oils. Even natural essential oils can impair liver function. Look for them hidden in natural and organic products such as soaps, toothpaste, mouthwash, skin lotions, deodorants and antiperspirants, and candles. And avoid antibacterial soaps, too. Use herbs that nourish the liver. Simple remedies such as dandelion, yellow dock, chicory, milk thistle, and nettle aid the liver and are safe to use. But many herbal remedies, especially those taken in capsules, are hard on the liver and need to be avoided or used with great care and caution when liver function is not strong. Avoid herbs that are rich in alkaloids and other natural chemicals that stress the liver: including golden seal, senna, celandine, chaparral, lobelia, licorice, valerian, rhubarb root, cayenne, and poke root. Some sensitive people may find aromatic herbs such as peppermint, lemon balm, rosemary, thyme, and lavender upsetting to their livers. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is probably the simplest, safest, most effective, and least expensive liver-nourishing herb known. All parts of the plant are medicinal: root, leaves, stalks, and flowers. Tincture of the root is most often used, but root vinegars, flower wine, cooked leaves, and stalk tea may be substituted. The greatest effect comes from eating or taking a dandelion remedy three times a day, but even once a day is useful. For more information on making and taking dandelion remedies, please see my book Healing Wise. The usual dose of the tincture is 10-30 drops diluted in some water and taken before meals. There is no known overdose. Yellow dock (Rumex crispus and other species) is another common weed widely used to improve liver functioning. The root is generally tinctured and taken in 20-30 drop doses with meals; but the leaves or seeds can be put up in apple cider vinegar, and 2-3 tablespoonfuls taken on salad, cooked greens, or in water. Yellow dock, like dandelion is simple and safe to use. There is no known overdose. It is a highly effective agent for promoting bowel regularity. Chicory (Cichorium intybus) flashes her brilliant blue flowers for months along roadsides here in the northeast. In the fall, we dig her roots to make a liver-strengthening tincture. The dose is usually 20-40 drops three times a day in some water. There is no known overdose. Some folks do drink chicory root tea, but it is very bitter. Roasted chicory roots are used as a coffee substitute; opinion is divided as to whether this preparation still has medicinal qualities. Milk thistle seed (Psylibum marianum or Carduus marianum) is the most famous liver tonic in the United States. It is widely recommended for anyone dealing with liver problems, whether it be jaundice, hepatitis, or multiple chemical sensitivities. It is not a wild plant, but it is relatively easy to grow from seed, and the seeds are available and not too expensive. A dose of the tincture is 1-2 dropperfuls 2-4 times a day. There is no known overdose. To tincture seeds that you buy, simply fill a jar one-third full of milk thistle seed. Then fill the jar to the top with 100 proof vodka (no, 80 proof won’t work). Shake daily for a week, then sit back and wait for five more weeks. After six or more weeks, your tincture is ready to use. Leave the seeds in the vodka for as long as you wish, even after you start using your tincture. Milk thistle is most properly thought of as a liver protector. It functions best when taken before the liver encounters alcohol, chemicals, poisons, or other stressors. Thos
e with chemical sensitivities find it helpful to take a large dose of milk thistle seed tincture before venturing into difficult environments. Nettle, also known as stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), is one of my favorite herbal remedies for everyone. I pour a quart of boiling water over an ounce of dried nettle (that’s about one full cup) in a canning jar, screw a tight lid on the jar, and let it steep for at least four hours.
Includes the Three Traditions of Healing
Susun Weed reads aloud – just for you – her alternative medicine classic Healing Wise. Her wise observations and warm voice add special savor to a rich and satisfying feast of ideas about health and healing.
6 CD’s; 5hrs, 33min
Read a review of the book: HEALWISE
I envision an America filled with healthy, happy people, where everyone has access to simple
The Wise Woman Tradition adds on. It enlarges. It enriches. It expands. It includes. Nourishment loves and protects what is already present. Healing ourselves and our environment through nourishment is a radical idea whose time has come. The Wise Woman Tradition is ready to ignite the birth of the new world now that the old one is dead, to awaken the gifts of nourishment. You are part of this transformation because you support the Wise Woman Way, perhaps even share it, or teach it. You carry it on.
I have a vision. I see green blessings all around.
herbal medicines, and herbal medicine is restored to its rightful place as people’s medicine. Herbal medicine as the medicine of the people, for the people, and by the people. Herbal medicine as the medicine of the 99% who work for a living.
Instead of getting high, we’re expanding our minds and our souls, touching deep into the earth and deep into our bodies. That’s the Wise Woman Way. Instead of making war by cleansing, we’re allowing ourselves to be nourished by life, every breathing, living, vibrating, insistent bit of it. That’s the Wise Woman Way. Instead of fixing everything that is not normal, we’re reveling in the abundant diversity of life, the spiraling immensity of possibility and pattern.
Milk thistle is a powerful antioxidant, well beyond the antioxidant activity of vitamin A, C and E. It contains a variety of constituents including selenium, zinc, calcium, iron, quercetin and beta-carotene. Milk thistle has undergone intense medical research identifying silymarin and silybin, primarily located in the ripe seeds, as its main beneficial chemical components. Milk thistle seeds are strong liver protectors affecting it in a variety of ways. It has a protective effect, altering the liver cell membrane structure which in turn prevents the absorption of substances that damage the liver. Milk thistle seeds also rebuild and rejuvenate your liver by stimulating the production of RNA polymerase A, which results in the regeneration of the liver by increasing protein synthesis, leading to the growth of new cells. Studies conducted in Europe have shown milk thistle to be effective in treating mushroom poisoning, cirrhosis, jaundice, hepatitis and liver damage as a result of alcohol or drug abuse.
One of the easiest ways to sneak milk thistle into your diet is to fill a spice grinder with the seeds and leave it on your table. Grind them liberally over rice, cereal, stir-fries, soup, salads or yogurt! They have a slightly nutty flavour, a very mild and delicious taste. You can also buy a milk thistle seed tincture and take anywhere from five to thirty drops, in a jigger of water, twice per day. If you want to save money and make your own tincture follow the directions in Susun Weed’s article below. Spring is a great time to nourish your liver, but ideally everyone should treat their liver to milk thistle for a month or two every year knowing how positive the outcome will be!
Spring is a great time to start anew, much like the green allies in our gardens this month. Many people try to eat better at this time of the year; some eat simply, others give up drinking alcohol for a few weeks or add bitter spring greens to their diet such as dandelion. Basically, they’re all trying to give their sluggish liver a lift after a slower-paced winter. Our liver performs many essential tasks including filtering harmful substances out of the blood (including alcohol), storing vitamins and minerals, producing cholesterol, bile, certain amino acids and urea, maintaining proper blood glucose levels, converting glucose to glycogen to name a few. Just how can we nourish and support our livers so they continue to function optimally?
Matthew Wood classifies milk thistle as a spleen/lymphatic remedy, acting secondarily on the portal and hepatic systems. The Commission E report from the German government recommends milk thistle seeds for the treatment of all liver dysfunction and distress, but the benefits of milk thistle seeds play an amazing preventative role protecting your liver from a polluted environment, excessive drinking, chemotherapy, chemicals you may encounter (paint, chlorine, varnish, dry-cleaning chemicals, etc.) over-the-counter, prescription or recreational drugs. Taking milk thistle before being bombarded with any these substances is highly recommended.
Wishing you great health,