Saturday, July 07, 2007

Herbal allies, from Susun Weed's Menopausal Years: the Wise Woman Way

A friend's phone call for help with headaches sparked this search for remedies. My favourite source is the above-mentioned book. See her website for helpful information on menopause and wise words from Grandmother Growth.

The thing to remember is that your body is not letting you down, it's sending you messages about what is out of balance. And in our crazy speeded-up world, a lot of us are out of balance. What I love about Weed's approach, is that her first remedy is always "Rest". Stop and feel what is happening in your body, in your life. Then look at what supplements or herbs can help.

Another friend (wise woman and yoga instructor) just called to cancel our dinner party this evening because of a heavy period and feeling low-energy. She needed to rest and feared she wouldn't be good company. I applaud such right-minded thinking! There are no 'to do's' on my list that should override my being in touch with how I feel (at least, that's how I wish I acted all the time). Usually stress and a weird sense of duty forces us to override our actual body health or intuition about what we need and then we operate on auto-pilot. Hey, there are two ways of living my life, I am learning lately: unconsciously and consciously. It's always up to me.

Which one is it for me today? Am I going to rush through my day making lists, getting things done, feeling rushed, unprepared for what is coming at me this day, or can I slow down, think ahead, use the S.T.O.P. procedure: Stop, Think, Organize and Proceed. You could add, Stop, Feel, organize and proceed, but it makes a lousy acronym. SFOP!

Here's what my herbal bible told me about headaches and remedies:

Garden sage (not desert sage): salvia means "s/he saves", eases the minds and wombs of women; dries up hot flashes and night sweats, regulates hormonal change, eases irritated nerves and banishes depression (contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and anti-stress thiamine); relieves dizziness and emotional swings, eliminates headaches and nourishes the liver while keeping your blood vessels flexible.

Black Cohosh: calms hot flashes and reduces night seats, relieves headaches and eases joint pain and arthritis, contains aspirin like salicylates that dilate the blood vessels (15-25 drops of tincture) also improves digestion and alleviates breast tenderness and water retention

Stinging Nettle: (Weed's alltime favourite herbal tea) nourishes and strengthens kidneys and adrenal glands; eases and eliminates cystitis, bloat and incontinence, rehydrates dry vaginal tissues; eases and prevents sore joints, stabilizes blood sugar, reduces fatigue, reduces and eliminates headaches, nourishes the digestive system, the nervous system, among others (infrusion of dried herb 1-4 cups a day) (do not use flowering nettle for food or medicine)

Oatstraw: stabilizes blood sugar levels, maintains firm teeth and strong bones, reduces cholesterol and improves circulation, nourishes nerves, reduces frequency and duration of headaches, maintains restful sleep patterns, eases bladder spasms, vaginal dryiness, uterine pain, incontinence, improves libido! (dried herb infusion 1-4 cups daily)

Read the book for further details on these healing herbs. I can attest to the wonderful properties of Nettle, Oatstraw and sage. Black Cohosh I know less about.

Take it from me, it's easier than popping pills and has less side effects. Some of those 'weeds' in your garden just might be helpful allies for your health. I've even heard it said by an energy healer and naturopath that we attract the weeds we need the most for our health, i.e. the plantain and dandelions in your yard are not noxious weeds but herbal helpers.

Take care, have a nice weekend, and a lovely magical 07-07-07!


No comments: